QPR v AFC Bournemouth

Team: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto, O’Neil (Traore), Barton, Carroll, Hoilett (Phillips), Johnson (Jenas), Austin

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Young, Henry, Kranjcar

Attendance: 16,331

Harry got it right on Tuesday night. We had been crying out for Andy Johnson to start and he made our first goal for Charlie Austin when he crossed the ball from the bye-line. Austin chested it down and scored with a neat finish.

Tommy Elphick was very lucky not to be red carded for seemingly scooping the ball away in the box with his hand as Charlie Austin was through on goal. The referee dithered for ages, ran over to the linesman and he eventually awarded a free kick!!!

There was also the off-the-ball incident when Harry Arter kicked Joey Barton. He too somehow got away with it and who was the only player in the first-half to be yellow carded? Yes, Joey Barton!!!

Junior Hoilett took his goal well after the ball dropped nicely for him and he squeezed it in at the far post. Matt Phillips came off the bench and got in on the act with a superb strike after beating several players. That must have boosted his confidence.

Lee Camp got a great reception and it was good to see some of the 2003/04 promotion squad on the pitch at half-time; Kevin Gallen, Paul Furlong, Chris Day, Marcus Bean, Steve Palmer, Tony Thorpe, Nick Culkin, Gareth Ainsworth and Marc Bircham. Well done to the club for organising that.

A very good night all-round and even the other results went our way. Saturday can’t come soon enough.

Steve Russell

Led by the industrious quality of Joey Barton, Tuesday felt like the night QPR finally announced themselves as the classiest team in the Championship. Whether that will result in Harry Redknapp’s side regaining their Barclays Premier League status come May will depend more on their ability to avoid lapses such as Saturday’s defeat by lowly Doncaster, for there can be little doubting the quality in their squad.

Barton bestrode this match with a calm assurance in possession to complement his bite in the tackle. And, yes, there was a booking but that was understandable in light of a baffling refereeing decision.

Rangers are behind leaders Leicester only on goals scored. Clinical finishes from Charlie Austin, Junior Hoilett and Matty Phillips suggest that they may close that gap, too.

Assistant manager Kevin Bond said: “We’re really happy. Until we got the first goal it was a very tight game. The manager was talking to the wide players to say they needed to help out with goals, so it was important Junior and Matty scored.”

Lapses in the hurly-burly of the Championship will be tolerated as long as excitement replaces efficiency at Loftus Road this season. Until Tuesday night, Rangers had not scored more than two goals in a game. Then again they have Austin, whose knack of finding space was evident with a 12th minute header from a diagonal Danny Simpson cross which Lee Camp tipped over.

After 27 minutes Austin again eased himself into position to cushion Andrew Johnson’s cross on his chest before poking a shot under the body of the onrushing Camp for his ninth league goal of the season. Austin caused more pandemonium on the half-hour.

Chasing a through ball, his pace brought him level with Tommy Elphick, who pulled Austin back, then scooped the ball away with his hand. It was an obvious red card to all except for the assistant, who did everything but assist referee Andy Woolmer. The outcome was merely a free kick which an exasperated Barton drove into the Bournemouth wall. He followed that with a frustrated hack on Simon Francis that brought a booking.

Austin’s only lapse, an air shot early in the second-half, left Hoilett to squeeze a shot into the far corner and the result was assured 13 minutes from time when Phillips hammered home with his first touch. Bournemouth’s only effort of note came when Rob Green was forced to turn away a bouncing shot from Harry Arter.

Whisper it to the rest of the Championship but QPR are about to get stronger. Former West Ham midfielder Yossi Benayoun will be joining on an 18-month contract.

Ivan Speck – The Daily Mail