Lofty Heights... 'Ohhh Bobby Zamooooora!!!'

A look at Queens Park Rangers F.C. through the eyes of the fans - follow us on twitter @loftyheights70, @LoftyQPR and @qprleeroy

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fer-middable Austin Out Foxes Leicester.....

Leicester traveled down to West London today in a battle of the two promoted sides and also battle of two of the bottom three in the Premier League. Leicester have been out of sorts recently whilst Rangers' needed to ensure that they avoided defeat and the risk of slowly being cut away at the bottom of the table. The ingredients for a game which either side could not afford to lose, a six pointer maybe?

Due to difficulty parking in the area Jess and myself did not arrive at the ground until fifteen minutes before kick off, meaning we had to quickly rush in, meet Lofty, PK and Jenson and then take our seats. Sam, Luke and Lorna were already in their seats by the time we arrived.

Three changes were made from the defeat at Newcastle. Dunne missed out through suspension, Zamora dropped out of the squad with a back injury whilst Sandro will be out of action until January with a knee injury. They were replaced by Isla, Vargas and Krancjar respectively.

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Before kick off we paid our respects to Malcolm Oakley who sadly passed away this week. Malcolm was well known around the club and our condolences go out to his family. A superb minutes applause was taken by both sets of fans.
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At the beginning of the game we could all be guilty of thinking that taking three points would be a formality if we put in a battling performance like we have done in recent home fixtures, especially against a team that have failed to score in their last five games....
Within four minutes that script was well and truly torn apart!
Ulloa's blocked shot fell to the feet of Esteban Cambiasso, who side footed inside Green's right post in a well taken goal with precision that stunned the Loftus Road crowd.
The atmosphere really quietened in the ground following the goal and Leicester used to this to their advantage and played in their counter attacking style which caused plenty of problems to the R's back line. Vardy's hustling and bustling just behind Ulloa ensured that he was applied pressure and was forcing errors in the middle third of the field and did not give a moments peace to anyone.
It took Rangers' a good twenty minutes to settle into the game and  the encounter turned into a good old fashioned Championship game flowing end to end and being a very entertaining afternoon.
Leicester failed to make the most of several good chances and were punished ten minutes before the interval when who else but Steven Caulker found himself on the left wing before swinging in a perfect low cross which was met by Wes Morgan as he done his best Richard Dunne impression and poked the ball into his own net to level the game.
Straight from kick off Leicester broke away and if it wasn't for a fantastic save from Green then the visitors could of easily restored their lead.
With half time looming there was time for the third goal of the game.
Barton's right wing cross was too high for Vargas, however Austin was on hand to power a header which was saved by Schmeichel but the ball fell kindly to Fer, who volleyed into the ground and through the hands of the 'keeper as he bagged his first goal for the R's.

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Half time was a welcome relief from an intense game and a lot more enjoyable following Fer's goal. I thought wearing my retro Holland shirt had brought us some luck, however it was soon revealed why he had returned to form, Lofty had in fact taken him out of his fantasy team and lifted the curse.

Leicester started the second half much the better side and created two good chances in the first five minutes of the half. Firstly Mahrez saw an effort beaten away by Green before Vardy glanced a header onto the top of the bar.
Rangers' just needed to slow the tempo of the game down and take the sting out of Leicester's attack but the visitors kept snapping back and we have not seen our defence come up against this constant battle and it was really going to be a test for the remainder of the game.
On the hour mark the R's finally breached the back line as Austin was clear to send an eighteen yard volley towards goal, only to see Schmeichel more than equal to it and turn it around the post for a corner.
Unfortunately the R's could not continue the momentum from this, instead it was the Foxes that came back stronger and with 68 minutes on the clock they were level.
Rangers' failed to clear a Leicester corner properly as Schlupp was on hand to send his twenty yard volley through the crowded penalty area and into the bottom corner. A well taken goal, however it could have been prevented on several occasions.
The game continued to swing from end to end, however there was to be a fifth goal and it proved to be the winner seventeen minutes from time.
Leicester themselves failed to deal with a corner and it was Onuoha who saw his header blocked before Austin followed up to head home and seal a much needed three points.

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In all fairness this game could've ended 8-8 and Leicester had plenty of chances to punish us, however they just lacked that finishing prowess in the final third. This was probably the most pressure our defence has been under for a very long time.
It wasn't our greatest performance, however it was just good to see us grind out a result and get another three points on the board.

On to our Man of the Match. I went for Karl Henry's battling and impressive defensive performance. Vargas' industrious performance drew a vote from Lofty. All remaining votes from Jess, Sam, Luke, PK, Jenson and Lorna all went to Leroy Fer.

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We return in midweek as Lofty reviews our trip to Swansea.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Late Sissoko Strike Sinks Rangers..

Newcastle 1-0 QPR

A late Moussa Sissoko strike saw Newcastle's remarkable form continue and sadly send Rangers back to the bottom of the Premier League at St James Park yesterday..

It was only Jenson that represented LH up in the Toon yesterday as I was laid low with illness late Thursday evening -  and I decided I was not fit to travel on Friday lunchtime, giving Jenson ample time to find a replacement. But with this trip being a Corporate one, there wasn't a problem with that and Jenson and Co flew to the North East at around 9.45am. Other commitments saw Lee, Jess and PK also miss out and Sam and Luke had the little matter of their lovely twins 3rd Birthday - Happy Birthday Noah and Louie!!!

With messages and photos filtering through from Jenson, I settled down at about ten to three to find a stream, which wasn't as easy as I hoped and the one I found was truly dreadful, continually freezing and making it almost unwatchable. So I didn't see a great deal of the first half, which by all accounts was pretty even. Luckily I spent the half time break searching for a different one and I was able to watch the second half.

Both sides started the second half well and Charlie Austin tested Krul following Barton's chipped pass. Zamora then sent a header just over following a cross from Karl Henry. Sandro's injury problems looked to be continuing as he was replace by Kranjcar on the hour mark - and the Rangers sub should have made an almost instant impact, twisting and turning in the box before firing straight at Krul from a tight angle with Austin and Zamora waiting in the wings being the better option.

Cisse forced Green into action again but the breakthrough finally came with 12 minutes to go - Sissoko broke at pass and after exchanging passes with Ameobi, fired into the net giving Green no chance.

Rangers responded by bringing on Hoilett and with minutes to go, he lashed a shot harmslessly wide. In stoppage time, Cisse almost made it too but there was no pace on his effort past the advancing Green and Joey Barton cleared to safety. Despite plenty of the ball in the late stages, Rangers were unable to force the equaliser and Newcastle's 5th win on the bounce was confirmed...

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 15 Onuoha Booked
  • 22 Dunne Booked
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 08 Barton
  • 30 Sandro (Kranjcar - 61' )
  • 20 Henry (Hoilett - 82' )
  • 10 Fer
  • 25 Zamora Booked
  • 09 Austin


  • 03 Traore
  • 07 Phillips
  • 12 McCarthy
  • 14 Isla
  • 17 Mutch
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 23 Hoilett
Man of the Match

There were no votes from Sam and Luke, understandably busy on their Special day, but Jenson was the first through with Karl Henry. Jess voted for a decent comeback performance from Joey Barton. But this weeks winner and following a change of mind vote this morning from Jenson claiming the drink had influenced his original vote, he joined myself and Lee choosing Rob Green.

This was perhaps, disappointing in light of the R's recent showings, but despite Newcastle being very much a team bang in form , it was a very even game. Again the after match reading will highlight our dreadful away form, but make no mistake, Rangers were well worthy of a point here..

We shall return next week as Lee will review the crucial clash with Leicester on Saturday..

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'ssssssssssssss!!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Dean Display Leaves R's Feeling Blue....

Last night a football feast was served at Loftus Road as QPR played host to the Champions of England and out of sorts Man City. Could the R's build on last weeks spirited performance at Stamford Bridge and give another one of the countries 'top teams' a good run for their money?

The gang arrived at an extremely wet Loftus Road in plenty of time, with most of us opting to stay in the warmth of our cars until the 3pm kick offs had finished before making our way into the ground and running for shelter, whilst Jess had to make do with the concourse of the West Paddock for as long as possible before being sat in the rain for the entirety of the game. The gang were already huddled under cover in the Lower Loft when I arrived with Lofty, Sam, Luke, Jenson, Lorna and Zach reliving an adventurous weekend that had just passed for Zach after a fancy dress party saw him dressed up as Zippy before later in the evening being photographed with his friend dressed in a Bungle costume taking him from the rear, something Zach wanted to keep quiet yet felt he could trust showing us the photo of the event. It's safe to say that he didn't walk up the stairs very comfortably and was still feeling the after effects of it all......

Just one change was made to the side that was unfortunate to lose at Chelsea last week with Zamora taking Hoilett's place.

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Those in attendance held a minutes silence in tribute to those that unfortunately lost their lives 100 years ago in World War One, giving their lives to ensure we could have a better tomorrow.

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Rangers' started the game with all guns blazing and full of confidence after last weekend and had the ball in the back of the net in the opening ten minutes. Vargas' pinpoint cross was met by Charlie Austin as he placed his header past Joe Hart to send Loftus Road into raptures.......... only to see the goal chalked off (and rightly so) for offside.
From the resulting free kick Hart fluffed his kick as it fell to the feet of Austin and he drilled home a 25 yard shot, again the place erupted!!!!! The goal was disallowed once again to the dismay of the R's players and fans alike! Jenson was all over social media after the goal and we were told that Hart had kicked the ball twice in his clearance and was the reason behind the goal being ruled out. Cheated is the polite way of describing how we felt and were more than ready for more controversy as yet another Premier League Official was doing his best to protect one of England's big four, just as we witnessed against Chelsea last week!
Five minutes later and that man Austin forced Hart into a fantastic save after seeing his close range effort pushed around the post when it seemed a certainty that he would finally put the R's one up, he wasn't to be denied for much longer though!
With 20 on the clock the R's scored their third goal of the evening and this time Mike Dean could not disallow it!
Isla's cross from the right wing found Austin in space inside the penalty area and Charlie controlled the ball before placing his shot in the bottom left corner, leaving Hart with no chance! Austin ran to the corner to do the funky chicken as he scored his first hat trick on home soil, it's a shame the history books will never show that (especially as I bet on it at 150/1!).

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City slowly gained more composure as the game wore on as their patient passing was mainly ineffective, however when Toure curled one inches wide, nearly knocking out a young supporter in the process, you had that feeling a big chance was just around the corner.
That chance came just after the half hour when a simple ball over the top found Aguero running past the R's defence before then slotting past Green with City's first clear cut chance of the game. The goal had a suspicion of handball about it, which was confirmed in Green's protests after the goal and then on the replay we could clearly see Aguero had not only handballed but was also in an offside position!! How many times will these officials screw us over?? The mad thing is that Redknapp would get fined for speaking out against them yet they never come out and apologise or acknowledge their mistakes, instead they get continue to get protected when they cost teams valuable points and potentially managers their jobs. More should be done to get these refs to discuss these decisions whilst also making the so called third officials that do sod all apart from flag for the occasional offside and duck out of making any of the big decisions that often lead to goals being scored and conceded.
Just before the break Hart was once again on song as he denied Austin his second goal of the game, surely the R's number nine was impressing Roy Hodgson who was in attendance?

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We went into the second half feeling very aggrieved to not be leading after seeing the R's score three times and Aguero's handball/offside goal level things up. What was even more frustrating was the fact that of the five fouls conceded by the R's, four were deemed as bookable offenses, however similar challenges from the visitors were apparently not worthy of a caution! Another reason why Mike Dean was labelled as 'inept' by Gary Neville during commentary and that man always talks sense!!

The second half started with Barton taking the place of Sandro after the Brazilian had been struggling with his hamstring for the final ten minutes of the first half. A blow for us as he has been immense with Henry in the heart of the midfield and was keeping Yaya Toure very quiet all game, it was now up to Barton to match this work ethic to keep us on track against his former club.
City started the brighter of the teams in the opening exchanges of the second half but ten minutes in the R's had the ball in the back of the net again..... and yes you guessed it, it was disallowed again as Vargas has strayed marginally offside before tapping home.
City continued to probe, however the R's came close once again after Dunne's left wing cross found Vargas on the edge of the area before the Chilean volleyed towards goal and then Caulker diverted it via his thigh just wide of the post.
With fifteen minutes remaining the R's took the lead once again. Vargas and Austin combined down the right before Austin's teasing cross was met by the head of Zamora (or Demichelis' shoulder after seeing the replay) and we were looking like we were going to reap the rewards of an amazing performance.

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Minutes after Zamora's goal it was Aguero who found himself clean through on goal only to see his shot stopped by Dunne two yards short of the goal line.
That man Aguero wasn't to be denied another moment of glory though after Yaya Toure's long ball from just inside the City half floated over Dunne's head as Aguero collected, rounded Rob Green and then placed home past the three R's defenders who got back but could not deny the Argentinian his second goal of the evening.

If we had been offered a point before the game we would all of happily taken it, however after seeing that performance last night you cannot help but feel gutted. It was another fantastic performance by a great bunch of lads and yet again we gave Man City the game of their lives at Loftus Road.
To a man you cannot fault any performance out there and if we continue playing in this way then you can only see the points tally rise as we now have an 'easier' run of games now we have the Liverpool, Chelsea and City games, which were three of the last four played.

The Man of the Match saw a near clean sweep after just Lorna voted for Vargas but the remaining votes from Jess, Lofty, Sam, Luke, PK, Jenson and myself went to Charlie Austin.

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The International break is now upon us but Lofty will return with what will be an action packed report following the trip to Newcastle that he and Jenson will be taking.

Keep the Faith!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Hazard makes sure it's Bridge too Far for Rangers...

Chelsea 2-1 QPR

Rangers narrowly lost out to neighbours Chelsea after a performance full of heart, passion and commitment at Stamford Bridge yesterday..

This was a tough decision by many of us, but there was no LH representation at the Bridge as with booking fees etc, almost £60 for a game of football was far too much to lay out, especially to them too!!  But with streams aplenty, no one would actually miss the game with the exception of Sam, who took the opportunity to visit the impressive poppy display at the Tower of London in honour of the First World War Centenary.

As kick off approached , the team news filtered through with just one change from the team that beat Villa on Monday night.. Junior Hoilett replacing Bobby Zamora, with Richard Dunne taking over the Captaincy.

Rangers went into this game full of confidence after the last two home performances, but after some of the away showings earlier in the season, it would be safe to say that most R's fans would be dreading this fixture and probably as expected, it was all Chelsea who forced a succession of corners in the opening exchanges. Oscar dragged an effort just wide and Ivanovic should have done better firing wide after a late run evaded the R's defence.

But Rangers were growing in confidence as the half wore on and good work from Hoilett saw Austin head just over. It was clear that some quick counter attacking was showing that the R's were starting to believe.

On 32 minutes, the hosts took the lead - some neat work from Costa and Fabregas drew in five R's players, before the ball was fed to Oscar, in space on the right who with the outside of his boot, curled his shot into the corner for a fine goal that even now, the commentators and media are still filling their boots over..

Onto the second half and it was almost cringe worthy that how the majority of the football media were waiting for the onslaught. It was nearly two nil on 55 minutes when Willian crossed from the right and Hazard was just short of connecting. But things drastically changed just after the hour mark when Vargas crossed hard from the right which Courtois only palmed out to Leroy Fer at the edge of the box, who's scuffed shot was cleverly backed heeled into the net by the in form Charlie Austin, who ran to join wild celebrations in the away end. How we would have all loved to have been involved in these celebrations!

Rangers were now smelling blood and just 6 minutes later, nearly found themselves ahead when Sandro's effort was deflected agonisingly wide.

An Oscar free kick was saved superbly by Green before Rangers again, broke at pace and Austin fired well wide following a great move. At this point the game could well have gone either way. But when your down the bottom, as we all saw against Liverpool, the luck certainly avoids you and Chelsea went back in front - Hazard and Vargas went shoulder to shoulder on the edge of the box and in typically Hazard fashion, he went down like a cheap tart and the referee pointed to the spot. Hazard sent Green the wrong way and Rangers had it all to do again.

Rob Green was at his best yet again with fine saves from Schurrle and Terry but the equaliser at the other end just didn't come despite Rangers continuing to keep battling away...

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Green
  • 14 Isla
  • 22 Dunne
  • 04 Caulker
  • 13 Yun Suk-young
  • 24 Vargas
  • 20 Henry
  • 30 Sandro
  • 23 Hoilett (Zamora - 60' )
  • 10 Fer (Traore - 84' )
  • 09 Austin


  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 07 Phillips
  • 11 Wright-Phillips
  • 19 Kranjcar
  • 21 Murphy
  • 25 Zamora
Man of the Match

Luke picked out Charlie Austin who is in fine form with 3 in the last 2, but myself, Lee, Jess and Jenson, all agreed on yet another outstanding performance and indeed, a true Captain's performance from Richard Dunne who kept Diego Costa firmly in his pocket all afternoon.

Following an R's defeat, the social networks can be dreadful reading for QPR fans, but it was refreshing to read nothing but praise on an R's performance that was full of heart, passion and commitment. Seeing the team play with that sort of pride is all that we want from our team and as noted, their were little complaints. Long may it continue..

Frustration maybe of the manner in which the game was won by Chelsea, but Hazard certainly has history in these matters and it comes with little surprise.

It gets no easier for the R's as we host Champions Man City next Saturday evening and Lee will return to hopefully report on another great performance.

Keep the Faith and Come on you R'sssssssssssss!!!