Rangers Pay the Penalty with Missed Chances...
QPR 1-1 Burnley
A wonder goal from Adel Taarabt, was not enough as although the R's unbeaten run continues, the current reign at the the top of the Championship has for now, been lost to Cardiff City.
The above has led me personally to become a bit frustrated - not with the results themselves, but the increasing negativity amongst QPR fans as over the past few weeks, the 6 point lead at the top has gone. All I can say really, is that if someone had said to me that after 14 games, we would be undefeated and 2nd in the table, I would have certainly have said 'yes please'. With every good run, there is going to be a blip at some point and I actually think that at the moment, this is it, yet we remain undefeated.
All in all, it lead to what became a frustrating afternoon at Loftus Road. The gang were at full strength but arrived in dribs and drabs to the Springbok, including a surprise but welcome appearance from Corinne for her first viewing of the season and with the exception of the latecomers, Corp and California Hoop, we were all in our seats in good time to see the Club lay on a moving tribute to to the late Acting Corporal David Barnsdale, who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan.
Despite a couple of early half chances for the R's, Burnley had started the brighter and Rangers had Paddy Kenny to thank for a superb double save - the R's keeper failed to keep hold of Chris Eagles' 20-yard drive but when he spilled the ball at the feet of Rodriguez, the keeper recovered superbly to palm his effort clear. On the subject of Chris Eagles, a player that I have often admired, the Burnley midfielder tried to win his side 2 penalties with two ridiculous dives in the penalty area, the second of which earned him a deserved yellow card from what was, all in all, a quite awful referee.
The R's took the lead on 33 minutes with an absolute peach of a goal - Adel Taarabt picked up possession midway into the Burnley half, before he drove at the defence and unleashed an effort from about 25 yards out that flew into the top right-hand corner of the net. It could well have been two minutes later but Rob Hulse and Alejandro Faurlin got in each other's way as they went for Taarabt's cross.
On the stroke of half time, it was third time lucky for the Clarets with penalty shouts as Connolly was adjudged to have felled Marney in the box - it looked soft but with this referee, anything was possible and Alexander sent Kenny the wrong way to level the scores.
The second half was as equally as frustrating as the first and Rangers created plenty of decent chances - Kaspars Gorkss blasted over from close range midway through the half and last week's hero, Patrick Agyemang perhaps should have done better with Mackie's cross, failing to connect with his header fully as the ball ran loose - and he headed agonisingly wide from Taarabt's corner on 77 minutes.
Burnley had their chances also, with Chris Iwelumo lashing his shot high over the bar and Rodriguez's toe-poke bouncing narrowly wide of Kenny's goal. But the R's almost nicked all three points in the dying minutes when Tommy Smith curled inches wide and Derry crashed a shot over.
QPR: Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry, Adel Taarabt (Tommy Smith , Alejandro Faurlin, Jamie Mackie (Patrick Agyemang 62), Kaspars Gorkss, Kyle Walker, Matt Connolly, Rob Hulse (Leon Clarke 64), Hogan Ephraim. Subs not used: Radek Cerny, Bradley Orr, Mikele Leigertwood, Martin Rowlands.
Lofty's Man of the Match - I have to be honest, the gang and I, for the first time this season, struggled badly with this one and it was even mentioned that it should be given to former R's defender, Clarke Carlisle, who was immense for Burnely this afternoon - but it was decided that after the superb double save that brought Loftus Road to it's feet in the first half, the award today goes to Paddy Kenny.
In summary, frustrating is the word many of us used today and it looks very much as though a shake up is needed - Smith should now be starting in place of Ephraim for one and we certainly missed the work rate of the injured Heidar Helguson.Mackie's work rate certainly isn't lacking, but he is definitely off colour. But in saying all this, you can certainly see Neil Warnock's dilemma - going into the game we were top of the league and undefeated - would you change that team??
See you next week and Come on You R'ssssssssss!!!