Sunderland Town' N Out
The R's went into today's game looking for their first back to back victories in the top flight since December 1995. The opponents were Sunderland, a team that defeated the R's 3-2 in the same fixture last year. Could the R's do it? We were about to find out.
Today Lofty celebrated his birthday and was hoping that the R's would give an additional birthday present of a win and a few goals to send us all home happy.
The gang assembled in the Loft after the Springbok was too busy for all of us to go to. Lofty, PK and Jenson all met up and I joined them at 2.30 after Jess and myself had our pre-match Westfield walk and grabbed some food before heading to Loftus Road.
When the team was announced the general consensus was that we were all very happy with the selection and that we looked as if we had a team that would attack Sunderland and create problems for them.
There were four changes to the team that beat Southampton last week. Julio Cesar (injured), Armand Traore (injured), Esteban Granero (bench) and Jay Bothroyd (bench) were replaced by Rob Green, Fabio, Andros Townsend and Bobby Zamora.
The R's started the game very strongly and looked very threatening as for the first time this season we had two strikers up front that were looking to be supplied by two natural wingers. Townsend and Hoilett were causing all sorts of problems for the Sunderland defence and both went close with shots from distance.
Sunderland delivered a shock on 20 minutes as they took the lead with their first real attack.
Sunderland broke away after the R's failed to make the most of a free kick. Sessegnon broke down the Sunderland right and got the better of Park before crossing to Johnson at the far post and he put the ball on a plate to Fletcher who managed to just about steer the ball past Rob Green. Fully undeserved but you have to take your chances in this division and the visitors certainly done that.
Ten minutes later and the R's drew level. Bosingwa found Townsend, who in turn run at the Black Cats defence and took aim. His shot hit the heels of O'Shea and luckily for the R's Loic Remy was on hand to pounce and coolly slotted home.
At half time the gang got together and were really happy with how we were playing. It was excellent to see us looking like were wanted to attack a team rather than sit back and try to play on the counter attack. Townsend and Hoilett were adding a different dimension to our play and must've been a nightmare to try and contain.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half were quite nervy and the R's seemed to go into their shell and allowed Sunderland space to breathe, however the visitors did not seem to be too interested in winning the game, it seemed like they were happy to take the draw and add another point to their tally.
The R's had different ideas and on 70 minutes they took the lead in spectacular fashion.
Firstly the R's were awarded a free kick (that from my angle was never a free kick!). Bosingwa lofted the ball into the Sunderland box, Mignolet cleared as far as Hoilett, who had his initial shot blocked and the ball fell to Townsend and the impressive winger hit the ball on the volley and it dipped and swerved beautifully into the top left hand corner!!!! Mignolet had no chance whatsoever and the R's took a deserved lead.
When we thought we had seen goal of the day from Townsend, we were given another choice in injury time from Jermaine Jenas!
SWP done superbly well on the right and drilled a cross in, that was only cleared as far as Jenas. As the ball dropped to him he hit a sweet volley that flew through a group of Sunderland defenders and hit the bottom right corner! Two goals that will be fantastic to watch on Match of the Day tonight!
Overall an excellent performance by every member of the R's team today, no-one can be faulted for their effort or commitment at all. I am usually the first to say when Park has a bad game but today I can say nothing bad at all. His effort, quality and execution was much better today and his confidence looks to be coming back to a level that he produced at Man United. Other stand out performances today came from Bosingwa, Hoilett and Townsend.
On the other foot I must say (quite shockingly) that I thought Titus Bramble had Zamora in his back pocket and won pretty much every header that came his way today.
On to our Man of the Match. The gang were again in total agreement with our candidate, gaining a clean sweep is Andros Townsend.
Queens Park Rangers
- 01 Green
- 05 Samba
- 06 Hill
- 19 Bosingwa
- 20 Fabio
- 07 Park Ji-sung
- 29 Townsend
- 40 M'bia
- 18 Remy (Jenas - 80' )
- 23 Hoilett (Wright-Phillips - 78' )
- 25 Zamora (Mackie - 73' )
- 26 Murphy
- 15 Onuoha
- 11 Wright-Phillips
- 14 Granero
- 16 Jenas
- 12 Mackie
- 37 Bothroyd
- 22 Mignolet
- 16 O'Shea
- 19 Bramble
- 04 N'Diaye Booked (Vaughan - 77' )
- 07 Larsson
- 08 Gardner Booked
- 14 Colback (Bardsley - 81' )
- 21 Johnson
- 28 Sessegnon
- 09 Graham (Rose - 57' )
- 26 Fletcher
- 20 Westwood
- 02 Bardsley
- 12 Kilgallon
- 24 Cuellar
- 03 Rose
- 15 Vaughan
- 18 Mangane
A great win and a great day for us all to celebrate Lofty's birthday in style!! Happy Birthday sir!!!!!
Lofty will return with his report after our visit to Villa Park, another massive six pointer!!
Keep the Faith!!