QPR Deliver Three Points for Christmas...
QPR 4-0 Swansea
After two straight defeats, QPR delivered their fans the perfect Christmas Present, with a 4-0 Boxing Day win over fellow high flyers, Swansea at Loftus Road.
All of us Lofty Heights hope you all had a great Christmas!!
Due to the lunchtime kick off time, the gang arrived earlier than normal to the Springbok, some inside keeping warm and some outside braving the elements. Unfortunately, we were without Jenson due to illness, get well soon mate and California Hoop as one of the twins was taken ill - we did actually think at one point, due to his past record, that he actually thought it was a 3pm kick off and was sitting at home with his feet up before setting off...
We got into the ground just in time to see the R's take the field in what was, on paper, a tough looking fixture. But in fairness, despite the scoreline, it wasn't all one way traffic and the visitors went close with efforts from Sinclair and Beattie. But on 16 minutes, the R's went in front - Taarabt skipped past two Swans defenders to cue up the unmarked Jamie Mackie who fired a low 20-yard shot just inside Swans keeper De Vries' right-hand post and brought his barren spell to an end with his 9th of the season.
Three minutes later found both sides down to ten men - Kyle Walker pushed on from full back, beating 4 players before being brought down by tate on his way to goal. Handbags soon followed and Tate and Clint Hill, were both shown their marching orders, a decision of which Neil Warnock has stated he will appeal against. From where we were sitting, it was unclear as to what exactly happened and will have another look at the Football League show later - no doubt a certain Mr Claridge will completely justify the sending off of the Rangers man.
Rangers had two good chances to extend their lead through Taarabt and Helguson before the break, but the R's went in at the break one goal to the good.
The second half started slowly but as time ticked on, Adel Taarabt started to run the show and fed Kyle Walker with a superb pass. Walker cut inside but sadly, his shot was blocked, it would have been a sublime goal. The second goal though, wasn't long in coming - Taarabt once again, skipped into the area but was brought down by Williams and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot - Heidar Helguson stepped up and cooly sent the keeper the wrong way - 2-0!!
It was game set and match on 70 minutes, when Adel Taarabt got the goal he deserved when he collected Helguson's knock-down to shoot home from the left-hand side, underneath the body of De Vries. The goalkeeper perhaps should have done better, but as mentioned, it was a thoroughly deserved goal from the R's midfielder.
There was nothing De Vries could do ten minutes later - Taarabt nutmegged Allen before then smashing home from 25 yard curler into De Vries' right-hand corner - even though the keeper got a touch. Minutes later, he was denied a hat trick by a superb save - Helguson struck a powerful drive which was pushed away to the keepers right, Taarabt arrived with the follow up but De Vries made a superb recovery to block his close range effort. Martin Rowlands and Rob Hulse combined well late on as the R's went in search of their 5th goal, but it was not to be and the final whistle soon went to send the holiday crowd home extremely happy!!
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Rowlands 84), Helguson (Hulse 86), Faurlin, Mackie, Gorkss, Walker, Connolly, Smith (Orr 20). Subs: Cerny, Clarke, Agyemang, Ephraim.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Kyle Walker had a another fine game for the R's and was given the nod by Lee and Sam. Corporate opted for Shaun Derry who was dominant in the R's midfield once again. But the winner by a small majority vote, given by myself, Jo and Pk, is Adel Taarabt.
The Lofty Heights gang will be back on the road on Tuesday for the live TV clash against Coventry at the Ricoh Arena!!
COME ON YOU R'sssssssss!!!