Wenger admits complacency may have played role in Arsenal's surprise defeat at QPR
18:38 GMT, 31 March 2012
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered no excuses for his side's poor performance as their seven-match winning run came to an abrupt end at struggling QPR.
Wenger yesterday answered questions on the possibility of finishing second in the Barclays Premier League after the Gunners' excellent recent form, but they were brought crashing back to earth by a stronger and hungrier home side.
Frustration: Arsene Wenger's side blew a chance to go six points clear of Spurs
Former Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt opened the scoring for QPR in the first half before Samba Diakite wrapped up a 2-1 for the west Londoners following Theo Walcott's equaliser.
Rangers looked nothing like the team that crumbled against Sunderland last weekend and Arsenal were a shadow of the team that had gone unbeaten since February 18.
'Our performance was not good enough to win this kind of game,' Wenger said. 'QPR had a little bit of extra special commitment.
'Overall we can only congratulate QPR for their attitude and be unhappy with our own performance. What we produced on the day was not good enough.
'Subconsciously something was missing today. In the Premier League if you miss something on the commitment front you are beaten. That is what happened today.'
Asked if complacency had been a factor, Wenger added: 'It is difficult to single out one reason, but why not
'We played against a team who play for survival. We prepared properly but we missed something today and you could see that.'
Second best: Thomas Vermaelen (left) had a poor performance
Thomas Vermaelen was largely responsible for conceding both goals.
Taarabt easily turned the Belgian before firing home after 22 minutes and he was beaten again in the second period by Jamie Mackie, who squared for Diakite to slam home the winner from 12 yards.
Bolton's victory at Wolves meant QPR remained in the bottom three, but manager Mark Hughes feels the manner of the win against such high-calibre opposition will give his team renewed confidence in their battle against relegation.
Bouncing back: Mark Hughes praised Joey Barton's improved display in QPR's 2-1 win
'We have played really well in our last three home games against some big teams, but I thought this one topped the lot,' said the Welshman, whose team still have to face Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.
'I thought we were exceptional. We kept our discipline, our shape, and for us to put in the performance and get the result was important.
'We played excellent throughout and deserved the win.
'If we play at that level from now until the end of the season, we will win more games.'
Hughes reserved special praise for captain Joey Barton, who was recalled to the starting XI after being dropped for a poor performance against Liverpool.
Barton criticised the Rangers fans who booed him off against the Reds in his programme notes today and Hughes was pleased by the controversial midfielder's energetic performance.
'I thought Joey was different class today,' Hughes said. 'He got a lot of stick last time out because his performance level wasn't high enough and he acknowledged that.
'I thought the crowd was great today in terms of how they encouraged him and they willed him to a top-class performance and that's what we got from him today.'
The performance of Taarabt, who marked his first Premier League goal by donning a fez handed down to him from the crowd in the celebrations, also delighted Hughes.
'I was really pleased with him,' Hughes said. 'That will do him the world of good.'
The game ended on a disappointing note with one of the linesmen appearing to be hit with a small object in injury-time as Robin Van Persie walked over to take a free-kick in the corner.
QPR said his evening that they will wait until Monday, when the referee's report is due to be filed, before commenting on the incident.