Team: Cesar (Green), Traore, Samba, Hill, Bosingwa, Park, Granero (Jenas), Mbia, Remy, Hoilett, Bothroyd (Fabio)
Subs Not Used: Onuoha, Taarabt, Townsend, Mackie
For the first 15 minutes we were second best with the Saints finding space at will in the last third. When we did win the ball back, we ended up giving it straight back to the opposition. Granero and Mbia were the biggest culprits, but Park and the back-four were also prone to lapses in concentration. Granero in particular was doing really well winning 50/50 balls, going past his marker, but then it was back to square one with a wayward pass.
I was perplexed originally to see us not playing with two upfront, but Remy was a great outlet to relieve pressure as he held the ball up well and had great back-up from Bosingwa on the overlap. Bothroyd was also doing really well holding the ball up and waiting for reinforcements.
I thought that we were then the better team for the last 30 minutes of the first-half, after we scored we got more confident and played some lovely football at times and managed to keep possession !!! The equaliser was gutting as it was our only big mistake and was against the run of play.
Second-half we withstood the inevitable barrage for the first 15 minutes and bided out time to get the winner. Green was superb when he came on with two great saves, the other one was offside but he didn’t know it at the time.
For the most part, the crowd were superb, except for some people I heard slagging off individuals. One bloke even started before the kick-off !!!! We need to get behind the whole team before and during the game. Criticism should only come after the performance. I have only praise for every player as they all played their part in a great victory. Still unbeaten at St Mary’s !!!
If they can carry on in the next four games, we may just have a chance. Yes, it’s a slim chance, but we were in a similar position a year ago and had a harder run-in than this one. Keep the faith. C’mon You R’s.
Surely no one would begrudge QPR’s players a drink or two after this. Their supporters had woken up to damaging headlines on Saturday morning about tales of players going out drinking during a recent trip to Dubai and it had seemed that theirs was a squad on the brink of civil war; yet there was a unity in this victory over Southampton that has rarely been evident this season and that made a mockery of their position at the bottom of the table.
QPR should not crack open the champagne yet. This was, after all, only their third victory of what has been an awful season, and there is still plenty of work to do, but Harry Redknapp, who could hardly have asked for a better 66th birthday on his return to St. Mary’s, will look at forthcoming fixtures against Sunderland, Aston Villa, Fulham and Wigan and believe that he can pull off an escape act similar to the one he inspired at Portsmouth in 2006.
Southampton’s fans arrived eager to torture Redknapp, who was their manager when they were relegated in 2005 and left for Portsmouth a few months later. But in the end their anger was directed at a desperately lethargic performance from their own side, who gave Mauricio Pochettino little to celebrate on his 41st birthday, victory for Southampton would have lifted them to 30 points, but they are not safe yet.
The boos for Redknapp were loud and predictable when he strolled out of the tunnel before kick-off and it was 10 minutes before he stepped out of the dugout and into the technical area. This is the kind of boos problem he can deal with, though, and four minutes later his side led. Redknapp had spoken during the week of his need to give Junior Hoilett more games and the winger rewarded his manager’s faith in him by creating QPR’s opener.
From the left, Hoilett drifted a lovely, diagonal ball towards Loic Remy, who had peeled away from Maya Yoshida and Daniel Fox. With Artur Boruc’s positioning offering Remy a sizable portion of the goal to aim at, the Frenchman clipped a right-footed shot past the keeper, beating Fox on the line.
It was Remy’s second goal for QPR since his ¬£8m move from Marseille and he nearly had his third minutes later when he tested Boruc from the edge of the area. Southampton were strangely muted, playing with none of the urgency they showed in beating Manchester City here three weeks ago, and for all the plaudits Pochettino has received since replacing Nigel Adkins in January, his side has won only once.
“We were not expecting a result like that but we must learn from our mistakes,” he said, “Perhaps the team didn’t have the fluidity in other games. When we go one down we didn’t have the calm to push forward. What’s clear to me is we need to work on the confidence of the team because today was a game we had to win. The team knew what was at stake.”
Southampton were gifted a way back into the match in first-half stoppage time when Jay Rodriguez, who had just replaced the injured Adam Lallana, shot from 25 yards out. It was a tame effort, but Julio Cesar made a mess of it, allowing Gaston Ramirez to nip in and delicately dink the rebound over him.
From there, QPR might have crumbled, and Jose Fonte went close with efforts from distance. The visitors’ plans were further thrown into disarray when Robert Green replaced the injured Cesar but, with Christopher Samba and Stephane Mbia outstanding, their defence stood firm.
Then, with 13 minutes remaining, QPR pounced. Yoshida was far too meek in a challenge with Park Ji-Sung on the right and the midfielder’s low cross was converted by Jay Bothroyd from close range.
Southampton were stunned, but pushed forward in search of a second equaliser and thought one had arrived when Fonte met a corner with a powerful header. Somehow Green clawed it away. Six minutes of stoppage time followed, but Southampton’s threat had disappeared and when Howard Webb’s final whistle blew at last, there was Redknapp on the pitch, pumping his fists in the direction of the QPR supporters. “I might go to Dubai again this week,” he said. “It might be a good idea” !
Jacob Steinberg – The Guardian
A few surprises in the starting line-up and it was a relief to see Bothroyd start with Remy. A great diagonal ball from Hoilett found Remy and I have to say that at the time I thought he had taken too long pulling the trigger. In it went, I jumped up on one of the barriers and over 3,000 R’s fans went wild.
Some Rangers fans wore Harry Redknapp face masks and I have to say that despite some trying to stoke the furnace pre-match over Harry Redknapp it was hardly a cauldron of hate. There was a touching moment on 31 minutes when R’s fans remembered Ray Jones.
There was drama when Julio Cesar went down heavily and into the fray came Robert Green. Rangers’ fans immediately backed him. He did very well and one save in particular following a corner was outstanding. It didn’t do a lot for my nerves when 6 added minutes went up !
Well done to Harry Redknapp and the team with a win that gives us renewed hope and puts pressure on the sides above us.
Thanks again to Dec and Kel for the lift.
(Pictures provided by Sandra Sayce and used with permission)