Too Little, Too Late at the Cottage...
Fulham 3-2 QPR
Lee, took to Twitter following this game and described it, perfectly, as the R's suffered another painful 3-2 away defeat...
Well we made it difficult for ourselves, nearly redeemed ourselves and then fell marginally short, story of our season...
Apart from one, results pretty much went with us as we all had to wait an extra 2 days for our game and a massive away following made it's way to Craven Cottage on a cold Bank Holiday Monday night. I joined Jenson and PK in Hillingdon and arrived early to take advantage of the free Bus lane parking. We took a short walk to the away end and were joined by Sam and Luke then later by Lee and Jess whilst on the concourse, for an Easter catch up. As we entered the stand, David 'Diddy' Hamilton was whipping up the home crowd by telling them to use the free 'clappers' that were given to them, sadly, most did..
What followed, was one of the worst first half performances of the season with some of the most shambolic defending ever witnessed. It was quite simply, a total shambles...
On 8 minutes, with Samba failing to clear from the annoying Berbatov, Dejagah collected the ball just inside the box and nicked it past Samba, who stretched out a leg and brought him down. A clear penalty in which Berbatov stroked home with ease.
It was 2 just twelve minutes later with Samba, sadly at fault once more - trying to dribble his way out of trouble, was put under pressure by Duff, Berbatov nicked the ball, cut onto his right foot and poked the ball home - too easy.
It was effectively curtains just 4 minutes before the break - a back heel from their centre half in the box??.. found Riise who easily brushed Samba aside, got to the byeline then crossed hard, straight onto the arm of Clint Hill and into the net.
I have to be honest, this was so shambolic, the gang and I were seriously discussing a half time exit and an early night, until Adel Taarabt ran at goal on 43 minutes, held off Hangeland and fired his shot into the far corner of Mark Schwarzer's goal from the edge of the area. A great goal and it certainly kept us all in the stadium for the second half...
..and it was a half that Rangers started like a train. They had nothing to lose and it was refreshing to see that they were going to go for it. Remy forced Schwarzer into a fine save and got a great chance to reduce the deficit moments later, when Karagounis clumsily tripped Taarabt inside the area. Heartbreak followed as Schwarzer superbly saved Remy's penalty to his right hand side.
Moments later, Remy did find the net, latching onto Mbia's lobbed pass to smash his effort into the roof of the net. The Rangers end went beserk and could really start to believe that it may, just maybe our night after all.
It was all Rangers now and a drive from Andros Townsend was pushed aside by Schwarzer before Samba controlled the ball in the area but dragged his left-footed shot wide. Remy sliced a shot after twisting past Hangeland and Zamora forced another fine save from Schwarzer with a fierce drive. But the all important third goal was just not going in...
With 12 minutes to go, Fulham went down to ten men after Sidwell's quite dreadful tackle on Traore, finally got him his deserved marching orders, despite his best attempts to get out of it by staying down injured himself. But from here, Rangers went more direct and Fulham packed men behind the ball and the breakthrough, sadly, didn't come...
Queens Park Rangers
- 33 Julio Cesar
- 03 Traore (Mackie - 83' )
- 05 Samba
- 06 Hill Booked (Onuoha - 46' )
- 19 Bosingwa
- 10 Taarabt (Hoilett - 74' )
- 16 Jenas
- 29 Townsend
- 40 M'bia
- 18 Remy
- 25 Zamora
- 01 Green
- 15 Onuoha
- 21 Ben-Haim
- 07 Park Ji-sung
- 14 Granero
- 23 Hoilett
- 12 Mackie
Man of the Match
Almost a clean sweep with only myself letting the side down somewhat, going for Townsend for his second half performance, I seem to have completely wiped the first half from my mind altogether. But a deserved award from the rest of the gang, this week goes to Stephane Mbia.
Awayday Pie Rating
With most of our expert analysts having eaten before the game, only myself and Jenson sampled the goods this time out, and both opted for something a bit different - the Craven Cottage Pie, which was basically, a cottage pie. (With the catering staff hardly selling us a normal chicken or meat pie, and that was exactly how it was described.)
It was warm, reasonably tasty but somewhat burnt when you got to the bottom, but all in all, pretty good and a firm 8/10 from both of us.
In summary, we have all probably had our rants by now and we have all seen Chris Samba's, decent and fair apology on the social networks, but the fact remains is that this is another game gone and a game we simply threw away. That first half was simply not good enough and you will lose every week if you don't start playing until 43 minutes...
Yes, results went with us, but we made up no ground at all and the games are running out. Every game is massive now and we know what we have to do and it is , all about us, not the teams around us.
Lee will return following Sunday's HUGE game at home to Wigan, but until then...
KEEP THE FAITH!!!
COME ON YOU R'SSSSSSSSSS!!!