QPR v Sunderland – A Change of Formation and a Vital Three Points

Team: Green, Caulker, Hill, Isla, Ferdinand, Phillips, Mutch, Hoilett (Traore), Barton, Fer (Taarabt), Austin (Zamora).

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Onuoha, Dunne, Henry.

Attendance: 17,930 (including 1,772 Sunderland fans)

Harry and Hoddle changed the shape on Saturday and for the first time we looked organised both with and without the ball. All players were 7/8 out of 10 for me and Joey Barton was the star performer, a real leader in the middle of the park.


Jordon Mutch was my MOTM, but then every player put in a shift which is all we ask for. A clean sheet was also very welcome. It was my 7th game this season and the first I have seen us win!

Lovely touch by the club to put Ale Faurlin’s picture up on the screen on 18 minutes which got a huge minutes applause from all parts of the ground.



Faurlin honoured

Delighted with the resultwe got our just rewards. It’s such a fine line at this level. We looked solid, very organised and I think that Harry has bought well.

Rob Green was brilliant when called upon and I thought Jordon Mutch was outstanding. Next up ManUwe should have no fear, onwards and upwards.

Thanks to Mr Russell who sorted my oyster card when confusion reigned.

Jimmy Murray


Barton tracks Connow Wickham

Charlie Austin’s first Premier League goal ensured Queen’s Park Rangers overcame the disruption caused by Loic Remy’s late withdrawal from the squad in anticipation of his imminent move to Chelsea, securing a first win of the season for Harry Redknapp’s side.

Redknapp, the Rangers manager, revealed that he omitted Remy from his plans after receiving a lunchtime phone call informing him the France forward was poised to move after Chelsea agreed to meet the player’s ¬£8.5 million get-out clause.

Speaking before the game, the manager said: “He was in the team. I just got a phone call about 12 o’clock to say it looks like he is going to be moving. The deal looks like it has been done, so I had to make a change.”

“He didn’t refuse to play, but it’s difficult to go out there to play and get your head around it. As far as I know (it is Chelsea)”.

Remy’s absence leaves a hole that Redknapp will desperately want to fill before Monday’s transfer deadline, but Austin’s well-taken goal in first-half added time – the forward’s ninth in his last nine appearances at Loftus Road – brought respite after a testing start to the campaign

For Sunderland, though, this defeat ensured they are still looking for a first league win of the season and deflated the optimism that had been generated by impressive performances against West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United.

Stung by his side’s performances at Tottenham last weekend and Burton midweek, Redknapp abandoned his plans to employ a 3-5-2 formation after just three games. The switch to a more familiar back-four didn’t provide an immediate answer to Rangers’ defensive problems with Sunderland creating a number of early openings, particularly when Adam Johnson’s excellent pass released Steven Fletcher whose first time shot drew a fine save from Rob Green.

The lack of cohesion at the back was reflected in other areas of the field but as the half progressed, Redknapp’s side acquired a more robust appearance and while the frantic nature of their play hinted at the tension that has already built up at the club, they were able to provide the necessary injection of quality to ensure they reached the interval ahead.

The link between Austin and Leroy Fer, operating just behind his forward partner, had already, almost, produced an opening goal when Fer picked out Austin inside the Sunderland area before visiting keeper Vito Mannone saved at the striker’s feet.

And the pair combined to greater effect in first-half added time when Fer – who had struck the bar in the 31st minute with a long range effort – headed Joey Barton’s corner down into the path of Austin who drilled a half-volley into the roof of the net before the visitors’ defence had time to react.

Sunderland had reacted well to falling behind to Manchester United last weekend but on this occasion the response was unconvincing. Santiago Vergini forced Green into a full-length save in the 54th minute, but Gus Poyet’s side failed to establish a sustained period of pressure on the home goal save for a late rally when Green again saved excellently, this time from Emanuele Giaccherini.

Ian Winrow – The Telegraph

Relieved is an understatement! The defence looked a bit shaky in the early stages and Rob Green was forced into making an outstanding save. The midfield looked more balanced as it began to click and we had also reverted to 4-3-3 formation from the dreaded 3-5-2!

We all went up after around 30 minutes when Leroy Fer’s thunderbolt cannoned off the crossbar. Two awful challenges in the first-half and referee Robert Madley didn’t even produce a card to the culprit!


Fer’s strike heads for the bar

As a Rangers goal looked more and more likely, it was vital that it came before the interruption of the half-time whistle. And when the opportunity came, Charlie Austin was well positioned to fire the ball home.

Rob Green made another excellent save towards the end.

As you would expect, there was a great response from all around the ground in support of Ale Faurlin.

Steve Russell

Photos provided by Sandra Sayce and are used with permission