Team: Cerny, Ramage, Leigertwood, Gorkss, Tosic, Buzsaky, Faurlin, Ephraim (Parker), Priskin (German), Taarabt, Simpson (Cook)
Subs Not Used: Putnins, Hill, Oastler, Vine.
I think the only reason that there was a slight delay with the Cardiff fans departing the stadium at the end of the game, was because they had continued with their celebrations. The Police seemed more content with restricting the movement of Rangers fans and eventually they went as far as to seal off the whole of the South Africa Road, close to the entrance to the Park. This was to be for around 30 minutes and eventually we saw their coaches depart in the distance under tight escort. There was then a mini conference in the middle of the road, presumable to decide on what should happen next. At around 25 minutes to six, they actually walked a large number of R’s fans up the road as far as the TA Centre!!! An amazing sight, just who were the away fans and why, with other possible measures, didn’t they keep the Cardiff contingent in for 15 minutes or so, as we have to be sometimes on our travels ? They brought 1,613, I expected more, and what would it have been like if 3,000 had turned out ?
We left Loftus Road contemplating the worst, relegation still an option looming, with rivals Watford to come on Tuesday night. Of course now, we’re perfectly safe thanks to a draw in the Steel City derby, but there was a slight sense of nervousness around W12 after the game.
Just the one enforced change from Palace last week with Simpson coming in again for the recovering Stewart. It was a game of few stand-out chances. Despite Rangers having seven shots on target to Cardiff’s two, there were few clear cut opportunities where you’d have gone, “Oh he surely should have scored that.” Instead perhaps, you were left cursing Priskin’s inability to shoot properly or Taarabt’s 35 yard blasts into the Upper Loft nearly every time we had an attack (although to be fair, one of them didn’t make it into the upper stand, the ball just hit the scoreboard). Having not witnessed his gesture to the crowd and then the bench, I won’t comment on it too much, but he certainly needs to grow up. The Nou Camp holds 100,000 don’t you know Adel ? I wonder how long it would take them to start whistling at you !
The goal came from one of the few poor passes from Faurlin. He gave it straight to a yellow shirt, from which they broke, the cross came in and Ledley poked it in, having lost Ramage (a rare mistake from him too). In my opinion, Neil Warnock took far too long to make the first substitution. It wasn’t until the 80th minute, just after we’d conceded, that he finally decided to make his standard substitution of Simpson and Ephraim and bringing on Cook and Parker. Neither of them made an awful lot of difference, although Josh Parker did make a decent run down the right wing. After another 91 minutes of suffering him, Priskin was finally removed from the field to be replaced by German, who I’m not sure if he actually got a touch ?
Cerny: 6 – It was the first time I’ve seen him in the League this year. He did everything that was asked of him and can’t really be faulted for the goal.
Leigertwood: 6 – Playing right-back (as he probably will for the rest of the season), didn’t really help him but performed solidly.
Ramage: 7 – He continued from a strong performance last week and looks more solid at centre-back which begs the question of why umpteen Managers have not tried him there ?
Gorkss: 7 – Played well again and hopefully, he can build a good partnership with Ramage.
Tosic: 7 – A good home debut from him and unsure why he wasn’t playing over Hill as soon as he arrived ?
Faurlin: 7 – One mistake which cost us the goal, otherwise another good game.
Ephraim: 6 – Decent performance on the left-wing, then taken off again by NW.
Buzsaky: 5/6 – Slightly disappointing in the middle, despite the fact we’ve been calling for him to play there all season.
Priskin: 3 – Umm….
Taarabt: 3 – His attitude stinks. He was rightly booked for diving and wasted attack after attack after attack, disgraceful.
Simpson: 6 – Not a lot of service really and I don’t remember him having too much to feed off of (ahem Taarabt).