Last night the R's faced the daunting task of facings the current Champions of England just days after crashing out of the FA Cup to MK Dons. Could the R's pick themselves back up off the floor or were we going to witness a mauling to City's Superstars?
With this being a midweek game the gang got to Loftus Road at different times. Firstly I met Jess and her brother James at Westfield for a pre game Nandos that was sure to warm us up on a very wet night in W12.
We then made our way down to the ground and we bumped into Lofty who was outside the Loft entrance. Jenson rolled up shortly after with his friend 'Sun Tan'. We made our way round to the Blue and White bar and caught up with our friends Michael, Zach and Bob before Luke and Sam joined us.
The main topic of discussion between us all was the selection of two goalkeepers on the subs bench. The bench was notably missing Jamie Mackie (possibly Stoke bound) and DJ Campbell (late withdrawal with family issues). We all read into this as a clear statement from Harry Redknapp to the board that we needed reinforcements before the Transfer Window slams shut on Thursday. Will it work? We will see!
Well what can I say about the game?
We all knew that we would see a backs to the wall performance, which we also witnessed in our games against Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham. This game was no different at all.
Man City are a team maintain possession very well, are very patient in their build up play and never panic. They often find a moment of magic when you least expect it, and that nearly came in the 22nd minute when David Silva's chip to the penalty spot found Pablo Zabaleta. Zabaleta's precise header beat Cesar however the crossbar came to the aid of the R's defence.
Shortly after that the R's carved out the best chance of the game.
Taarabt run at the City defence and remained unchallenged before he beat Gael Clichy and going one on one with Joe Hart. Taarabt placed his shot the other side of the England number one but Hart managed to stretch his hand back in the direction of the ball and deny the R's a breakaway goal.
Man City were then denied by a piece of excellent goalkeeping by Cesar in the R's goal. Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry exchanged passes before Barry found himself a yard of space and took aim, only to find the Brazilian International pull of a fantastic save and push the ball around the post for a corner.
The second half we witnessed much more of the same and chances were few and far between.
Cesar pulled off another excellent save, this time from Silva and managed to scramble the ball clear before Aguero managed to get to the ball and tap into an empty net.
Both teams were denied penalty claims during the half. Firstly Loic Remy seemingly got the better of Lescott and as he advanced past the defender he looked a if he was caught by the England International as he fell to the ground. On first viewing we were all convinced that it was a penalty, however after seeing the replay it's clear to see that Remy went down far too easily and should've continued to advance on goal.
At the other end City had a shout turned down as former City defender Onuoha challenged Sinclair and again after seeing replays you can see Nedum get enough contact on the ball and that this was a great decision made by referee Phil Dowd.
Well it was another nail biting night but you have to say that the team spirit on show from the R's was truly superb, to a man you could not fault any of the effort on display from the eleven on the field. I also have to say that the fans last night were on a different level! The atmosphere created, especially in the first half was very much like the atmosphere we created during the latter half of last year during our battle against relegation and we need to keep this kind of intimidating atmosphere going all the way through until the end of the season as we do thrive on playing within that.
Our Man of the Match was a unanimous decision within the gang. W have three mentions to hand out first with Nedum Onuoha, Shaun Derry and Adel Taarabt all receiving plaudits from everyone after some really gritty performances and did not stop working for the team for the whole 90 minutes.
Our selection, with no surprise, is Julio Cesar. Cesar is showing why he has gained such a reputation for being one of the worlds best goalkeepers and has conceded just one goal throughout the whole of January, impressive!
Finally, we have to say a massive thank you to the warrior that is Ryan Nelsen.
He has only been with us for six months and played twenty games for us but the man has been a real hero and a leader for the team when we have needed him. Nelsen has been the star signing from the summer and the free transfer was an absolute bargain for us.
Nelson has been the player of the season for us so far and has worn the hoops with pride.
Words cant describe how much we are going to miss him. The man has made such an impact on our club and we could really do with having him for the rest of the season but when an opportunity of a lifetime arrives you have to take it and we all respect Ryan Nelsen for the decision he has made and I hope that one day we will be able to welcome him back as a visitor and maybe even a future manager if all goes well.
Thank you very much Ryan Nelsen for all your effort, blood, sweat and tears!
I will be back during the Transfer Window tomorrow!