To take a perhaps unexpected angle on this, poor Samba Diakité. Making his QPR debut on loan from Nancy in France, the Mali international found himself showing remarkable promise in his first half an hour of Premier League football, marred only by a slight tendency to commit fouls. After what may have been his seventh, a late lunge on a flying Bryan Ruiz, Diakité was shown a red card and the match was effectively settled. QPR fought hard win ten men but the numerical advantage was the buffer Fulham needed. Three more points.
Fulham had scored twice in the first few minutes, a glorious Riise/Johnson cross header ruled out for a marginal offside call, then an even better Dembele/Pogrebnyak combination making sure of the early lead: Dembele back-heeled through a crowd and this happy combination of genius and fortune saw the ball fall to Pogrebnyak, who let Paddy Kenny take himself out of the game before sliding into the now gaping net. A fabulous goal fit to win any derby.
After that Fulham, overflowing with attacking players, threatened to overwhelm their hosts, a Ruiz throughball giving Dempsey a fine chance that you’d have expected our top scorer to bury.
At the other end it was a question of how many tame shots Adel Taraabt wanted to fire at Mark Schwarzer. Time after time he shot, but at no point was the big Aussie (did I write that?) troubled. He was troubled by a goalmouth scramble that featured a rare Bobby Zamora sighting, but even that ended with an offside decision.
Zamora doesn’t really require much comment beyond that, simply because he didn’t do much beyond that. He must feel like a dumped teenager seeing his old group of friends out on a Saturday night without him. No doubt he made the right move for what became the right reasons, but no doubt he’s playing in a far more difficult situation, now. Fulham show signs of moving on; QPR show signs of going down.