Team: Murphy, Hughes, Dunne, Hill, Onuoha, O’Neil (Carroll), Barton, Henry (Kranjcar), Hoilett (Suk- Young), Morrison, Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Lennox, Benayoun, Maiga, Keane.
Harry Redknapp must hate taking his team away from Loftus Road. On a night when they had the chance to breathe life into the automatic promotion race, just about everything that could go wrong did as Sheffield Wednesday capitalised on Queens Park Rangers’ travel sickness and Richard Dunne’s first-half sending off to ease to a 3-0 victory.
A 35th-minute Chris Maguire penalty and second half goals from Leon Best and right-full back Lewis Buxton ensured a nightmarish journey back to London for the Hoops with Assistant boss Kevin Bond conceding that some post-match home truth’s had been delivered to a “hugely disappointed” Rangers dressing room.
Prior to kick-off QPR had hoped to use their game in hand to reduce Burnley’s 10-point advantage over them in the battle for automatic promotion at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
However, by the 33rd minute those aspirations were effectively at an end as Dunne brought down his Republic of Ireland team-mate Best for a penalty. Replays suggested that contact had been minimal but to compound matters Referee Paul Tierney produced a straight red card despite vehement protests from Clint Hill and Joey Barton.
“I haven’t seen it again so I don’t know as I was 50-60 yards away.” Bond said. “The referee has given it and it was a huge turning point in the game, up until that point we were comfortably in control and that one incident turned the game on its head.”
While the penalty decision coupled with the sending-off were lamentable Bond acknowledged that he and Redknapp had been left far from impressed by the manner in which they capitulated afterwards.
“The issue is what happened after we went down to ten men and that is a problem and we’ve spoken about it in the dressing room,” Bond said.
“There was a sense of inevitability about how the game was going to go and that was the disappointment from that moment onwards. We’re on the attack and 15 seconds later they’ve got a penalty, gone 1-0 up and we’re down to 10 men and the reaction wasn’t what we were looking for.”
Unsurprisingly Stuart Gray, the Wednesday manager, who admitted his surprise at Dunne’s red card, was delighted by the way his team turned the screw on their higher placed opponents. “It was definitely a penalty I was just surprised he brought the red card out that said I still think we’d have beaten QPR with 11 players the way we came out of the traps,” Gray said.
“We performed well, we wanted to win the game we got men forward and got crosses and shots in. When they had the man sent off we were able to throw another man into the box and that was Buxton and he enjoyed that one when it went in, he’s certainly not forgotten how to celebrate”.
Steven Sutcliffe – The Telegraph