May 14, 2012
The script was supposed to be simple - mega-rich Manchester City would march onto the pitch against relegation strugglers QPR and blast their way to their first title in forty-four years. In the end City did win silverware, but not in a manner anyone would have believed.
Coming into the match with the odds stacked against them and needing a series of results to ensure another year in the league, Queens Park Rangers summoned the utmost courage and resiliency to stymie a fantastic side that looked ready to roll to victory. QPR will be etched in history as the team that lost seal Manchester City's incredible 2011-12 Championship title, but they can be proud of the effort they put forth on the most incredible final day of the season in Premier League history.
May 7, 2012
When they needed it most, QPR's leaders emerged with a crucial performance that may have saved their season.
Playing under the weight of a live-or-die game in front of their boisterous supporters, the team's key players delivered top drawer efforts to see through to victory. Adel Taraabt cut aggressive lanes through the Stoke defence; Joey Barton hustled after balls and harried the midfield; Jamie Mackie was a constant thorn in Robert Huth's giant side. The pressure continued to mount throughout what looked to be a scoreless draw until a well placed Djibril Cisse connected with a corner just before full time - sending Loftus Road and the QPR world in ecstasy as they snatched three vital points at the death.
The club is not safe yet, with Bolton only two points behind and a worst-case-scenario trip to Manchester City on the season's final day looming. But they have earned what may be enough to survive and will not go down without a fight.
April 29, 2012
Queens Park Rangers abysmal performance kept them on the brink of relegation as they were battered 6-1 by Chelsea.
After dispatching Spurs with a gritty and ambitious performance, there were high hopes for the struggling R's to repeat that spirit at Stamford Bridge. With Chelsea's busy workload, injuries and their sights set on loftier targets, there was some hope that QPR might have an opportunity to force a positive result. Instead the Derby was over before it started as QPR showed up without an ounce of fight in them, and played one of their worst games this season. The result is a continued bit of slow torture for the supporters as the club makes its way down the table and back to the Championship.
April 12, 2012
Queens Park Rangers breathed new life into their survival campaign with a dominant three - nil victory over Swansea Wednesday night. With tough clashes looming, the improved form of late has buoyed supporter's hopes that relegation can still be avoided this season.
Captain Joey Barton scored just before half time, silencing his critics (including yours truly) with a curling shot that put the Super Hoops ahead to a roaring cheer from the Loftus Road faithful. January signings Samba Diakite and Taye Taiwo turned in their best work to date, and Championship vets Jamie Mackie and Akos Buzsaky added two more goals to seal a convincing win.
The competition to remain in the Premier League remains fierce after Wigan pulled off an upset against Manchester United, and QPR will have to make the most of their weekend trip to The Hawthorns. With the level the R's raised their game to last night, this looks like a team that can beat the drop amid the tight battle at the bottom of the table.
April 9, 2012
Queens Park Rangers found themselves in familiar territory on Easter Sunday, down to ten men and a goal behind to a better team. Unlike previous trips down that road, they held on and despite losing two-nil, performed better under adverse conditions than they had in similar situations this season.
Ashley Young's flop that won United a penalty and sent Shaun Derry off thirteen minutes into the match was a disgrace - to United, to the referees and to the game, and should be held up as an example of unacceptable behavior on the pitch. Certainly against lowly QPR, Man U didn't need any extra advantages, and the failure from the linesman who was in position to see Young a yard offside, to the referee who awarded the penalty and produced a straight red card, cut down what could have been an interesting match before it was truly underway.
Queens Park Rangers might never have been able to unseat the presumed champions at Old Trafford, but they were weathering the onslaught and fought well with ten men the rest of the way. Supporters from both clubs were cheated out of an entertaining contest by a selfish act that sapped the excitement from an otherwise enjoyable match.
Copyright - Who Ate All The Pies
March 11, 2012
If it weren't for bad luck, QPR would have no luck at all.
In a tight contest at Bolton this weekend, Queens Park Rangers survival hopes took another painful blow as Ivan Klasnic's late winner sealed the last of the "winnable" games in the schedule. Ahead of the brutal run-in campaign, the R's spirited effort was not enough to avoid their fifth defeat in the last seven games More frustrating was the disallowed goal scored by Clint Hill, which was clearly in before being knocked back out of goal by keeper Adam Bogdan.
With the pressure of relegation mounting, QPR put forth a strong case to remain in the Premier League, but once again were unable to overcome defensive lapses that cost them vital points. With an uphill battle against some of the league's best, the R's have precious little time to escape the the drop in the coming months.
February 28, 2012
Queens Park Rangers have once again pushed their footballing fortunes to the brink, dropping another crucial clash at Loftus Road on Saturday to local rivals Fulham. For the fifth time this season the Hoops had a player red-carded and staggered through to a defeat without a whiff of the urgency or composure that their situation demands.
I can stomach a team that's not any good, and I've seen plenty that were deserved losers. But the character of the current lot is much different than some of the old teams that have dampened supporter's spirits before. You can buy a good striker, or a "talented" left back, but you cannot buy a team. A team is a group of individuals committed to a common cause, working together as one, supporting and defending each other to the last. If QPR are relegated, I won't look to the innumerable matches they were in a position to win and then wasted away; I won't moan over losing to Wolves at home or Bradley Johnson's phantom headbutt. The blame, sadly, will be solely on the players who put forth these limp and lifeless efforts while pocketing fat pay-cheques each week.
There is no fight in this squad, no do-or-die mentality to take on an opponent and thrash him, to gut out a run and make the extra effort to get on target or battle back for a ball. In the place where a heart should be, there's just a greasy pound sign and the lingering stench of defeat.
February 7, 2012
QPR's revamped team came out guns blazing against Wolves on Saturday, but saw their lead evaporate into another disastrous defeat. Djibril Cisse's foolish red card cost them a player and sapped the heavy momentum they'd begun with, but the remaining ten men on the pitch did little to decide the contest with the pressure on them. Heading through what was to be the soft part of their schedule, questions remain as to whether this squad can hack it in the Premier League.
The silver lining of this costly missed opportunity was the spectacular return of Adel Taarabt, who blazed through the Wolves' defence late in the game trying to force a draw. He couldn't do it all on his own however and the R's dropped three crucial points in a contest they looked to have easily in hand.
They'll be tested again with a visit to fellow relegation candidates Blackburn, and desperately need to regroup and focus on putting some distance between themselves and the drop if they hope to retain their status in the top flight.
January 8, 2012
Queens Park Rangers salvaged a late draw at Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup Saturday, continuing their ugly history in the competition with a dramatic last minute goal to earn a replay.
Calling this year's Cup "special," manager Neil Warnock vowed to reverse Queens Park Rangers decade-plus futility. His team selection backed up that claim, switching to an attacking deployment with new arrival Federico Macheda and DJ Campbell out front. Despite the absence of first team regulars Paddy Kenny, Adel Taarabt and Shaun Wright-Philips among others, the R's looked poised to break their eleven year drought in the Cup.
Instead, the R's turned in a characteristically stale performance, providing uninspired football and inciting the Dons to give them a run for their money. They did just that and deserved a victory, nearly knocking off a Premier League side that looked outmatched and uninterested. The late equaliser gave the R's another chance to move forward, but they must improve if they hope to do so.
December 28, 2011
Queens Park Rangers' quality side finally turned up, delivering a strong performance to earn a draw at Swansea Tuesday.
The free flowing match featured plenty of fireworks to entertain the noisy Welsh fans, including a skillful - if questionable - goal by Swansea's Danny Graham and a fantastic effort from Jamie Mackie at the other end to put the Hoops level.
Their defence remains a liability, but QPR's attackers showed more energy and determination in this contest than they have in weeks. The strong play of Swans keeper Michel Vorm held the R's in check despite the aggressive work by Adel Taraabt, Heidar Helguson and Mackie. The Swan's stubborn defending and strong counterattack kept the score even, but QPR finally played to their capability, which should bolster the supporters confidence heading into the new year.
December 19, 2011
When the best you can say about a match is that you could've lost by more, it's been a bad day at the office. Such is the state of things at Loftus Road following the 2-0 defeat to reigning champions Manchester United.
The R's made a game of it in the first half, but once again struggled in attack and conceded two poor goals to give the visitors all they needed to see through to the victory. No one expected QPR to beat United on Sunday, but with the flashes of grit and acuity they've put together this year, it was reasonable to expect some fight from the Hoops. Instead mental errors and poor tactics put the team behind and despite some hopeful moments, they never gave themselves a chance.
December 11, 2011
Despite promising to take the fight to Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers’ spiritless performance at Anfield on Saturday doomed them to a defeat marred by sloppy defending and non-existent attacking play.
Substitute keeper Radek Cerny turned in a top drawer effort, but couldn't overcome the Red's non-stop pressure and poor play of his teammates. Without top scorer Heidar Helguson, Rangers provided little in the way of scoring opportunities and were dominated in an uncharacteristically poor showing that had all the makings of a embarrassing blowout if not for some outstanding work between the sticks by their keeper.
With inconsistent outings like this threatening to become the norm, the Hoops need to improve and start earning better results quickly, before they slip back into the relegation battle they've avoided up to now.
December 4, 2011
Queens Park Rangers played well enough to win against West Brom, but only managed a draw in a match that left them sharing points with a side they pushed around and should've taken more from. Credit West Bromwich Albion for fighting back and earning a draw - fault QPR for not sealing a victory they had plenty of opportunities to take.
After Heidar Helguson notched his sixth goal to put his side 1-0 up, there were at least three chances to score goals that should have made this a very comfortable fixture. Instead some missed moments left the door open for West Brom to come back in, which they did to draw level and nearly snatch a win if not for two fine injury-time saves from replacement keeper Radek Cerny.
Neil Warnock's wrath wasn't saved for the dressing room as he chastised his players and the referee as they headed in, the passion boiling over after a day that ran with so much promise and ended with such bitter leftovers. It helps to take some perspective - the R's still earned a point - but it was impossible to watch this match and not feel that so much more was deserved.
November 27, 2011
Queens Park Rangers travelled to Norwich this weekend, keen to snatch another away victory in their promising Premier League campaign. They left with the bitter taste of a wasted opportunity, laid low by the absence of three key players missing through suspension, injury and general discontent.
Despite the altered line-up, the Hoops gave Norwich City a good fight, but the stubborn Canaries squad played well and forced the issue, taking a 2-1 victory on the strength of Grant Holt's 73rd minute goal. Even with the adjusted team, QPR had several chances to take a lead, but struggled to bring consistent pressure and conceded two poorly defended goals. There was something – someone – missing from their attack who could have made all the difference.
Excuses mean little and less when the points are tallied at the end of the season, and this was a game where QPR needed their stars to shine. That rumbling sound coming from Shepherd’s Bush after the game was the persistent question: Where was Adel Taarabt?
November 20, 2011
For the first fifteen minutes of Saturday's match, Queen Park Rangers looked like a Championship side that had climbed too far, too fast, and were woefully unprepared to play in the Premier League. By the final whistle, they’d shown themselves to be a resilient team capable of overcoming mistakes and taking hold of a difficult fixture to see it through to victory.
After going a goal down and playing some of the worst defensive football since their opening day thrashing by Bolton Wanderers, QPR regrouped and turned the tables on Stoke, edging out a 3-2 win. Heidar Helguson's brace and a well timed goal from Luke Young put the R's ahead, despite a late push to equalise from the Potters.
Coming off an exciting but unsatisfying defeat at home, the R's travelled to one of the most difficult home venues in England, where the locals enjoyed a stellar history and looked poised to bounce back from a difficult few weeks. After their initial stumbles, QPR ground their opponents down to earn a hard-fought win. It was a banner day for the Premier League returnees, who are carving out a place in this league, one gritty performance at a time.
November 7, 2011
Queens Park Rangers turned in their best performance of the season on Saturday, but were defeated by league leaders Manchester City 3-2 in a gripping match at Loftus Road.
On the heels of a hard-fought loss to Spurs last week, QPR took the battle to the opposition early, securing a 1-0 lead through Jay Bothroyd's first half header. It marked the first time this year City had fallen behind, and the visitors looked out of sorts at the tough competition they faced early on. A strong team ethic and some outstanding individual efforts made the game a real contest, but City capitalised on a few key lapses by QPR's defence to regain the lead and hold on for the victory.
Despite the disappointment of losing such a fiercely contested match, QPR supporters have to be proud of the way their team played. They may not have won, but they lost as well as anyone could and have taken a big step towards earning security in the top flight.
October 31, 2011
Queens Park Rangers withstood a first half onslaught and challenged Spurs late at White Hart Lane on Sunday, but were unable to overcome a Gareth Bale brace and fell 3-1 to the North Londoners.
In a lively game that saw plenty of movement and an attacking display by Tottenham, QPR showed moments of good form and threatened to force a draw, but squandered several opportunities to score and allowed the better team to take control of the match. Two late goal-line clearances by Spurs nullified dangerous work the Super Hoops put in to contest the decision down to the last moments.
In the end the loss was earned, but the performance was a positive sign for a club that has struggled to rise to the occasion recently.
October 23, 2011
Queens Park Rangers pulled off a stunning victory over Chelsea on Sunday, winning the West London Derby 1-0 in a heated match that featured two red-cards and a penalty from Heidar Helguson.
In front of a boisterous home crowd that deafened the ground from whistle to whistle, Chelsea's world class squad delivered an unusually sloppy performance that the home side met with fierce resistance. Match referee Chris Foy added his own fireworks, sending off Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba in the first half to put the visitors on the back foot. The home team did the rest, playing a patient and controlled game to see out the thrilling win over their neighbours.
Winning covers up for a lot of mistakes, and in the post-mortem QPR will have to take a long look at themselves after giving Chelsea so many opportunities to get back into the game when they were down to only nine men. But regardless of the circumstances, taking three points from one of the league's best is a day no QPR fan shall soon forget.
October 16, 2011
Queens Park Rangers were held a frustrating draw against Blackburn Rovers, yielding an early lead and failing to capitalize on several opportunities to take control of the match.
Heidar Helguson put the R's ahead on a curving fade over the head of Rover's keeper, but Chris Samba's towering header put the visitors level minutes later. Both teams battled for position and consistency for the rest of the game but were unable to break the deadlock.
QPR's failure to secure a victory is not a disaster, but rather another disappointing instance where the evolving club missed a chance to take three points from a beatable opponent.
October 3, 2011
Queens Park Rangers suffered their worst loss in recent memory on Sunday, getting walloped for six unanswered goals against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
From the opening moment the QPR defence was tested and found wanting, as Andrew Johnson ducked in between defenders to knock home a rebound for the first of the three goals he would net in the match. One thing after another went wrong, and what should have been a hard fought contest became an embarrassing rout. Fulham owned the day and looked light years ahead of QPR, who will need to dig deep and re-focus their efforts if they hope to continue competing in the top flight.
Rather than re-hash the pitiful match facts, here are a few reactions to the dreadful result.
September 25, 2011
QPR battled to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, in a tough match that saw a controversial penalty and a last minute own-goal leave neither side satisfied.
The Super Hoops dominated possession in the first half, but were staring at a defeat after referee Michael Oliver gifted Villa a penalty over a non-contact dive by Gabriel Agbonlahor at the touchline. Villa got on track in the second half and fought to hold their lead following the blown call. They withstood everything QPR had to offer before Heidar Helguson's 93rd minute cross battered among defenders and rolled into the goal to level the game.
Despite egregious officiating (including two overlooked handballs by Alan Hutton), the R's put forth another strong effort, working smart passes and good interplay to deny their opponents the ball and control the pace of the game early. They showed grit and never conceded, fighting back to take a point away from the disappointing match.
September 17, 2011
QPR defeated Wolves at Molineaux on Saturday, in an energetic performance that saw captain Joey Barton and Alejandro Faurlin score early on and the R's dominate possession of the ball. DJ Campbell delivered a terrific goal in the closing minutes to seal the club's second league victory.
The R's were on the attack from the start, taking advantage of a lacklustre effort from the normally disciplined Wolves squad. The goals were quality, but were aided by the poor man-marking and lazy defensive work of the home side. The revamped Hoops were consistently strong across the pitch, passing well and aggressively exploiting the numerous opportunities given by the often out of position and lead-footed Wolves back line.
Wolves regained some composure in the second half but could never get on form and proved little threat as QPR rolled to their second victory in the Premier League campaign.
September 13, 2011
Queens Park Rangers turned in their best performance of the season on Monday night, but were unable to break the deadlock against Newcastle United at Loftus Road.
Spurred by the arrival of five new faces in the starting line-up, the R's produced their most energetic outing so far, raising the tempo of their playing style and giving a glimpse of good things to come for the club. Shaun Wright-Philips' debut was a riot of fast breaks and clever footwork, flashing his blue and white hoops around heavy footed wing backs and troubling the visitors throughout the match.
Despite numerous chances and a near constant onslaught against their opponents, QPR could not break through to score. In the end they left two points on the pitch with some bad luck, but showed a skill level and tenacity that puts them in good stead heading on into the season.
August 27, 2011
QPR's uneven performance doomed them to defeat at Wigan Saturday, revealing that there is still much to be done in turning this into a Premier League team. Latics striker Franco Di Santo scored two goals while Ali Al Habsi, aided by his goal posts, denied the Super Hoops on a number of attempts to keep a clean sheet.
After a strong performance at Everton last week, the Super Hoops were done in as much by their own inaction as the Latic's lucky breaks. Wigan out paced them time and again while the R's abandoned the steady and controlled form they'd achieved against the Toffies in favor of more passive play that allowed too many opportunities against them.
August 23, 2011
QPR endured yet another early exit from the Carling Cup to a lower division club, falling two-nil to League One outfit Rochdale on a muggy Tuesday at Loftus Road.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro opened the scoring in the fifth minute while Gary Jones chipped a brilliant ball over substitute keeper Brian Murphy late in the second half to put the R's out of the League Cup.
Rochdale outperformed the Premier League side throughout the match, demonstrating a solid defensive plan and a surprising attacking pace that stifled the home side and led to their sixth Second Round exit in the last eight years.
August 20, 2011
Queens Park Rangers secured their first Premier League win at Goodison Park on Saturday, outworking an Everton team that never found its rhythm against the energetic new boys.
The contrast between the fortunes of the two teams were the main story leading up to the match, as QPR welcomed a new owner in Tony Fernandes, who promised to spend to improve the club, and Everton boss Bill Kenwright revealed that the club is over leveraged and out of money.
The change in prospects re-invigorated QPR and the club's supporters, with the new owner already launching bids to secure Premier League talents Scott Parker and Shaun Wright-Philips.
Buoyed by the changing winds in the owner's box, the Hoops ground out a convincing win against an Everton side that finished seventh last season on the strength of Tommy Smith's 30th minute goal.
August 13, 2011
The best you can say about QPR's inauspicious return to the Premier League is that it was only one game. The worst is that there may be many more like it ahead.
Queens Park Rangers fell 4-0 to Bolton Wanders in their first game in the Premier League since 1995, falling in spectacular fashion to a club which only won two away games last year.
DJ Campbell tapped home a rebound in the first minute of the match to the thrill of the 18,000 on hand at Loftus Road, but it was waived away due to an off-side flag.
The experience of elation being snatched away would be a hallmark of the match. Just moments later, new man Kieron Dyer went down in a seemingly innocuous tackle, but clutched his foot in agony. He was stretchered off and while there is no official word yet, it looks likely he'll miss significant time. His injury is a particularly cruel blow to a player who has worked so hard to overcome a number of knee and ankle blows over the past several years.
August 1, 2011
Queens Park Rangers put on a good display for prospective new owner Tony Fernandes, who was on hand in Italy this weekend to see them win the Bortolotti Trofeo tournament.
More important than winning the brief, three-team weekend tournament, multiple outlets are that Formula One team owner Tony Fernandes was in the stands with current majority shareholder Bernie Eccelstone and his partner, Flavio Briatore.
Hoops manager Neil Warnock told the Daily Mail:
"Myself, Flavio and Tony all had a positive chat after the match on Saturday.
"We've already spoken about possible targets and he is a very positive chap."
July 27, 2011
Queens Park Rangers fell 1 - 0 to Cesena in their first real test of the pre-season tonight, squaring off against the Serie A side in San Marino, Italy.
The match featured many quality scoring opportunities for both squads as well as a few defensive miscues and breakdowns. It was a good workout for the club, facing the kind of skill level they saw last year in the Championship, and perhaps will face against the lower Premier League clubs like Wigan this year.
Despite the outcome, the R's played well and if they perform as they did last night they should be in good shape this season.
Danny Gabbidon shuts down a Cesena attack
July 18, 2011
It's good to know Neil Warnock does not believe in the mercy rule.
Queens Park Rangers put on a shooting clinic at Tavistock AFC today, walloping the amateur outfit to the tune of thirteen unanswered goals.
July 16, 2011
The Hoops put in a bit of light work Friday night, cruising to a 1-0 friendly win over Harrow Borough.
The match gave Neil Warnock a chance to run out several squad players for an extended time and the results, albeit the competition, were satisfactory. Radek Cerny made a few fine saves during Boro's feisty start to the game, and looks set to be a quality back-up for Paddy Kenny should he be called on this year.