Team: Kenny, Hill, Onuaha, Ferdinand, Derry, Taarabt (Mackie), Traore, Buzsaky, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Zamora
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Gabbidon, Young, Taiwo, Smith, Bothroyd
Attendance: 18,033 (including 1,660 Everton fans)
Much better, Clint Hill again played extremely well. We did look far more like a team, unlike the shambolic performance against Fulham. We may just get out of this as the other four teams down the bottom are poor. Any other season and I would suspect that we’d be cast adrift by now. The Bolton game next Saturday is absolutely massive.
A BBC documentary this weekend will show the mad, mad world of Queen’s Park Rangers under the ownership of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, and judging by this hard-fought draw with Everton, things have not changed too much since Tony Fernandes took over. The Malaysian businessman was pulling pints for QPR fans on a pre-match pub crawl, designed to canvass opinion on the club’s plight, engaged as they are in a real relegation scrap.
With only five points garnered this year, and almost as many red cards, the first two months under Mark Hughes has been far from ideal, and not helped by the Twitter rants of players such as Joey Barton and now Federico Macheda. The Italian tweeted his unhappiness at failing to make the squad for the visit of Everton, although Hughes was quick to play down the incident. Hughes was more encouraged that his men avoided another red card and another defeat, although they could have won if Akos Buzsaky had not missed an open goal which, as one wag pointed out, might have been scored by the squirrel that spent a good ten minutes in Everton’s half in the closing stages of the first period.
“I was delighted with what we produced, and though I think we should have won, we kept 11 men on the pitch and that gave us the platform to show what we can do.” But it was Everton who started stronger, with Tim Cahill rattling Paddy Kenny’s crossbar on the turn in the 4th minute, before Royston Drenthe gave them the lead after half-an-hour. Adel Taarabt was caught in possession by Steven Pienaar who set up Drenthe to drill a low shot into the corner of Kenny’s net.
Buzsaky was QPR’ s most impressive player, having a curling free kick well saved, and it was from his free kick that Bobby Zamora rose to head the equaliser in the 36th minute. The kick had been taken close to where Fernandes was sitting, in the cheap seats with the supporters, and he celebrated with abandon. His fellow fans cursed their luck when Taarabt and then Buzsaky both hit the left and right posts of Tim Howard’s goal in quick succession shortly before half-time.
Although there was plenty of bluster in the second-half, there was little danger of a decisive goal and the sides had to settle for an unsatisfactory draw. “It wasn’t great, but we got a point,” said David Moyes succinctly. QPR are only a point above the relegation zone. “The rub of the green hasn’t been going for us, but I sensed today that it is changing” added Hughes.
Gerry Cox – The Telegraph
I am obviously disappointed that it was only the one point, but I take some satisfaction from our performance and spirit. We looked more like a team and did enough to win the game. Although there was an early scare when Cahill hit the crossbar and then, after Adel Taarabt had given the ball away, Everton took the lead.
Fellaini went down in a heap, but then glanced up to see that his side were on the attack and suddenly he leapt to his feet like a Jack-in-the-box. It reminded me of that time when Ince did something similar at Old Trafford in the FA Cup. Not only that, he got away with things all over the pitch and somehow escaped being carded ! Later, I noticed that the stats revealed that Fellaini committed the most fouls in the game.
Some great skill by Taarabt down the bye-line saw him cynically fouled. From the free kick, Zamora headed the ball into the net from close range. Howard made a very good save from a well taken free kick from a good position just outside the box and then we agonizingly witnessed the ball twice come off the post !
Tony Fernandes ended his walkabout in the Blue & White Bar before taking up residence in the Lower Loft for the 1st half. A squirrel spent some time on the pitch and received a big cheer when he crossed the line from the Loft End goalmouth. Lastly, I must mention that it was another superb effort from Clint Hill.
(The above pics were taken by Martin Percival and used with his permission)