QPR Report Twitter Feed

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

QPR's Cardiff Defeat - Further Reports and Comments

Cardiff boss Dave Jones pointed to the club's fitness regime as the catalyst for Tuesday night's 3-1 Coca-Cola Championship victory over QPR.
Joe Ledley scored his seventh and eighth goals of a stellar season as the Bluebirds extended their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the principal creative force, expertly laying on the young midfielder's second of the evening and feeding Paul Parry for Cardiff's third.
The 35-year-old Dutchman produced a tireless performance as lone striker for 90 minutes until he gave way to Steven Thompson in stoppage-time.
"To put on a performance like that after playing on Sunday was excellent and a tribute to our fitness staff," said a delighted Jones, whose side reached the FA Cup fifth round at the weekend.
"Their fitness levels were superb and I can't praise them enough as some of our movements were up there with the best we have done this season.
"The only downside was conceding a goal and having Michael Oakes injured with a blow to the face but we have a great back-up team here and all our walking wounded will be well looked after."
With a three-goal lead established, Cardiff took their foot off the gas, and substitute Hogan Ephraim capitalised with a smart close-range finish after 76 minutes.
But it could not prevent the Bluebirds notching up their fifth straight home victory to move within a point of the play-offs.
Rangers boss Luigi Di Canio said: "Cardiff surprised us by the way they played and they took full advantage of our mistakes.
"We conceded an early first goal and that gave them the opportunity to play the way they wanted.
"They were very quick at making use of the space out wide and that caused us problems.
"We have many new players and it will take time to show any improvements."
Cardiff were on top from the opening whistle but the goal they deserved never came until the 12th minute when a back pass from Damian Delaney went astray. Parry raced on to the loose ball and made ground before crossing to Ledley, who slotted home from close range.
Only Lee Camp in the Rangers goal prevented the Bluebirds from improving the scoreline as he made a number of crucial saves to deny Peter Whittingham, Hasselbaink and Ledley.
Five minutes from the break, the hosts scored the goal they deserved when 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey floated a pass out wide to Hasselbaink.
The veteran slipped the ball through to Ledley and the Wales international made no mistake.
Twelve minutes into the second period, it was the busy Parry's turn to get on the score sheet.
A long through ball to Glenn Loovens was worked up to Parry and he made progress before beating Camp with a crisp shot.
Rangers had a small consolation when they pulled one back through Ephraim.
In the goalmouth scramble, City keeper Michael Oakes was injured and loan signing Peter Enckelman replaced him for his Bluebirds debut.
The home defence had one or two scares as the game drew to a close but City were well worth the victory. Sporting Life

Western Mail - City flair stuns nouveau riche QPR
IT was billed as the Championship princes v the paupers and like every good fairy story it was the down-trodden who eventually lived happily ever after.
In one of their finest showings of the season the Bluebirds demolished the nouveau riche Londoners in a fantastic team effort which keeps them very much in the play-off hunt.
Indeed prior to kick-off manager Dave Jones had urged his side to forget the glamour of the up-coming FA Cup tie with Wolves and concentrate instead on a top-six finish in their league campaign.
However, on this form, the Bluebirds are buzzing with such confidence that both dreams seem a reasonable proposition.
Rangers may have a the riches of Croesus at their disposal after a multimillion-pound takeover, but this game showed there is still a long way to go before the “hoops” are lording it with the likes of Chelsea in the big time.
Two first-half goals from Joe Ledley, simple finishes after some scintillating build-up play, put the home side in control and a second-half strike by Paul Parry sealed things.
Hogan Ephraim managed to force one home for the visitors, but it was too little too late in a game where Rangers simply found themselves out-classed in all departments.
It was a victory made all the more impressive by the fact Jones was forced into major change ahead of kick-off. Captain Stephen McPhail was ruled out after failing to recover from a hip problem and it meant a first ever league start for highly-rated 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey.
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink was reinstated in attack after being rested at Hereford, Steve Thompson dropped to the bench, and amongst the substitutes was veteran wideman Trevor Sinclair back after a long-term absence following knee surgery.
Rangers boss Luigi de Canio made just the one change from the team which overcame Barnsley in QPR’s last outing, Gavin Mahon came in and Dexter Blackstock found himself on the bench.
Blackstock found himself joined the action just before the half-time whistle as Matthew Connolly was stretchered off.
Cardiff went in 2-0 up at the break, but it could have been five with some better finishing after they carved out chance after chance.
But as Cardiff enjoyed all the play they got their deserved first from a Rangers defensive error, Damien Delaney under-hitting a back-pass which Parry was on to like a whippet, the Welsh-cap rolled the ball across goal and Ledley tapped home from just a few yards out.
On 22 minutes the Bluebirds had two successive guilt-edged chances to extend their lead. The ball fell to Peter Whittingham eight yards out and the midfielder smashed it at goal only to see ’keeper Lee Camp pull off a good save diving to his right. Back came the ball and this time Hasselbaink thundered at goal only to see Camp pull off a carbon copy of his earlier save.
It was one way traffic, really breathless stuff from Cardiff and fabulous entertainment from a City perspective.
On the half-hour a Cardiff free-kick fell to Johnson this time in the box, the centre-half lashed at goal, but again Camp made the save. There were a string of good stops from Camp, but he really should not have been given the chance to make them.
You wondered if these misses were going to come back and haunt Cardiff particularly when they had a little wobble moments later.
Rangers skipper Martin Rowlands got to the byline, the ball flashed across goal, but Loovens, magnificent with Johnson again in the heart of the Cardiff, was across to boot it out for a corner.
City failed to clear their lines and Damion Stewart’s low shot flashed skidded across goal only requiring a touch to guide it into the net, but City escaped.
Then normal business was resumed as Cardiff went straight up the other end and should have scored. Hasselbaink, having his best game since arriving at the club, went rampaging down the left. He cut it across goal, Parry shot and again Camp saved. It was worked out to Hasselbaink again on the left, again it came across and this time Whittingham turned it wide.
You could hardly keep track of the Bluebirds’ dominance. You were afraid to go to the toilet in case you missed something.
A Ledley corner was volleyed into the ground by Johnson and bounced over and then City got their second. Ramsey, neat and tidy in midfield and very much looking the part, played in a nice ball to Hasselbaink who had beaten the off-side trap, he laid it across to Ledley who again tapped it home.
The Bluebirds second half never quite lived up to the first, but then again it was a tough act to follow.
The first meaningful action, appropriately, was Cardiff scoring again. Loovens punted out of defence, Hasselbaink played a fortuitous one-two with a Rangers defender, it fell into Parry’s path and he stroked it home. Moments later Parry was through again, but Camp got his fingertips to the attempted lob.
Cardiff then turned off the ignition and went to sleep.
This culminated in Rangers’ striker Ephraim poking home a consolation for the visitors after Oakes had saved Agyemang’s shot.
No one realised Rangers had scored, not even their own fans, and Oakes had to go off injured giving Peter Enckelman his first taste of action for ages.
And Enckelman had to be alert with three minutes left when he tipped an Agyemang header on to the bar.
The jubilant Cardiff supporters summed it up best with the taunt: “You’re rich and you are still not very good.”
Cardiff meanwhile may be lacking funds, but on this showing they have no shortage of guts, commitment and downright flair. Western Mail

Also: Previous compilation of reports and comments of Cardiff 3 QPR 1

Blog Archive