Despite His White Boots

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

Sunday, September 14, 2008

QPR 4 Southampton 1

This was quite a strange game. Despite not playing particularly well IMO, Rangers scored 4, had 2 more disallowed (albeit correctly), hit the post and forced a string of fine saves from the overworked Kelvin Davies in the visitors' goal. Southampton's passing and movement were excellent but they were very, very lightweight in defence even before going down to 10 men.

It took less than a minute for Rangers to take the lead. On winning a throw-in from the kickoff, Rangers sent more defenders forward than they have in these situations recently, which may (or may not) have contributed to the chaos in the Saints' defence. Everyone clustered at the near post, allowing Dexter Blackstock to nip around Lee Cook as the ball bounced over his head and slam in a close-range shot with no defenders in sight. When their debut centre-half Ollie Lancashire (I know, I'd never heard of half the team) was sent off for a reckless lunge at Damien Delaney, the result seemed a foregone conclusion.

However, Davies kept his side in the game with good saves from Blackstock and Delaney, and then a superb reaction stop from Blackstock's near post shot after a sweet Rangers passing move. And 10 minutes into the second half a smooth counter-attack was finished off by Adam Lallana to send the away fans into raptures and level the game up. Iain Dowie wasted no time in replacing the ineffective Dani Parejo and adding another striker in Patrick Agyemang. Within a couple of minutes, the other substitute Martin Rowlands sent over a free kick that again saw the defence go AWOL as Damien Stewart tapped home, although just about every report says he was clearly offside. This time the game really was over and Davies did well to restrict the Hoops to only two more, Blackstock following up after Agyemang's shot was saved, and then Agyemang himself driving home in injury time.

I was glad to read Iain Dowie's comments when I got home, saying that we didn't play as well as we could, which was absolutely correct, and also praising Blackstock who has been a huge plus this season with the way he's taken to a lone striker role. The defence, which was quite sloppy at times today, will be tested more fully at Norwich and Coventry in the last two games.

Finally if you missed it in the week, Rangers signed free agent Damiano Tomassi on a season-long deal. If the name is familiar, Tomassi is the player who, when at Roma, only accepted minimum wage when trying to prove his fitness after a bad knee injury. A sort of anti Michael Owen. I loved the comment on the BBC Sport forum saying how good it was that Tomassi could communicate with the Italian players and Dani Parejo on the field. Clearly an advocate of Homer Simpson's theory that Italian and Spanish are the same language. Ahh, it's all foreign, what difference ?


  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Have you noticed that, as well as West Brom having signed Ryan Donk, Liverpool bought a player called Degen? That could be quite a match-up...


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