Hull condemn QPR to opening defeat
A James Chester goal and a missed penalty by Charlie Austin combined to give Hull City a 1-0 win to start the Premier League season away to newly-promoted Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday.
Former Manchester United defender Chester, who opened the scoring for Hull in May's FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal at Wembley, repeated the trick at Loftus Road when he got the better of Rio Ferdinand to head home a Stephen Quinn corner in the 52nd minute.
It was a soft goal for QPR to concede, and it proved sufficient to hand Hull their first victory at Loftus Road since 1963, when both teams were in the third tier.
Indeed, with QPR returning to the Premier League via the play-offs at the end of last season, this was the first ever top-flight meeting of the two clubs.
There was plenty of optimism in the home ranks as Rangers manager Harry Redknapp handed debuts to summer signings Steven Caulker, Ferdinand and Jordon Mutch.
And QPR really should have taken a lead into half-time, with Joey Barton coming close from a free-kick and Mutch, the former Cardiff City midfielder, heading narrowly wide.
Scottish full-back Andy Robertson then came to Hull's rescue when he cleared a Caulker header off the line as the visitors held on after seeing their marquee summer signing Robert Snodgrass forced off injured late in the opening period.
Quinn took his place and set up Chester's goal, which ultimately proved the difference, although only after QPR squandered a glorious chance to haul themselves level with time running out.
Referee Craig Pawson awarded the hosts a penalty when Chester was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area in the 83rd minute, but goalleeper Allan McGregor saved Austin's poor spot-kick.
Striker Austin had been impressive in the Championship for QPR last season, but his miss from 12 yards ensured it was to be a familiar story for the west London club, who have never won their opening match of a Premier League campaign.