Despite His White Boots

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

Saturday, February 02, 2008

QPR 3 Bristol City 0

3-0 might have been a bit flattering but, make no mistake, QPR dismissed their high-flying opposition very easily today. Hogan Ephraim made his first start since joining the club permanently, and Zesh Rehman and Michael Mancienne filled in at the back for the injured Hall and Connolly. Rangers started very brightly and forced a series of corners in the opening five minutes. Although these came to nothing, it wasn't long before Rowan Vine sent Patrick Agyemang away to finish expertly with a low shot. Agyemang is clearly sky-high on confidence and why not, this being his fourth goal in his fourth start for Rangers. The same player doubled the score after winning a ball that he had no right to in the City box, feeding Akos Buzsaky and making his way into the six yard box to tap home the Hungarian's cross-shot.

Just past the hour Agyemang held off his man to tee up Buszaky on the edge of the box, and his fierce shot deflected over the keeper's dive for 3-0 and game over. Up to this point, City had managed the sum total of one header from a well-worked free kick that drifted wide, and that was it. At 3-0 Rangers took their foot off the gas somewhat ; Dele Adebola fired a shot against the post and couldn't force the rebound past Lee Camp, before Michael McIndoe sent a tame header straight at the keeper when he seemed to have time to bring the ball down.

Bafflingly, Agyemang was passed up for the official MoM award in favour of Martin Rowlands, but the Ghanain striker has been the pick of the January signings, just as I had picked him out as the one I wasn't sure about. Shows how much I know. By my calculations, of the 7 goals we have scored in the league with Agyemang in the side, he has scored 5 and played the last pass on the other 2 ! Glory be, we might actually have found a goalscorer. With only 16 games left it's too late for genuine playoff aspirations IMO, but we've got plenty to be working with. It's also worth putting in a word for the defence who, even though they were well protected by Gavin Mahon and not really tested, were unrecognisable from the rabble of September even though 3/4 of the unit were the same players in Stewart, Rehman and Mancienne.

As for City, I've said before that I don't want to be critical of teams who aren't fortunate enough to have our resources, but it was a mystery on today's performance how they find themselves second in the league. The fact that they still are in an automatic promotion spot says a lot about the quality of the league as a whole, or lack of. What was surprising was that they didn't even look solid at the back, and could well be worth opposing for the rest of the season. None of which is any concern of mine, or any of the home fans in another bumper crowd (really) of 16K+.


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