The Devils Own Job for Rangers...
QPR 0-2 Man United
Manchester United, temporarily went back to the top of the Premier League, after what I am sad to say, was a pretty comfortable 2-0 win at Loftus Road this lunchtime. At the time of writing, Man City have just beaten Arsenal and are back on top again.
With the lunchtime kick off, it was an unusually early start this morning and I left for Loftus Road at around 9.30am. Thankfully, it's also a pretty local game for Man United fans so at least they didn't have far to travel either.
The gang slowly but surely assembled, unfortunately minus Jenson today as a foot injury kept him home and watching in the warm. California Hoop, who has seemed to have gone awol, was also missing. But after missing out at Liverpool last week, it was great to see Sam making her first appearance at home since the birth of her twin boys. It has to be said that Motherhood is fully agreeing with Sam who was absolutely glowing!!
With it being so early and indeed, cold, having a drink wasn't a major priority and we were all in our seats in good time for kick off. The R's crowd were loud and proud and were out to try and unsettle the Champions, the 'Channel 5 on a Thursday night' chant particularly amusing.
Personally, I had a gut feeling that Rangers could turn cause an upset today, but after just 52 seconds of the game, I was thinking that maybe this gut feeling was something dodgy I had eaten as Man United took the lead - Wayne Rooney lost his marker in the box and headed home Valencia's cross. He didn't make the best of connections with the header and perhaps his new, expensive hair transplant, weave or whatever it is, helped the ball on it's way past Cerny in the R's goal.
United were well on top early doors as Rangers seemed nervous and maybe in awe of their formiddable opponents, but Rangers were slowly starting to dig in. Wright-Phillips shot over the bar and maybe Helguson should have done better with Barton's set piece delivery, heading just wide. On 18 minutes, Mackie teed up Bothroyd who again, should have done better but fired over.
On 28 minutes, Johnny Evans struck the Rangers bar with a close range header and two minutes later, Evans was through on goal but Cerny was equal to the task once more, saving superbly. As United piled on the pressure, Cerny had to be at his best once again and pulled off a quite astonishing save, denying Danny Welbeck.
Rangers responded and Helguson saw his shot saved by the legs of De Gea and Bothroyd blasted the rebound over. More frustration followed just before half time as Bothroyd's cross was just that little bit to quick for the on-rushing Jamie Mackie, who had a superb half.
Onto the second half and it was an almost carbon copy of the first, but this time Rooney fired straight at Cerny. Unfortunately, on 55 minutes, it was 2-0 and practically, game over - Michael Carrick intercepted Barton's awful pass and advanced unchallenged towards the area before scoring with a low drive.
It was simply all United now and Neil Warnock made the changes - Taarabt replacing SWP and DJ Campbell, replacing Helguson, much to the annoyance of the home crowd who for the first time this season, showed their displeasure at one of Warnock's decisions.
United continued to press and Jones smashed the Rangers post on 65 minutes, but Rangers were slowly getting back into things with Taarabt looking extremely hungry. It was Taarabt thar provided the R's best chance on 70 minutes, crossing superbly to find Campbell, who put the ball over from 6 yards out when it seemed easier to score.
Despite a late half chance from Clint Hill, United remained in control and cantered over the line to a victory that put the Champions back to the top of the league.
QPR: Cerny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Faurlin, Mackie, Traore, Connolly, Barton, Young, Helguson (Campbell 66), Wright-Phillips (Taarabt 66). Subs: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Smith.
Man of the Match - wasn't overly difficult today and despite a few half shouts for Mackie, Gabbidon and Young, everyone was firmly agreed on Radek Cerny, for another superb display in the R's goal.
In summary, although it's a defeat to the current Premier League Champions, I can't help but feel a little bit flat as I feel we didn't really get in their faces much, like in previous matches against Chelsea and Man City - and as mentioned, at times we seemed in awe of Man United. But some of the visitors play was quite superb at times and at the end of the day, we were well beaten by a much better team.
I will return shortly after Wednesday's important game at home to Sunderland, but in the meantime....
Come on You R'sssssss!!!