QPR Report Twitter Feed

Sunday, April 22, 2007

QPR's Defeat of Cardiff: Additional Reports & Comments

ALSO: John Gregory Comments - Gregory Comments
Other QPR vs Cardiff Match ReportsEarlier QPR Cardiff Match Reports

Sunday Mirror - QPR 1-0 CARDIFF - Les Roopanarine At Loftus Road 22/04/2007

RANGERS boss John Gregory was a picture of delight after Dexter Blackstock's 14th and most vital goal of the season secured the club's Championship survival.

Gregory said: "We've been on the back foot since the first match of the season last August, and the players have shown unbelievable amounts of courage, determination, effort and enthusiasm. "More than anything, the spirit in the dressing room has got us out of trouble.

"The players were under pressure even before I came in, and it's been 44 matches where they've constantly had to try to get out of the relegation zone."

For Cardiff the game ended on a sour note, top-scorer Michael Chopra seeing red after the final whistle for an angry reaction towards Lee Camp as the Rangers goalkeeper offered to shake hands.

Chopra will now miss the remainder of Cardiff's season, but on a day when Blackstock's winner saw the Bluebirds' faint play-off hopes finally laid to rest, his dismissal was little more than a footnote. Cardiff boss Dave Jones said: "This form has been going on since January, and our club deserves better. It was a battle, but you want to see more fight and urgency.

"The red card was absolutely crazy, he should have just walked off the pitch. You do battle and you shake hands. Chops needs to grow up a little bit."

The game began promisingly for Cardiff, Chopra's opening-minute free-kick beating Camp's outstretched glove only to drift narrowly wide.

But Rangers quickly put that scare behind them, Steve Lomas missing a gilt-edged opportunity from close range as Gregory's side stamped their authority on proceedings.

With 23 minutes gone Rangers' hightempo start was rewarded, Lee Cook, returning from a knee injury, crossing from the right wing for Blackstock to angle a glancing header home.

Gregory said: "It was a great goal, and he's now scored 14 in a difficult season." Cardiff improved after the interval but couldn't find a goal and as the final whistle sounded the death knell on their play-off hopes, Loftus Road erupted in ecstasy. Sunday Mirror

Mail on Sunday - Dexter delivers the winner to end QPR's drop fears
By MIKE COLLINS - More by this author »

Dexter Blackstock eased Rangers’ relegation fears but the valuable win was marred by events surrounding referee Mike Thorpe.

Blackstock strode through a static Cardiff defence to head home the match-winner after 23 minutes. Thorpe enraged the Loftus Road crowd in the second half by declining to show Kerrea Gilbert a second yellow card within the space of two minutes and instead opting for a long lecture in front of the Cardiff dugout. Moments later, Gilbert was substituted, avoiding what had seemed an inevitable dismissal.

At the final whistle, Cardiff’s Michael Chopra, who had been a rare bright spot in a dismal display from the visitors, argued furiously with QPR keeper Lee Camp, resulting in Thorpe showing him a second yellow that has ended his season.

"It was stupid," said Dave Jones, the Cardiff manager. "Just shake hands and walk off. He needs to grow up a bit. A bad day all round."

QPR captain Marcus Bignot, who celebrated by singing to fans on the pitch, said: "This is a massive feat — bigger than when we got promoted, given the state of the club." Mail on Sunday

Bluebirds just park and hideApr 22 2007 Wales on Sunday

SPARE a thought for the thousands of Cardiff City fans who travel throughout England cheering on their team.

They are being let down. Big time.

More than 1,200 were at Loftus Road for this Coca-Cola Championship match between two poor sides.

And the game had even finished before City finally flared into action - Michael Chopra sent off after the final whistle for a second yellow after confronting Rangers' goalkeeper Lee Camp.

Rangers made sure they would avoid relegation with victory, and were the better side as they completed a league double over Cardiff far more comfortably than the scoreline suggests.

It's now almost five months since City supporters last saw their beloved Bluebirds win away.

It was during November that Cardiff's faithful travellers witnessed the 3-0 win at Stoke City. Since then there's been almost nothing for them to cheer.

City did win 2-1 against Wolves at Molineux, but the home club banned all away supporters.

Those who pay good money to follow their team have travelled to Hull, Leicester, Luton, Spurs, Coventry, West Brom, Birmingham, Southampton, Derby County and Burnley without a win.

The simple truth at Loftus Road yesterday was that Queens Park Rangers wanted the win more than their visitors in the crucial first 30 minutes. Cardiff did improve, but simply could not match Rangers' aggression and intensity in all areas of the pitch.

QPR needed one more win to make sure of safety from relegation. Cardiff's performance was just not good enough to stop them.

City have won away six times this season all early in the season, but no longer look capable of achieving victory on the road.

Manager Dave Jones reshuffled his resources. He was without injured trio Glenn Loovens, Darren Purse and Riccy Scimeca plus suspended Simon Walton.

Winger Paul Parry was left out and City turned to Kerrea Gilbert and Willo Flood to plug the gaps.

Gilbert, on the right, and Chris Gunter were the full-backs with Flood and Joe Ledley filling the wide positions in midfield. Peter Whittingham took up an attacking role alongside Stephen McPhail in the middle.

But it made little difference. Cardiff City were poor, almost non existent as an attacking force in open play.

Defensively they looked frail as Rangers dominated possession and threatened.

They should have gone ahead after seven minutes when Martin Rowlands forced the ball past goalkeeper David Forde and Marc Nygaard, possibly fearing he was offside, opted to allow the ball to run over the line. Roger Johnson dived in and somehow cleared off the line.

Rangers had clear calls for a penalty turned aside when Adam Bolder was brought down before they took the lead on 22 minutes.

Lee Cook whipped in a dangerous cross and Dexter Blackstock got between McNaughton and Ledley to glance the ball home from 12 yards.

It was a well taken goal, but Cardiff should have put far more pressure on Blackstock, who was allowed time and space to head home.

City's performance was no better after the break. Kerrea Gilbert was desperately close to a red card after two late challenges and was quickly replaced by Paul Parry with Ledley dropping to full-back.

Parry set up a chance with a sizzling run and pass, but Chopra was unable to reach the low cross. That run from Parry was a rare moment of danger from Cardiff.

Michael Chopra ran and chased, trying to sniff out a chance, but he needs the service. Both Chopra and City also need a bigger contribution from target man Steve Thompson.

Over their last six Championship matches Cardiff City have earned one point out of 18. That is seriously poor and something that made for yet another dismal trip home.

IC Wales

Wales on Sunday - Chop out 'crazy' stuff - Jones Apr 22 2007

A FRUSTRATED Dave Jones described Michael Chopra's end-of-game sending off as: "Crazy, it was a stupid thing to do.

"Why not just shake hands. I don't care if you like the other bloke or not. Michael Chopra needs to grow up a little.

"The matter will be dealt with internally."

Chopra's dismissal, after a confrontation with QPR goalkeeper Lee Camp, left, means his season has now ended.

He faces a suspension and a big fine and will miss Saturday's home match against Hull City and the trip to Ipswich Town on the final day.

Chopra had been cautioned for a foul after 19 minutes and had conducted a running verbal battle with referee Mark Thorpe and a number of Rangers players.

Near the end, QPR defender Damion Stewart grabbed Chopra by the shoulders and turned him round to look at his number as if to say 'Who are you'.

Then, when the ref blew for time, Camp tried to shake Chopra's hand. The Cardiff man refused and the two went face-to-face.

Chopra was sent off for his second booking and Camp was also cautioned.

Jones described his City team as 'toothless' after the 1-0 defeat.

"We aren't scoring with Michael, so it won't change that much without him," he said.

"He is our main scorer, but the others up there need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

"We were toothless up front against QPR and we need to get better in attack and other areas.

"Certain players need to get better if they are to stay at this football club. And I don't base that just on today." IC Wales

Blog Archive