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Late Miller show steals points — full match report
Late Miller show steals points — full match report
Monday, 7th Mar 2011 01:47 by Clive Whittingham

QPR left it agonisingly late, but ultimately came up with the goods in a 1-0 home win against Leicester City at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Devon White, a man known as ‘Bruno’ to the Loftus Road faithful, was the focus of a former player feature in the match programme on Saturday. By the end of this nerve jangling encounter with Leicester City it was White’s, and Bruno’s, lookalike Ishmael Miller who had grabbed the headlines with a late knockout blow.

Miller wasn’t the only man on show here who would look more at home in Madison Square Gardens than Loftus Road – Yakubu, Danny Shittu and Sol Bamba all played starring roles in a heavyweight encounter. Were this a boxing contest for real Leicester would have been well on course for a comfortable points victory after going the distance prior to Miller’s intervention.

Denied a fight finishing punch of their own in the third only by an outstanding save by Paddy Kenny the Foxes had continued to enjoy the better of the goal scoring chances thereafter and Martyn Waghorn was dreadfully wasteful with not one but two one on one opportunities after his fellow substitute Matthew Connolly had erred to allow him a sight of goal twice in quick succession.

Leicester had been as tough in defence as they had been inventive in attack and QPR were repeatedly frustrated by a high quality back four assembled by Sven Goran Eriksson, whose honest pre and post game assessments of this encounter have won him many friends in West London.

Kyle Naughton now resides in the shadow of his former Sheffield United team mate Kyle Walker who has progressed faster since they both moved to Tottenham, but he’s no fool and was posed few problems by Adel Taarabt and others. On the other side Man City’s Ben Mee, not even the first choice left back at the Walkers Stadium and merely filling in for another loan Patrick Van Aarnholt, impressed going both ways. Another Chelsea loanee Jeffrey Bruma cut a dominant figure at centre half alongside Sol Bamba, a rare good import from the wastelands of the Scottish “Premier League”, who was almost faultless for the majority of this match.

“Almost”, and “majority” the key words there because for all their impressive performances at both ends of the field Leicester were left to succumb to a complacent “the job’s done” attitude that was last displayed on this ground by Nottingham Forest who celebrated their draw at Loftus Road like a World Cup win and have since drawn three and lost two of six matches.

It is tempting, and former Leicester striker Steve Claridge is happy to do so to the tiny number of people still listening to his nonsense, to say that QPR are a one man team and once Adel Taarabt has been stopped so have they. Leicester clearly thought so, their 3,200 away fans cheered loudly as Taarabt was removed. And then, everything they’d done before was wasted, because they couldn’t deal with one simple ball in behind their defence which was seized on by Miller, Taarabt’s replacement, and buried into the Loft End goal for a decisive, undeserved but tremendously satisfying and potentially crucial late winner.

Routledge’s pace, Taarabt’s tricks, Buzsaky’s ability – Leicester had seen everything off, but they just got too pleased with themselves and ended the afternoon with nothing after succumbing to a goal a Conference North side might have created.

Rangers were unchanged to start with, although having managed two full games the inevitable injury to Fitz Hall was overdue and quickly arrived forcing a reshuffle. Hall had started in defence with Danny Shittu, a partnership yet to yield a goal against in 180 minutes of football prior to this one. Bradley Orr and Clint Hill were the full backs ahead of Paddy Kenny in goal, Shaun Derry and Alejandro Faurlin anchored the midfield. Up top Akos Buzsaky started his first game at home since Norwich in October with Taarabt and Routledge in support and Heidar Helguson employed as the focal point.

Leicester backed their defence up with former Portugal international goalkeeper Ricardo – a frustrated outfield player if ever there was one – and loaned Everton striker Yakubu led the attack. Andy King is a shoo in for the divisional team of the year and started in midfield with support from the more workmanlike Matt Oakley and Richie Wellens, who was sent off on this ground in a 5-0 defeat in Blackpool days.

Precedents were set early by the two goalkeepers. In the first minute Ricardo collected a back past, held onto it too long, and then gave Taarabt a taste of his own medicine by tricking him with a shoulder drop before finally clearing down field. Ricardo uses his hands so seldomly the Leicester fans actually cheered him when, some 20 minutes later, he finally admitted defeat in his quest to get through a whole game using his feet alone and picked the ball up. At the Loft End Paddy Kenny emerged quickly from his line to clear a through ball away from the onrushing Darius Vassell – another recurring theme.

Jeffrey Bruma, one of several Premiership loans brought in by the Foxes since Eriksson took over, found blood gushing from a wound to his face that required treatment and a new shirt and this stoppage and period where Leicester were down to ten and happy to keep everybody behind the ball and hold on for a minute or so disrupted the early flow of the game. Their willingness to pass the ball out from the back at all costs almost cost them an early goal when Matt Oakley’s bizarre lofted back pass in behind his own defence was seized on by Heidar Helguson but the newly patched up Bruma swooped in and cleared robustly.

Leicester’s first attack of note came with the time fresh into double figures – Yakubu went to ground in the area rather more easily than a man of his size really should have done but the contact from Fitz Hall was sufficient to warrant more significant appeals than Leicester offered and referee Roger East was happy to let play go on when he could easily have pointed to the spot. This referee turned down a more blatant penalty appeal from Doncaster early on in his last visit to Loftus Road back in September – the R’s would certainly have taken the 3-0 scoreline they went on to achieve that day had it been offered to them at this stage.

The Foxes had clearly settled to their task, buoyed by a run of one defeat in ten league games. QPR were ten games unbeaten themselves prior to this one but, as they had done in the first half of their last home game with Ipswich, looked nervous and laboured early on. After a quarter of an hour Yakubu showed all the experience of his ten years in the professional game to reach the byline and cut a ball back into space in the penalty area. Andy King, 14 goals to his name already this season, sliced his shot so badly it didn’t even go out of play and he should have done so much better after arriving in the area unchecked.

Three minutes later Mee, who’d already laid a marker down with thumping, old fashioned tackle on Taarabt tight to the touchline, got away with a handball as he accelerated down the left flank and delivered a deep cross which Clint Hill headed behind for the game’s first corner. Leicester played it short, QPR cleared the resulting cross comfortably.

This served as something of a wake up call for the home team and they finally started to string together a few bits and pieces and get their key men into the game. On 19 minutes Buzsaky and Faurlin combined in eye catching style around the edge of the area but the Hungarian fired very high and very wide indeed from 20 yards out. Two minutes later Bamba, clearly full of confidence and playing the game in an all action domineering style not dissimilar to that we associate with our own Danny Shittu at the height of his game, was penalised for a foul on Taarabt on the touchline when he appeared to get a good foot on the ball. Taarabt took it himself and found Hall in the area and although his header appeared to be deflected over a goal kick was awarded – the first in what would turn out to be a long, long list of basic, but nonetheless important in their own right, decisions that Mr East got obviously wrong on the day.

Rangers’ best chance came at the midway point of the half when Taarabt combined with Buzsaky who held the ball up on the corner of the six yard box and then teed up Helguson who struck it cleanly through a gaggle of players and forced a fine leg save from Ricardo. One of those instances where a muckier contact may have yielded greater rewards.

From the corner Hill headed it down into the six yard box and Hall hooked over from close range – although it was a more difficult chance than that perhaps makes it sound and Hall couldn’t be faulted for not finding the target on that occasion. He can however be faulted for his fitness record which I would describe as a joke if his weekly wage didn’t make it such an absolute pain in the balance sheet. Every first team appearance Hall makes just brings him closer to his next six week absence and sure enough after two full games, and decent performances, Hall, one of the club’s top earners, signalled that he’d pulled/tweaked/imagined something in trying to convert the half chance at the School End and his afternoon was over.

This situation is now no longer sustainable. We cannot have a player earning the money he is earning while only being capable of playing two and a half games every six weeks. If it is a genuine medical issue then operate on him, if it can’t be operated on then either persuade him to retire and take the insurance money or settle up and send him on his way. If it’s a mental issue, and it was said by those at the club at the time that Marc Nygaard would pull up and stop if ever he thought he might be about to get injured while in the same team Gareth Ainsworth once infamously tried to run off a spiral fracture of his leg, then either send him to hypnotherapy, kick his arse or settle up and send him on his way. I’ve long since gone beyond caring with Hall so I’m not bothered which option it is or which decision we take but we cannot possibly continue with this situation where one of the club’s top earners is so embarrassingly susceptible to injury. I hesitate to brand him as weak as a kitten for fear of action by a militant group of kittens who’d probably give him a good fight – if his bloody hamstring could hold up long enough for him to take part.

Matt Connolly came on to replace him and if you thought he looked short of confidence and a little unsure of himself before being dropped prior to the Ipswich game well, as the song goes, you aint seen nothing yet.

While that reshuffle was taking place Leicester twice came within inches of taking the lead through Yakubu. He may have a waistline that requires special shorts to be ordered in for him but he has always, always known where the goal is and possessed an ability to find it in a series of spectacular ways. After 26 minutes he made an arced run out towards the corner of the penalty area to retrieve a bouncing through ball that any other striker in this league would have looked to hold onto and await reinforcements from down field. Yakubu though assesses situations differently to other strikers at this level. He’d already surveyed the goalkeeper’s position and the angle before arriving at the ball and all that remained to do when he did get there was execute the perfect lobbed volley that had goal written all over it from the moment it left his boot. Paddy Kenny’s save – made with one hand, while fully airborne, having scrambled back towards his goal frantically in the fractions of seconds he had to spare – was one of the best ever seen on this ground and drew applause from all three sides of the home support. Kenny, like Yakubu, is a cut above the average for this level in his chosen position.

The Nigerian striker could have been forgiven for giving up and walking off when, from the resulting corner, he hit a powerful volley straight and true but about half an inch over the bar. What did he have to do to score? We would never get to find out.

Refereeing error two of several on the day came on the half hour. Clint Hill betrayed his age with a heavy touch on halfway, and then executed a wild lunge attempting to retrieve the situation. This was a fool’s mission from the very beginning and it sent Oakley flying through the air in dramatic fashion. This was certainly a yellow card, and the Leicester players appealed with some justification that it should have been even more than that. Certainly Hill couldn’t have had too many complaints had he found himself splashing around in some early bath water and yet Mr East elected to have a quiet word with the player. I’ve said before I don’t come to games to see players booked and sent off but short of shooting the Leicester player in the back of the head I’m not sure what more Hill could have done here to deserve stricter punishment.

Hill perhaps wished he had been sent off when just seconds later he found himself in a foot race with centre half Bruma of all people, who rampaged forward and caused panic in the home ranks as he carried the ball almost the full length of the field to the QPR byline before winning a corner which Rangers cleared. A corner at the other end found Danny Shittu, 40/1 for the first goal with BetFred, at the back post and his looping header troubled Ricardo who had Helguson for company in the six yard box. His fumble enabled Rangers to mount a sustained period of pressure for the first time in the game resulting in a free kick on the edge of the area for a foul on Helguson. Faurlin took the set piece and searched for a hole in the wall created by two parting QPR players without success.

The sides exchanged near misses as thoughts began to turn to half time pies and pints. Andy King let rip with a 25 yard volley the screamed somewhat closer to the top corner than the deathly silence which greeted it suggested. Then at the other end Taarabt played a beautiful through ball into Routledge who was denied by Ricardo in a one on one situation but he’d already been flagged offside.

Three minutes before the break Mee burst into the area and his low cross was partially cleared to Yakubu who tried a curling shot from the edge of the area that landed straight in Paddy Kenny’s bread basket. Within 60 seconds Bamba produced the same outcome with a back post header from a corner.

QPR weren’t doing enough – Danny Shittu apart, whose powerful sprint and body check to deny Vassell a clear path into the penalty area on the stroke of half time summed up a performance of total command and control. They weren’t troubling Leicester enough in attack, or getting to grips with them in wide areas in defence. Eriksson had set his team up very well and can’t have had too much to say at half time.

QPR signalled their intention for second half improvements with three very different attacks in the first five minutes. First a long free kick from Matt Connolly served as bait for Ricardo who raced from his line to try and claim over the top of Danny Shittu – the result was a predictable fumble that caused a scramble around Danny’s feet which Taarabt showed interest in but found the ball pinched off his toes by the relieved, recovering goalkeeper. Then a more attractive passing move saw Faurlin play in Helguson but he chose to switch the play back to the left when Akos Buzsaky had several acres of real estate all to himself down the right – he’d have been through on goal had he been passed the ball. And finally the resurgence was confirmed when the previously unflappable Bamba was booked for a crude chop on Helguson as another counter attack flowed forth – play on had been waved but the move eventually came to nothing.

It was better, but Vassell’s cross shot that looked for all the world like it was going to be converted in the six yard box by King until Derry nudged him past it after working hard to track back, reinforced the threat that faced QPR at the other end.

I was starting to wonder whether Shittu and Bamba had been separated at birth such was the similarity in their play. Bamba has played in the middle of midfield in the past (admittedly in the Scottish “Premier League” where Michael Duberry is still able to earn a living) but Shittu showed a few ball skills of his own before the hour mark when he dropped four and a half stone of shoulder, causing Heathrow bound planes to swerve the other way, and ghosted past Yakubu before delivering a long ball into the penalty area. Leicester failed to deal with that and Rangers worked it to Buzsaky in the right channel - his powerful drive to the near post was parried down into the danger zone by Ricardo but no home player had gambled on a rebound and the Foxes were able to clear.

There was a sense that Rangers were starting to move through the gears a little now, turning the screw as they had done in recent second halves against Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Ipswich. Wayne Routledge found some space to accelerate into and his pass to Helguson set up a crossing opportunity that Taarabt pictured ending in a half volleyed goal from 12 yards out until Bruma cleared it off the end of his boot. Then Taarabt sent a glorious whipped free kick into the near post after he’d been tripped by Oakley and Helguson headed over – the enigma of the Moroccan couldn’t possibly be summed up any better than the next free kick which was from almost exactly the same position but was this time inexplicably hacked high into the Q Block which I don’t think has seen a ball during the match since the last time Karl Ready appeared on this pitch masquerading as a footballer.

Memories of Danny Shittu’s 45 yarder that snapped the crossbar into three pieces in a pre-season friendly against Charlton years ago were reignited as the big man stepped forward and tried his luck in the next attack but this shot was mishit and flew wide. Maybe one day it will happen again, God I hope I’m there when it does.

Eriksson, perhaps sensing the game was starting to get away from his side a little, took off Vassell and sent on Waghorn in response and although the next chance in the game fell to Routledge – fired high into the side netting from a tight angle after being played in by Helguson – the former Sunderland man was to have an immediate impact.

Three minute after climbing off the bench Waghorn got the sniff of a chance as a routine long ball drifted down the field towards Matthew Connolly. Whether it’s a lack of confidence, over confidence, indecision, or an unwillingness to just clear the bloody ball down the field once in a while possibly fostered in Connolly’s mind during his Arsenal days the QPR defender, as he has done so often since Christmas, allowed the ball to bounce and short of posting an invitation to Waghorn earlier in the week by recorded delivery he could scarcely have given his opponent more encouragement. Waghorn was on the scene in a heartbeat, muscling, hassling and harrying Connolly into what was now an inevitable mistake. He got goal side of the stricken defender and now with only Kenny to beat and the distance to the goal being measured in feet and inches rather than yards a goal looked almost certain until he lifted a powerful volley over the bar.

Amazingly neither Connolly nor Waghorn learned a damn thing from the incident. Ten minutes later a long ball from Ricardo seemed to be heading plum onto Connolly’s head to be returned straight down the field but again he allowed it to bounce, this time literally ducking out of the way so it could do so, and Waghorn could barely conceal his delight. In raced the pint sized, pot bellied striker again and once more he lashed a more than presentable chance over the bar with the goal at his mercy. If Hall is out for six weeks as per usual I’d expect it to be Gorkss partnering Shittu rather than Connolly on this evidence – he looks like a man shorn of all confidence in himself.

In between those two gilt edged chances we’d had a ludicrous booking for Heidar Helguson who was accused of fouling Wellens when he’d clearly and obviously taken the ball. The teams had also had a near miss each – QPR’s came when Faurlin recognised the potential in a seemingly aimless long ball from Shittu and kept it in tight to the corner flag before setting up Taarabt and his dragged cross shot narrowly eluded Helguson at the back post. Leicester responded with an Andy King header against the cross bar after Yakubu crossed. Kenny didn’t get anywhere near it but a corner was given anyway – our referee based very few of his decisions on actual facts – and although Rangers were initially able to clear the ball was returned with interest by Yuke Abe but his shot flew over the bar. Like many Japanese players who come to the European game Abe was technically proficient, but physically lacking in this match.

Sensing Waghorn’s pace was unsettling Connolly (and as the little Wearsider had sparked further panic a goal mouth scramble a moment earlier why not?) Eriksson brought on our former loanee Lloyd Dyer with five minutes to go, but it was the withdrawal of Taarabt that drew the most attention. The Leicester fans cheered as the man they’d been told to fear was withdrawn, it seemed the hardest part of their work was done. Three minutes later, it was Miller time.

Initially QPR should have been awarded a foul as the ball dropped from a Clint Hill throw deep in his own half. Wayne Routledge was clearly tripped but East showed no interest and play went on. Routledge got to his feet, regathered possession, turned and then knocked a ball in behind the Leicester defence with the outside of his right foot. For the first time in the game Bamba suddenly found himself against a player in Hoops with more pace and power than he possesses. Miller sprung the offside trap, accelerated away from Bruma and Bamba, held off the latter and was able to stay within striking distance of the ball despite a heavy first touch on the edge of the area. And then… well, to describe it simply and dissect it scientifically he slid the ball calmly under Ricardo and into the back of the net with the outside of his right foot, losing his shorts in the process. To describe what it felt like, what it sounded like and what it meant is difficult in mere words. A similar goal scored on this ground by Paul Furlong in a play off semi final sprung to mind. A magical moment in a magical season. A gift wrapped twenty fourth birthday present for the loaned West Brom striker.

In a half of four substitutions (two of them made at the same time), one goal and no injuries Mr East added four minutes for reasons known only to himself, and then awarded Leicester another one of those corners that the rules of the game suggest should probably have been a goal kick, but it was to no avail, City’s chance had gone. Ultimately the referee played almost five extra minutes (perhaps he was enjoying himself) before bringing to an end a titanic contest that QPR barely did enough to win and Leicester will wonder how they lost. Results from elsewhere, on a day when QPR had the hardest fixture and everybody else was expected to win, appeared on the scoreboard to the audible delight of the home fans. The Rangers players down on the pitch surveyed them with smiles. When Swansea are losing at Scunthorpe you know it’s your day.

Did Leicester have the better of this game? Yes, for long periods of the game they were on top and they certainly created the better chances. A Leicester friend who drank with us before the game called it a “travesty” afterwards, Sven Goran Eriksson is always slightly more cautious with his choice of words but even he admitted that defeat was “hard to take” and “undeserved”. This result was many things, but one thing it wasn’t was a surprise.

The league table tells you everything you need to know about how QPR overcame a serious test and emerged from the other side the victors. I’m not so much referring to the positions (first v seventh at the start of play) as the wins, draws and losses column. QPR have only lost three times this season – you’d be wrong to assume that the other 32 games have all been sunshine, lollypops and walks in the park. Some of them have, like Middlesbrough last week, but many of them have been attritional wars and battles settled by moments of brilliance, mistakes and refereeing decisions. QPR keep going right to the end of games (18 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches so far this season) and find a way not to lose, often against the odds.

Leicester on the other hand have lost 11 away games this season the same as Sheffield United and Scunthorpe who are in the bottom three and two more than rock bottom Preston – only relegation haunted Crystal Palace have been beaten more on the road, 14. For all the talent they have, for all the chances they created here, for all the praise I’ve given them, the Foxes continue to find a way to lose games away from home.

This result gives QPR an eight point lead at the top of the table with healthy goal difference in their favour. Put another way, if Cardiff and Swansea both win all their remaining games QPR can lose two of theirs and still be promoted. It sounds so tantalisingly close when it’s put like that but if Leicester have taught us anything this weekend it’s that the job’s never done, until it’s done.

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QPR: Kenny 8, Orr, 7 Shittu 8, Hall 6 (Connolly 31, 5), Hill 7, Derry 7, Faurlin 7, Routledge 6, Taarabt 6 (Miller 86, -), Buzsaky 6 (Ephraim 90, -), Helguson 6

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hulse, Smith, Moen

Booked: Helguson (foul)

Goals: Miller 88 (assisted Routledge)

Leicester: Ricardo 7, Naughton 7, Bruma 8, Bamba 8, Mee 8, Oakley 6, Wellens 6, King 6 (Gallagher 79, 6), Abe 6, Vassell 6 (Waghorn 65, 7), Yakubu 7 (Dyer 86, -)

Subs Not Used: Weale, Miguel Vitor, Teixeira, Berner

Booked: Bamba (foul)

QPR Man of the Match – Paddy Kenny 8 A close un thing between him and Shittu, with Kenny shading it for the astounding first half save which kept the score level and laid the platform for the win. I’ve seen some rather bitter sounding Leicester fans on their forums describing him as “an average Championship keeper.” The Oxford English Dictionary will include these posts in its next edition under the word ‘Wrong’.

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire) 5 Infuriating at times, and a man who seemed to have no real feel for the game. He got several simple decisions wrong, awarding goal kicks for corners and vice versa – one or two are forgivable, three is maybe unlucky but when you start talking about a fourth or fifth one wrong then I’m afraid marks have to come off. Clint Hill could have been sent off for a foul in the first half that he wasn’t even booked for, then Helguson got booked for a tackle that, while robust, won the ball. Leicester had a good shout for a penalty in the first half too, although it was more than 20 minutes before QPR got a free kick of any sort so there was no bias involved. Basic bog standard Championship official really.

Attendance: 18,068 (3,200 Leicester) An excellent following from Leicester and a tense atmosphere inside Loftus Road. Hard as it is we need to support our lads more when the going is tough – the noise after the goal was unbelievable and I know the overriding feeling prior to that was terror but it may help the players if we could maybe quell that a bit and get behind them some more. Easier said than done as I spent most of this match trying to eat my own fist.

Photo: Action Images

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qproz added 03:44 - Mar 7
what a game!!! Love watching the R's when we're either on sky or the net as im down under! Couldn't sleep for hours after!

kettles added 07:33 - Mar 7
Brilliant summation of the fraudulent behaviour displayed by a former 'ex-captain' of the club.

qpr_ox added 07:56 - Mar 7
A poor game from Routledge and Taarabts (probably a result of that dodgy kebab), Buz kept disappearing as well. The spine of the team held strong though - Kenny, Derry, and Helguson all played the part brilliantly.

JB007007 added 08:14 - Mar 7
Brilliant result and day. With the exception of Leeds it all went our way.
I said to my mate as we left, I thought we got away with this one. But then thats a sign of a good team, winning when we dont play at our best.
One thing that will stick with me for a long time in this game and it sums up the whole team and season really, was the absolute will and determination by Orr and Hill to be first to the loose ball in our area a few minutes before we scored. They both looked like they were prepared to die for it!

SomersetHoops added 09:09 - Mar 7
A great report Clive. A really great performance from both sides made this a real nail-biter. I think that Taarabt didn't play badly, but was frustrated by the way the two defenders were always on him. I can't agree with ox about Routledge I think he had a good game, but needed to spend more time than usual defending and trying to win the ball in our third of the pitch which limited his opportunities to make wide runs. I can only presume he was asked to be more defensive and who amongst us can say that was wrong in the context of this super result. His tenacity in getting up after being tripped and making the pass to Miller made the goal possible and I'm really pleased Miller got one on his birthday. The two defenders who had been used to snuffing out Taarabt's tricks suddenly came up against a burst of power and pace and couldn't cope with it. I also think Bradly Orr had a good game, but Conolly is a worry and he may be better played as a full back with Clint Hill coming inside a bit or Gorks instead on Conolly. Gorks is more solid, but lacks pace, but I'm sure NW will deal with it in the right way and although we all think we have good ideas for configuring the team I'm pleased to admit that our current manager probably knows best.

supahoopsa added 09:17 - Mar 7
I was watching in X block - I took my Son's under 12 football team - and if there was just one bit that summed up our season, it was towards the end of the game where Leicester had played the ball into space in the right back area of the pitch and Shaun Derry was coming across to tackle Yakubu. Derry was definately second favourite, but just the look of sheer determination on his face, you knew he was going to make it and sure enough he slid in and put the ball out of play from right under the Yak's feet. I don't think Yakubu could quite believe that he had been beaten. Shaun Derry, my POTY and already well on his way to being a Loftus Road legend

Metallica_Hoop added 10:32 - Mar 7
That save was the best I have ever seen in person I think. Along with Royce's against Akinbyi (remember he clapped him!) Kenny had to change direction though.
I didn't think we were ever going to get past Bamba and Bruma they seemed to be everywhere. I had to order two pints at once when I ended up in the Richmond as I was so thirsty from screaming.

Myke added 10:54 - Mar 7
fantastic result and fantastic day for QPR. Withdraw those nasty things you said about Bullard Clive he he! Not over til the fat lady sings but Sat was a massive step towards the prem.

Deatho added 11:13 - Mar 7
Great report again. I was waiting for this line also.
'Three minutes later, it was Miller time'
Very happy you included it. Most journalists would of used that in the title but You're not most journalists, you're my fave journalist!
reports are getting better and better.
Bring on the cast of 'The Chainsaw Massacre' at the Den Tuesday.

jfk added 11:30 - Mar 7
Don't know how many times I logged in on Sunday in anticiaption of seeing your report, and it doesn't disappoint. I felt nervous again reading it, until the point where MIller scores. Just brilliant.

Couldn't believe the other results, and going 8 points clear. Not over yet though - Happy to celebrate today, but back to nailbiting tomorrow night.


dixiedean added 11:30 - Mar 7
I think it's a bit harsh on Routledge- he & Taarabt apparently been ill all week, and I think WR was instructed to stop Naughton getting forward, thus sacrificing his own game to an extent. If that's so, he did it to the letter. Clive- the description of our goal doesn't do justice to quality of the pass- it wasn't just a hoof over the top, but well weighted with outside of the boot. Agree 100% about Hall. You just start to think he's not so bad after all, and then some part of his anatomy gives up. Frankly he's not fit for purpose and we should get him out. He's an ok player (when fit) but they're are plenty better- Leics had 2 on Sat for a start. Bamba looked class, if a bit over-elaborate at times. Poor Matt C looked shot to pieces, but it's his own fault as he is too indecisive and doesn't attack the ball. Look at the difference with Big Dan there- object lesson in how to defend at his level.Connolly tried to slope off at the end of the game but NW put his arm round him and virtually dragged him back to share in the celebration- yet more good man-management. And what happened to "Ain't no stopping us now" on the tannoy ? Nearest thing I get to a boogie these days, and the words are actually quite apt ! Bring on the Dockers !

windsorhoop added 11:34 - Mar 7
Some feedback clive from a leicester fan at work who I just e-mailed the link to this.


That was a bloody good read! Sodding Danny Shittu grrrrr ;o)

Good luck in the Prem

NorwayRanger16 added 12:16 - Mar 7
That save from Paddy Kenny brought me back to the day i became a QPR supporter. 11/11/1989 3-2 against Liverpool, I was 10 years old and the game was live on norwegian TV. David Seamen produced a sublime one handed save from point blank range. Can't remember if it was Barnes or Rush who made the header but believe it was the latter who diverted the formers header from no more than 5 yards out. Kenny's was of the same calibre, brilliant!

Just a side note re Matt Connolly, you keep saying he needs to learn how to defend at Championship level. Do you believe he is better equiped to play in the Premiership (even how strange that sounds)?

Apart from another great and anticipated match report i think your rating of 6 for Routledge seem a bit low. Clearly he was under the instruction to help Clint out and counter the pace and attacking threat of Naughton, which he did. AND he made a very good assist. Surely this should merrit a 7 for him? Very pedantic i know, the rest of the ratings i agree 100% with.

Now bring on Millwall! Here's for hoping we don't let this weekends result count for nothing at the Den. You R's!

NorwayRanger16 added 12:21 - Mar 7
Sorry, The New Den that is :-)

DesertBoot added 14:14 - Mar 7
Another brilliant report Clive. A thoroughly enjoyable ninety (five) minutes of football. Kenny's save and Clint Hill diving in to the highlights along with, of course, Routledge's superb pass for Miller.
It was nice reading in the papers today that our goalscorer went out for a birthday meal with some of our players. Good team spirit.

Monahoop added 14:20 - Mar 7
The R's are showing a 'great fight to the bitter end' mentality at present and a good mentality it is as we approach ever nearer our goal of promotion [automatic I hope]. Saturday was a slog against a half decent Leicester side, but in the end Lady Luck was on our side. Kenny's save from Yakubu was out of this world. Unforgetable.
Good to see Miller get on the score sheet, but will his shorts always fall down when he bags a goal?
Wins against Millwall and Palace this week and we are well on our way.

Spiritof67 added 15:00 - Mar 7
Well, it’s that old cliché of being at the “business end of the season.”, but each game I watch until the end of the season, will be through a mixture of hope and anticipation, while chewing my fingernails. I thought Leicester played like a team, full of confidence, on an unbeaten run, and on another day could have nicked the game themselves. I thought Bamba in the middle of their defence had a good game for them, until he was out muscled and out paced by Miller. Clive, I take your point about Connolly, but it’s difficult to criticise Warnock’s team selection at the moment. The difference this season for the R’s; were going for it for the full 90 minutes.

JonDoeman added 17:11 - Mar 7
" A magical moment in a magical season. "
Too right mate, it's been a long time coming.

BAWHoops added 17:44 - Mar 7
Great as Always Clive!!

Some thoughts of my own

R_in_Sweden added 19:05 - Mar 7
Great report, nerve wracking game. Reiterate "dixiedean's" earlier comments about laying off Taarabt and Routledge, neither player was 100% fit during the week leading up to the game. Felt sorry for Connolly, he was the epitomy of self doubt. Buzsaky still looks a yard off the pace, neeeds a few more games. Faurlin, Big Dan and Kenny were our best players on Saturday.

My reference point for the lowest of the low in recent years has been the Friday night TV 5 goal thrashing at Southend. The transformation is astonishing even if we've taken a few wrong turn offs on the way. Can we cock it up?

AshteadR added 20:27 - Mar 7
Thanks Clive, cracking read - top job.

Tarbs, Buzz and Routledge all worked really hard but it didnt quite happen for them - although Routledge did a number on Naughton and also playe a fantastic through ball for Miller time! Connolly needs to focus on the basics for a centre half by winning his headers and tackles - and NOT letting the ball bounce.

We were a little fortunate to get all 3 points, but who really cares - other than the chasing pack ha ha! Looking forward to our trip soth of the river - should be a cracking atmosphere.

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