QPR 0-1 Leicester
Rangers were beaten at home for the first time in the League this season by fellow high flyers, Leicester City, in a game where we have witnessed probably the worst referee I have ever seen - Paul Tierney.
Myself and Lee have done a swap this week so unfortunately, you have to put up with my drivel again for this one..
With this game being moved to the early game for the Sky cameras, being the last shopping weekend before Christmas, I decided to make an early start with the anticipated heavy traffic. But low and behold, the roads couldn't have been any clearer and I arrived at 10am, followed by Jenson moments later. As it was early, we went to the Springbok for a couple of pints and were joined by Sam, Luke, Trev and son, Travis. We later joined Lee, PK, Jointy and Lorna in the ground as kick off approached, with most of us in a positive mood.
Rangers started very well and O'Neill and Kranjcar brought saves from Schmeichel in the Foxes goal. Shortly after, the Loftus Road squirrel made a return to much amusement to all watching, also bringing out a 'One Luis Suarez' chant from the R's contingent. Quitre unbelievably, this held up the game for about 5 minutes with the officials not knowing what or how to deal with it, which laid the platform for the rest of the match as far as the referee was concerned. It eventually scurried away as a couple of players from each side chased him away..
Rangers continued their dominance and were unlucky not to be in front when Kranjcar's lob was cleared off the line by Moore. But on 41 minutes and against the run of play, the visitors took the lead when Nugent's flick on was brought down by Vardy, with a strong use of his arm, before he smashed a cool finish into the net. Of course, neither ref nor linesman saw it and Vardy chose to celebrate freely in front of the Loft.
At half time we were all quite bemused about just how we were behind, but were also concerned that we have to be taking these chances. For those who watch the X Factor, finalist, Hannah Barrett was amongst the faithful on the concourse at half time, happily chatting and having photos taken - apparently, is an Arsenal fan who was with friends trying to convert her...
The second half saw Rangers having plenty of possession but struggling to break down a well marshalled Leicester defence, this along with a referee making some baffling and head scratching decisions that were frustrating the home support. Even more so on 63 minutes, when Matty Phillips turned in the box to be caught by Liam Moore before going to ground. With his performance so far, it was no real surprise that neither the referee nor his assistant saw this one. Charlie Austin shot wide on 65 minutes and the more the game was going on, the more it looked like it just wasn't going to be our day.
Leicester nearly doubled the lead on 78 minutes when James's powerful effort was deflected onto the crossbar with some venom. But Rangers job was about to get harder still with 6 minutes to go - the customary Joey Barton yellow card came after a foul on Taylor-Fletcher, but very quickly turned to a red when Joey kicked the ball at the same player. Extremely silly from Barton and some may quickly say this may well have cost Rangers a point at least, but it would unfair to be to harsh at this time following the excellent season the midfielder is having.
As the clock ticked away, the referee didn't feel Yossi Benayoun being smashed in the face was worthy of a late penalty and Leicester held on for their 3 points.
Queens Park Rangers
- 01 Green
- 02 Simpson
- 39 Assou-Ekotto
- 36 O'Neil (Hoilett - 45' )
- 05 Dunne
- 06 Hill
- 07 Phillips
- 17 Barton
- 09 Austin
- 10 Carroll (Benayoun - 69' )
- 19 Kranjcar
- 03 Traore
- 15 Onuoha
- 16 Jenas
- 20 Henry
- 23 Hoilett
- 26 Murphy
- 35 Benayoun
Clint Hill was singled out by PK and Trev, Richard Dunne was Jointy's choice but with a resounding 6 votes from the rest of us, today's award goes to Niko Krancjar
In summary, there is no doubt that this was an extremely frustrating afternoon for R's fans and as mentioned, this set of officials were certainly the worst seen this season, including decisions to award a free kick when a player falls over his own feet and not even talking to a player that kicked Kranjcar two feet up in the air. No doubt with a performance like this, Mr Tierney will be promoted to referee a Premier League game next week!
Credit to Leicester, who had a game plan and executed it well with some superb defending. A classic smash and grab away performance. But if I am to criticise anyone, it would be the people who control the tannoy system at the Stadium and following the many frustrations seen in front of us, with a poor referee blowing the whilstle on our first home league defeat, belting out Slade's - Merry Christmas Everybody would not have been my first choice of song - At this particular moment in time, I don't suppose Rangers fans cared too much about hanging their stockings on the wall etc...
Lee will return on Boxing Day to review the Forest game but, on behalf of myself and Lee and everyone connected with Lofty Heights, we wish you all a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!
Come on you R'sssssssssssss!!!