Team: Green, Hughes, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Benayoun, Kranjcar (O’Neil), Carroll, Barton (Henry), Morrison (Suk-Young), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Simpson, Hoilett, Keane.
Attendance: 14,649 (including 271 Wigan fans)
Tuesday night’s game was end to end stuff that kept you on the edge of your seat or toes if you stand – although we were not at full strength every man jack in a blue and white hooped shirt gave their all and that’s all you can ask.
We played at a high tempo with the ball and defended as a team without it. Clint Hill continues to surprise us with his performances and I for one was disappointed that Suk-Young didn’t start but “It’s just like watching Clint Hill”, say no more!!!
I felt for Yossi Benayoun, his performance didn’t deserve to end with an early bath – the ref could have used his noddle and kept his cards in his pocket at that late stage of the game.
Bobby ‘Scoresomemora’ worked hard and seemed to find renewed energy in the last 15 minutes but, and there is always a but, his general hold-up play was below average and why did he panic/freeze when Morrison’s free kick came to him off the bar?
Regarding Ravel Morrison, he disappeared in patches, but he always looked like doing something special and that free kick was special.
‘Greeno’ and the back-four were excellent and Joey Barton’s work rate was exceptional. I hope that his knock isn’t serious.
Niko Kranjcar was poor, but O’Neil had one of his best games for us and made a difference in the second-half as did Tom Carroll who grew into the game and showed plenty of bottle when things weren’t going for him – he didn’t hide.
Both sides played a passing game that equalled any Championship side, but lacked the cutting edge of Leicester or Burnley – that is the difference a striker or two makes a 10-13 points gap.
Tuesday nights under the lights at Loftus Road are special and last Tuesday, for lots of positive reasons, was one of those nights – bring on Tango FC.
Harry Redknapp remains bullish about Queen’s Park Rangers’ promotion prospects, and this result will only have reinforced his option that he will lead the club back into the Premier League next season.
Yossi Benayoun’s first-half strike gave Rangers a 1-0 victory over top-six rivals Wigan Athletic enhancing their play-off chances and keeping alive their slim hopes of breaking into the automatic spots.
“I still think we’ll be promoted,” claimed Redknapp in his programme notes. “We’ve got as good a chance as anybody – we just need to put a run together now.”
This second successive victory, which moved QPR up to third, might be the start of that. But with a 10-point gap remaining to second-placed Burnley, Redknapp’s assistant, Kevin Bond, admitted the play-offs are the most likely route back to the top flight.
“You never give up, but the likelihood for us is that it would be the play-offs, so what you desperately want to do is go into them with a bit of form,” he said. QPR finally seem to have that again now. The crucial goal arrived in a slick 16th minute move. Tom Carroll cutting the ball back to defender Clint Hill, who produced an audacious flick to tee-up Benayoun, who slotted home.
The real hero for QPR, however, was goalkeeper Rob Green, who made a string of fine saves, including a stunning late stop to keep out Nicky Maynard’s header.
Uwe Rosler, the Wigan manager, whose side’s eight-game unbeaten league run came to an end, said with a smile: “I think maybe Roy (Hodgson) should have a look at him (Green).”
The only downside for QPR was the sending-off of Benayoun in added time, after two fairly innocuous bookings. “I didn’t know he had it in his locker to get sent off,” said Bond. “I don’t think he did either.”
Gordon Simpson – The Telegraph
Clint Hill certainly had his moments. There was an amazing back-heel (what was he doing in that position?) to set up Yossi Benayoun for his goal. And at the other end there was his decisive tackle to deny the Wigan player pulling the trigger and also that very brave header almost at boot level to clear the danger and put the ball out for a corner.
There were occasions when the visitors cut through our lines seemingly with ease, particularly the first 10 minutes or so of the second-half. However, Rob Green was in top form and made a number of outstanding saves including the one in added time when he took off at full stretch.
There was plenty of intricate passing and movement, but there was one occasion after the break when Bobby Zamora took a long-ball to a position adjacent to their penalty area and incredibly the ball ended up being passed all the way back to Rob Green!!!
Ravel Morrison’s wonderful free kick hit the underside of the bar which resulted in a good opportunity being wasted through a moment of indecisiveness. Morrison was getting more and more frustrated as the referee ignored the treatment he was receiving. In fact he was hobbling towards the end of the first first-half and he was eventually replaced by Yun Suk-Young towards the end and a few minutes after being booked.
It was good to see Wayne Fereday introduced to the crowd at half-time. Hopefully the club will make this a regular feature with our former players.
Man of the Match: Rob Green.