PHOTOS: The best pictures as Arsenal hold on to beat QPR 2-1

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Arsenal managed to hang on against QPR and clinch a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't vintage Arsenal, but the Gunners did what they needed to do against struggling QPR, and that was win the game.

A 2-1 victory for Arsene Wenger's men leaves them two points off the top four, and here are the best images from the Boxing Day clash in North London.

Arsenal were given the perfect chance to open the scoring early on when ex-Gunner Armand Traore sent Alexis Sanchez sprawling in the penalty area.

Sanchez took the resulting spot kick, but saw Robert Green make a superb save down to his left hand side - after some cheeky advice from Sanchez's Chile team mate Eduardo Vargas.

Sanchez did get his goal eventually though, as a superb move down the left hand side resulting in Kieran Gibbs crossing for the unmarked Sanchez to stoop and head home at the back post.

That makes it 14 goals in all competitions this season for Sanchez, who escaped the attentions of Traore once again to head the opener past Green.

However, QPR were handed hope in the second half when Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was handed a straight red card after headbutting Rangers defender Nedum Onuoha.

Giroud was pushed over by Onuoha in a race for the ball, with the Frenchman picking himself up and sticking his head into the face of the former Manchester City defender - though his histrionics certainly sold the decision to referee Martin Atkinson.

QPR couldn't capitalise though, and just 12 minutes later, Arsenal made it 2-0 thanks to a great finish from midfielder Tomas Rosicky.

The Czech Republic star has been out of the side for most of the season but showed his value to Wenger, running onto a pass before striking low past Green to give the Gunners a comfortable lead.

A nervy finish was set up though when referee Atkinson made another controversial call, deciding that Mathieu Debuchy had brought Junior Hoilett down inside the area despite clearly winning the ball.

Up stepped in-form striker Charlie Austin to hammer the ball past Wojciech Szczesny and into the net, and Harry Redknapp's men even had a late penalty appeal turned down after a clumsy challenge from Gibbs on Bobby Zamora, but it wasn't enough and Arsenal earned a hard-fought three points.

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