Queens Park Strangers almost out 'Fox' Leicester..
Leicester 1-0 QPR Reserves
QPR suffered yet another defeat in front of the Sky Cameras, going down to a narrow 1-0 defeat to already promoted and likely Champions, Leicester City.. in a game in which it looked like Rangers had surrendered before a ball was kicked..
With it being an lunchtime kick off, it was an early morning start and I was picked up by Jenson and PK and 9am. Jenson returning after a few weeks following social commitments and a trip to Las Vegas, of which myself and PK enjoyed the many stories from his week in America.. and after hearing them, it's somewhere I definitely need to visit! Jenson had drawn some attention from his tweet the previous evening, stating that his source had revealed it would be a very much changed Rangers side as Redknapp looked to rest many players ahead of the remaining games, including the play offs.
We actually arrived in Leicester at approximately 10.20 and following PK's striptease in the car park, we had a very quick pint in the previously visited Counting House pub., before heading to the ground to meet up with Lee, Jess, Sam and Luke. By now, the news of the team had filtered through and we were all a bit miffed to say the least, as well as being hugely disappointed. My normal reports would see the line up towards the end, but here was the line up to take on the best team in the Division..
QPR: Green, Simpson, Yun, Onuoha, Hughes, Kranjcar, Henry, Benayoun, O'Neil, Assou-Ekotto, Maiga Subs: Murphy, Morrison, Dunne, Wright-Phillips, Keane, Zamora, Donaldson
Onto the game and Leicester had the lions share of the opening possession, but Rangers were slowly improving as the half went on and had the best of the early chances, with Yun and Kranjcar forcing Schmeichel into comfortable saves. A goalmouth scramble later ended with Kranjcar seeing his close range effort come back of the Foxes keeper.
The home side then created two chances in quick succession, both falling to King who firstly volleyed straight at Green from close range and then following a dreadful error from Karl Henry, rounded Rob Green before seeing his effort superbly cleared off the line by Nedum Onuoha.
Just before the break, Rangers really should have been ahead, when Kranjcar pulled the ball back to Maiga who shot well wide!
Onto the second half and this makeshift Rangers 11 were more than holding their own against a Leicester team that looked very much like they were already on the beach and who could blame them for that? On the hour mark, Maiga again had a great chance after being found by Kranjcar - a confident striker would have surely let rip at the goal, but he dithered before curling harmlessly wide.
Ten minutes later and Leicester were ahead when Drinkwater played in Nugent, Assou-Ekotto failed to pick up his run and the striker made no mistake, drilling past Green from a tight angle, a great finish!
With no goals in the side, it was always going to be a tough call that Rangers would get back into this but it nearly came via an unlikely source when Suk-Young chased a loose ball and just beat the advancing keeper to it, his momentum took him into Schmeichel and the ref blew for a foul as the ball looked as though it bobbled into the net. It had in fact hit the side netting but it didn't stop Lee who continued abusing what was a dreadful referee!
With 12 minutes to go, our task was made even harder when Assou-Ekotto received a deserved second yellow card for a late challenge on King. His first card in the first half maybe could have warranted a red in itself for a quite awful challenge on the quite awful player that is Mahrez, who must have rolled the length of the pitch after the challenge. His diving continued throughout the course of the game...
Assou-Ekotto marched uninterested from the pitch and we can only hope he continues his march back to White Hart Lane, but at least Suk-Young may get a deserved chance against Watford on Easter Monday..
Man of the Match
Almost a clean sweep with only myself and Jess differing from the rest, Jess picking out the afore mentioned Yun Suk-Young on the left of midfield, myself choosing Danny Simpson who played his Captain's roll superbly. But with votes from PK, Jenson, Lee, Sam, Luke and Lorna, today's award goes to the Chief, Nedum Onouha.
Awayday Pie Rating
With Leicester selling the Pukka range, there was never going to be much disappointment, perhaps only that they weren't selling the Balti. But there was little deliberation as we all tucked in, myself and Luke the Chicken and Mushroom and Lee, PK and Jenson, the Steak and all firmly voting a very decent 8/10.
In summary, all things considered, this wasn't a bad performance at all. The reasoning of course can and will be argued, but personally, I think the fans, who deserve it and pay a lot of money following their team up and down the country, week in and week out, should always see the best team available. I honestly think a near or full strength R's side yesterday would have won the game as Leicester were not quite at the races. But in saying that, credit must go to the makeshift Rangers side that put in a very creditable performance.
To finish, Congratulations to Leicester City once again on your deserved Promotion and indeed, the impending Title!
Happy Easter Everyone!!
Lee will return on Easter Monday as a very different looking R's side, take on Watford at Loftus Road...
Come on you R'ssssssssss!!