Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

QPR 4 Crystal Palace 2

It's nice to be right every now and then. Although six goals maybe isn't such a goal-fest, it's just par for the course with Rangers lately. More importantly than me being right, if anything is more important than that, this was one of those great games that make up for all the 0-0s and 1-2s you have to suffer throughout the season.

Rangers managed to hang on for the first 15 minutes today, thus thwarting the guys behind me who had backed the first goal within 10 minutes at 3/1. I'd have had some of that myself if I'd known about it. Nonetheless when McAnuff escaped down the left and crossed for Soares to tap in, Rangers conceded the first goal for the seventh game running. Doh. Two minutes later Jimmy Smith cracked in a fine 25-yard volley ; if you saw his goal against Derby, this was a carbon copy. The boy probably isn't good enough for Chelsea but he's too good for us, excellent technique. I expect him to have a decent career at Charlton or Aston Villa or somewhere like that. Back in the now, Rangers conceded another poor goal just before half-time as Cort's header was forced in by Morrison from close range.

I spent most of the interval composing caustic remarks about the Rangers defence, especially the abject Zesh Rehman, and don't worry I am saving them up for future use [1]. The very near future I expect. It would be churlish to bring them out today though after Rangers blitzed Palace in the second half, with the wonderful Lee Cook reaching new heights on the left wing. First of all Palace were unable to deal with his free kick and Lomas drove it in from 8 yards. It's a good job Loftus Road is enclosed or Lomas would have been half way down the Uxbridge Road on his celebration run. Cook tortured the hapless Butterfield for the umpteenth time and was finally hauled down for the most blatant penalty in football history. Gallen is about 50/50 from the spot but today it came up heads. Finally Cook's corner evaded the flappy Flinders and Smith bundled it in, breaking his run of 20-yard strikes with one from 20 inches.

And that was that as Palace pretty much gave up. With half an hour to play against the Rangers defence, the better Championship sides wouldn't have given up hope of winning, never mind sneaking a draw. I must make a note not to complain about time-wasting for a while as Rangers laid it on a bit thick even at two goals up, then again the way they defend ... Sticking to the positive though, Cook was different class today. He looks better every week and I start to wonder how long we can keep him. There was talk about Aston Villa tracking him in the week and even though, as I have said before, this tricky winger type of player is out of fashion in the Premiership, there's no doubt he's far too good for this league. Best to enjoy his skills while we can. On any other day Lomas would have earned the Man Of The Match plaudits for an excellent game, I thought he was shot after the Ipswich game but I can stand up and say I was wrong there. Gallen had a decent game too, he and Blackstock were tidy but on the quiet side, which just goes to show what attacking options you have when you still score four goals.

As for Palace, I've always thought that Peter Taylor was a bit of a con-man but I had to admit he did a good job at Hull. He's definitely feeling the pressure now though, the fraction of their support who were still there at the end gave them a sound booing off. We have our problems at centre-half but at least ours didn't cost a million each to go missing in the second half. As for £2 million for Kuqi, words fail me. A lot of work to be done there, but that's their problem. A great day today, and Barnet nicked an away win. Celebrate good times come on !

[1] Although a caller on Talk Sport just described him as "pure cack" which is a succinct assessment.


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