Despite His White Boots

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

Saturday, August 23, 2008

QPR 2 Doncaster Rovers 0

Rangers put in a much better performance to win this game fairly comfortably. Following last week's defensive debacle (by all accounts), Ramage and Stewart returned to the back four in place of Connolly and Gorkss. Gavin Mahon also came back into midfield to captain the side at the expense of a striker. While everyone wants to see two up front, especially at home, it appears that this 4-2-3-1 formation probably suits the players at Iain Dowie's disposal, given the surfeit of creative midfielders and lack of options further forward.

This system does put a lot of pressure on the lone striker ; fortunately Dexter Blackstock had his best game for some time, and it was his close-range finish that gave Rangers an early lead from Daniel Parejo's excellent free kick delivery. Parejo and fellow flamboyant Latin type Emmanuel Ledesma were causing the visitors all sorts of problems with their movement and close control, and after Parejo had headed narrowly over from Ramage's cross, Ledesma doubled the score on the half hour. Stewart's quick free kick caught the visiting defence napping, and while the Argentinian might have been a shade offside, his immaculate first touch took him clear of three opponents and he poked a shot into the corner. And then was promptly booked for going into the crowd to celebrate. Exuberance of youth :-).

Fitz Hall limped off to be replaced by Matthew Connolly, but if anything the home defence looked even tighter with this change, and for all Doncaster's good passing and movement, Radek Cerny wasn't troubled all afternoon in the Rangers goal. Unfortunately nor was Neil Sullivan (who must be what now, 40 ?) in the second half as the game petered out, but with Rangers 2-0 to the good that wasn't our problem !

So all in all a step forward for QPR in what a lot of people thought would be a difficult game. In the event, Rangers are probably going to struggle more against the more physical teams, and the visitors lacked a cutting edge with one (possibly two I'm not sure) main striker missing. Still, you could see them being a pain to play against if they go in front, as they did keep the ball very well at times. If Rangers can see Carlisle off on Tuesday and then take something away to Bristol City next weekend that will go down as a very satisfactory start to the season.


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