Rangers Finally Find Their Nuts...
QPR 1-1 Everton
QPR came from a goal down to claim what could be a precious point against Everton, in what was a much improved performance and an enjoyable game at Loftus Road this afternoon.
Well the gang slowly assembled today at the wall near the Springbok and soaked up the afternoon sunshine, with the exception of PK due to a bout of man flu and Jenson who blagged his way back into the Apex Rental box. It was nice to see and catch up with Dan and also, welcome back our good luck charm, Little Jack. Cousin Lee had also sported a pink shirt to bring back the luck that was of the old PSPA days. It's hard to imagine now that just a few weeks ago, I was starting a trend of wearing soppy winter hats as we fought off the arctic conditions.
A lot was said on these pages last week of the lack of heart, passion and desire after the lacklustre defeat to Fulham, so we were all hoping the team would be well fired up for this one, especially in the presence of Tony Fernandes, who had also been quite vocal. I was personally pleased to hear Guns n Roses, 'Welcome to the Jungle' pumping out over the PA System before kick off. If any a song is to be played to fire people up, then that is it in my opinion, long may that continue...
Onto the game and it was almost the worst possible start from the home side when Cahill struck the R's crossbar after only 4 minutes. Rangers got back into the game quickly and on 13 minutes, Rangers really should have been ahead, when Buzsaky's free kick evaded everyone but Clint Hill, who headed over from close range - the shame was, that if Hill wasn't there, I am sure the ball would have flew in. Ten minutes later and Buzsaky himself went close with a free kick.
Rangers continued to create chances and SWP went close with a diving header. But like so many other times this season, the R's were behind against the run of play - Pienaar picked out the impressive Drenthe, who struck a beauty into the bottom corner from 30 yards.
But the R's refused to be downbeat and were level just 6 minutes later - Bobby Zamora on hand to head home Buzsaky's free kick from close range. Particularly pleasing for me as I had removed Zamora from my dream team as they always seem to score when I do that - the gang will testify that last season when I dropped Berbatov, he scored 5 goals in his next game!!
Rangers should really have been ahead at the break - on 44 minutes, Taarabt smacked the post from a free kick, the rebound fell to Zamora, who teed up Buzsaky who somehow hit the post from 6 yards out!!
As the half time whistle went, there was plenty of talk of a superb showing from the Loftus Road squirrel, who thoroughly entertained the crowd, especially when he run over Tim Howard's goal line. It seemed totally unphased with what was going on around him, but it was one of the best individual performances seen on the Loftus Road pitch this season, the fitness level was incredible. It was astounding that after 20 or so minutes on the pitch, that Jess revealed after the game that, she didn't see it!!
Onto the second half and Rangers continued to ask the questions - Shaun Derry fired a goal bound effort that was steered wide by Onuoha. The game was now going from end to end as both sides went looking for the all decisive second goal. Buzsaky twice fired over the bar and Taarabt went really close as his shot from the keft drifted just wide on 67 minutes. There was some superb work from Zamora leading up to that effort.
But as much as Rangers pressed for the winner, they were frustrated by a stubborn Everton backline and yet again, a dreadful referreeing performance from Kevin Friend. A friend to QPR he certainly isn't....
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Mackie 81), Traore, Buzsaky, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Young, Smith, Taiwo.
Man on the Match - Apart from The Squirrel - so refreshing to have so much choice, with myself and California Hoop going for Bobby Zamora and Jess and Luke opting for Traore. But there was a clear winner with votes from Sam, Jenson, Lee and Corp - today's award goes to Clint Hill for another superb performance at centre back.
Well, it may not have been the result we all desperately wanted and needed, but the performance was so much better against a good side that are extremely difficult to beat under David Moyes. But I am sure that all the R's fans would have been so much more encouraged by a display that showed so much heart, desire and passion. A performance that showed to the fans that the Club means as much to the players as it does to us, the supporters.
With Cisse and Diakete returning from suspension, it could well be a very exciting game up at Bolton next Saturday - we will see you there!
Come on You R'ssssssssssss!!!