QPR did actually start well, enjoying early possession but thanks to some really slack defending, Villa were allowed to take the lead. They later had a goal disallowed from Christian Benteke which was deemed offside after the striker’s header at the back post.
It took QPR a few minutes to get back into their stride but they soon started playing some good stuff, with Jamie Mackie scoring a great header across Brad Guzan to level things up.
Adel Taarabt’s long range passes were cutting open the Villa defence, with the pace of Shaun Wright-Phillips particularly worrying for them. He managed to break free and just as he was one on one with Guzan he fluffed his lines and drove his effort into the American stopper, who stood up big to the diminutive winger.
Wright-Phillips almost made amends for that bad miss with a stunning volley which beat Guzan but was denied by the post. The two sides went in at the break with QPR feeling better about themselves than the visitors.
The home side really kicked on in the second half, with regular chances and a number of corners which were all wasted. Ji-Sung Park had the best chance to put QPR in the lead but he skied his left foot strike when it looked easier to score. QPR were playing some good stuff and kept knocking on the door, only to be thwarted by a resolute Villa defence, who looked to be playing for the draw and thus were very difficult to break down by a team of “international stars.”
The game ended and it was Villa who had every right to feel better about proceedings than the Rs, who are left 3 points adrift at the bottom of the league and 7 from safety. Ultimately, 2 points from three home games against Reading, Southampton and Villa is woeful and Rangers will need to pull of something special to get out of this mess. An improvement, but still not good enough.
Both Samba Diakite and StephaneMbia were forced off injured though it seems the pair will be fit to play against Wigan next Saturday.
One player who did impress was enthusiastic forward Jamie Mackie, who played up front on his own in place of the floundering DjibrilCisse. Mackie was inspirational, chasing down everything and working his nuts off for the team’s cause. His goal was well taken but he didn’t stop there. His work ethic is tremendous and it showed in the second half where he began to tire. It’s a shame some of the other players don’t seem to care as much.
I would much rather have a team of Jamie Mackies and Shaun Derrys who work hard for the cause than Junior Hoiletts and Jose Bosingwas, who are just happy to sit around and pick up their wages but don’t want to play if it’s too cold. I am also keen to point out that it is predominantly the Warnock players who are putting the shift in and keeping us in games.
Things can only get better one hopes. And even that is a faint hope.
Written by Joshua Banks (300)