Rangers Caught Cole - d...
QPR 2-4 Burnley
Andy Cole showed that there is no substitute for quality with a hat trick, as Burnley came from two down to clinch the points and perhaps bring us all back down to earth a bit in what was, a very strange evening at Loftus Road.
Even after the journey back and now, sitting here writing these notes, I am still completely confused of just what happened and just how Rangers managed to lose this one. On 30 minutes, the R's were 2-0 up, playing superbly and simply cruising. Gavin Mahon finished off a quality move on 14 minutes to give the R's the lead - Agyemang back heeled the ball into the path of Buzsaky, who crossed for Mahon to head home. Agyemang doubled the lead on 30 minutes, taking the ball round the keeper to cooly finish, following superb work from Delaney.
The events in the 10 minutes that followed, ultimately changed the game, namely, Martin Rowlands leaving the field injured. Minutes later, Andy Cole was the subject of a bit of banter from the home crowd, which looked as though it was starting to wind him up - the next minute, although looking suspiciously offside, the former England striker had turned in Gudjonnson's free kick into the back of the net to reduce the deficit.
Although Rangers had started the second half reasonably well, Burnley were level on 55 minutes through Cole again, who fired home Akinbiyi's cross from close range. The game then went from end to end and it looked like the next goal would surely win the game for either side. Sadly, it went to Burnley as Akinbiyi scored his customary goal against us with a free header.
Rangers now had no answers and the game was made safe on 86 minutes as Cole completed a fine hat-trick, beating Camp at the near post.
QPR: Camp, Delaney, Mahon, Stewart, Buzsaky, Rowlands (Leigertwood 39), Connolly (Mancienne 90), Agyemang, Ephraim (Blackstock 69), Vine, Rehman. Subs: Pickens, Lee.
Lofty's Man of the Match - Not often this goes to a player from the opposition, but as mentioned previously, there is no substutute for quality - Andy Cole
In summary, I think this was basically a massive reality check for us all tonight and that definitely isn't a bad thing by any means. At 2-0, we were cruising, and perhaps, even largeing it up a bit... and why not indeed? But overall, Andy Cole was ultimately the difference between the sides in one of the weirdest games I have seen in a long while. His movement off the ball and finishing were a joy to watch and it was nice to see him get a standing ovation from both sets of fans, following his 'job done' substitution on 89 minutes.