Date:Sunday September 23 2012
Two minutes of madness saw QPR throw away the points in a match where the R's were the superior side for long periods.
QPR dominated the game for the best part of an hour before Spurs scored twice in quick succession to claim all three points. Bobby Zamora opened the scoring with a fine finish from a delightful Alejandro Faurlin through ball. Faurlin then turned from hero to zero, when he failed to deal with a cross and the ball bounced off his shoulder into the gaping net. Jermain Defoe went on to score his fourth of the season, when a Gareth Bale shot was deflected onto the bar by Julio Cesar and luckily into the path of the Spurs striker, who finished with aplomb.
Spurs started with Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, William Gallas, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sandro, Moussa Dembele and Jermain Defoe.
QPR went with Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa, Ryan Nelsen, Clint Hill, Nedum Onuoha, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Esteban Granero, Alejandro Faurlin, Park Ji-Sung, Bobby Zamora and Junior Hoilett.
Spurs started the match well and after two minutes were claiming for a penalty when Clint Hill was adjudged by the home players to have tripped Sigurdsson but referee Phil Dowd was having none of it. Soon after this incident, QPR were dealt a blow when Jose Bosingwa pulled up injured. On came Kieron Dyer who slotted in at right back with Nedum Onuoha shifting across to left back. The first real chance of the game fell to QPR when Dyer won a corner immediately after coming on. The was corner swung in by Esteban Granero and met powerfully by the head of Clint Hill who forced the effervescent Brad Friedel into an athletic save.
The half continued to ebb and flow with QPR looking very comfortable in possession, creating several half chances. Granero's corners were not being dealt with by the Spurs defence, who must be said looked jittery as a unit. Bobby Zamora was causing William Gallas all sorts of problems with his ability to hold up the ball and shrug off challenges. On the 32nd minute, Bobby Zamora opened the scoring with his fourth of the season. Alejandro Faurlin picked the ball up on the edge of the box and played a sublime reverse ball in-between the Spurs defence, into the path of Zamora, who powered the ball home past the outstretched Friedel. It was a goal that was wholly deserved as QPR looked in supreme form.
As the half came to a close, QPR went in ahead and it was well deserved. The R's constant pressure all over the pitch was causing lots of mistakes, which in turn allowed Faurlin and Granero to keep possession very well and link up with the front two regularly. Substitute Kieron Dyer kept Clint Dempsey very quiet and looked lively going forward. Spurs came into the game towards the end of the half when Gareth Bale broke forward but other than that and an offside goal, Spurs were very subdued and were booed off by sections of their home support.
The Spurs manager made a couple of tactical changes at half time, substituting Sigurdsson for Caulker and switching to 4-4-2. This change allowed Bale to move to left wing, Vertonghen moved to left back, Caulker slotted in at centre defence and Dempsey played off the striker. However, despite a slight resurgence from the home side, QPR remained comfortable for the next fifteen minutes, although Spurs did threaten with a speculative 30 yard drive from Clint Dempsey which was beaten away by Julio Cesar. In the 60th minute, Spurs equalised when Bale's corner was headed back towards goal by Caulker and unluckily Faurlin, who was unsighted deflected the ball into the net with his shoulder. Tragically for the R's, Spurs took just over a minute to score their second when Granero lost possession deep inside the Spurs' half and in typical fashion they countered at lightning speed. Vertonghen drove forward with the ball, passed to Bale who struck a shot low and hard towards the R's goal, Cesar deflected the shot onto the bar but the ball then fell kindly into the path of Defoe who made no mistake by tucking it away to make it 2-1.
The R's nearly scored an equaliser when Zamora had the beating of Gallas and squared the ball to Hoilett who took too long to get a shot off, which allowed Vertonghen to make a vital interception. It is worth mentioning that without the heroics of Clint Hill and Julio Cesar the scoreline could've been wider in the second half. Cesar made several class saves that kept QPR in it and Hill made two telling blocks to deny goalscoring opportunities.
Julio Cesar - 8 - A fine performance from the new signing. Cesar kept the R's in it with 4 or 5 top saves.
Nedum Onuoha - 6 - Starting to look more assured on the ball and stronger defensively.
Kieron Dyer - 7 - Worked hard for the team, comfortable on the ball and performed admirably in an unfamiliar position.
Ryan Nelsen - 6 - Solid and composed.
Clint Hill - 7 - Much improved since the Swansea debacle.
Shaun Wright-Phillips - 6 - Typical performance, worked hard but didn't deliver a telling contribution.
Park Ji-Sung - 6 - Looks a much better player on the wing..
Alejandro Faurlin - 7 - Great pass for the opener but failed to deal with the cross for the equaliser. Good in possession and is starting to get up to speed.
Esteban Granero - 7 - Dangerous delivery from most of his corners. Tidy in possession and looks like he will be a great player for us.
Junior Hoilett - 6 - Looked bright in the first half but faded in the second.
Bobby Zamora - 7 - Great focal point for the team. Deserved his goal and is a much improved from last season.
Date:Sunday September 23 2012
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