Team: Green, Onuoha, Caulker, Dunne, Suk-Young (Hill), Vargas (Hoilett), Barton, Henry, Fer, Austin, Zamora (Kranjcar)
Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Ferdinand, Phillips, Mutch.
Attendance: 17,560 (including 1,475 West Brom fans)
Played off the park for 30 minutes, we got a penalty out of nothing to give us a glimmer of hope at half-time.
Then we came out, press the ball, turn their back-four and bingo. Charlie produces the goods and it’s shades of ’67 all over again!
But it’s still a struggle for me to see how Bobby gets a start and what Leroy Fer gives from wide positions? We need pace from the start and without Dunne, Barton and Green, West Brom would have been out of sight by half-time.
Charlie needs support in the goal stakes and getting bodies in the box in open play would be a start because set-plays are all we seem to rely on at present.
The big positive is the togetherness of the players which is light years ahead of two seasons ago. As they used to say on ‘Play School’: “Today we’re looking through the round window.”
Let’s hope we can see pace, goals, and a centre-back through the double-glazing.
Some game, we certainly don’t do easy? Why oh why do we have to do it the QPR way? There was some appalling defending, but equally some clinical finishing.
I thought that West Brom, to their credit, gave it a right go and were never going to settle for a draw. All a bit frantic, but somehow we managed to come out on top in spectacular style.
I watched the game from a corporate box, not sure what some of the guests thought when the third goal went in!!!
It’s QPR as we know it, happy days.
Charlie Austin needed only one chance – one fortunate break to go his way – for him to start turning the game on its head. By the time he was done, he had devastated West Bromwich Albion, scoring a hat-trick and winning the game for Queen’s Park Rangers all by himself.
It all started with a tangle in the penalty area after 24 minutes. Rangers were 2-0 down in a must-win game and the only relevant question seemed to be how many West Brom would score.
But James Morrison wrapped his arms around Leroy Fer as a corner came in and Craig Pawson did what many referees would not and awarded a penalty. Alan Irvine, the West Brom manager, was right to say that “they do not get given every week”, but that does not make Pawson wrong.
Austin scored it of course, bringing Rangers back into a game in which they had previously played no part whatsoever. His team were stable and, three minutes into the second-half, he scored again, dragging Rangers level.
Joey Barton curled in a corner, Richard Dunne’s header was tipped onto the bar by Ben Foster, Bobby Zamora hooked the ball back into the middle and Austin did the rest.
Most of the second-half was tight and tense, with both sides nervous about whether to stick with one point or push for three. But Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, threw on Junior Hoilett, who won a corner with four minutes left.
Barton took it and Austin, after 86 minutes of running, found enough energy in his legs to spring above Sebastien Pocognoli and head the ball into the net. That made it 11 Premier League goals this season for Austin, who was roared off at the end by the Loftus Road faithful.
Six years ago Austin was scoring hat-tricks for Poole Town in the Wessex Premier Division after working on a building site. Now, he is the most important man in the attempt to keep QPR in the top flight.
Redknapp said: “Charlie has scored goals at every level, from the Southern League through the lower divisions and now in the Premier League. He deserves it, he’s a great lad. Everyone talks about his three goals but his tackle, late in the game, was like a full-back. That summed his work-rate up.”
Redknapp was relieved with a win that, even at this stage in the season, felt imperative. Having not taken a single point on their travels so far, QPR need home wins and this was their fifth of the season. It took them to 15th, behind West Brom only on goal difference.
Before the game-changing penalty, West Brom had actually been playing very well. Irvine kept the same side who beat Aston Villa last weekend and, with their 4-5-1 system, they dominated QPR in midfield. Silvestre Varela and Stephane Sessegnon were too sharp and imaginative for Rangers’ lumbering back-line, and it did not take long for them to take the lead.
Sessegnon flicked on Pocognoli’s corner at the near post and Joleon Lescott headed past Ron Green. It was simple, effective and almost unopposed. West Brom’s second, 10 minutes later, was much the same.
Eduardo Vargas rolled a loose pass straight to Varela, who ran forward with the ball. The defence backed off the Portuguese winger and a quick exchange of passes with Sessegnon took Dunne out of the game. Varela finished past Green and it felt like this was going to be a footballing lesson that would continue all afternoon.
Irvine said afterwards: “We didn’t surrender the lead, we lost it. It was bitterly disappointing. For the majority of the game we were the better team. But it is harder to lift the players up if you play badly. And we didn’t play badly.”
Jack Pitt-Brooke – The Independent
Apparently Rob Green has made more saves in the Premier than any other goalkeeper and he was forced into making another good one before their first goal. We looked very edgy and at two-nil some around me feared the worst!
We had looked very laboured going forward and the penalty couldn’t have come at a better time (well taken, but no yellow shown to James Morrison?). Yun Suk-Young was struggling and when he was eventually forced off we effectively had four centre-backs in defence.
The equaliser came minutes after the interval when Richard Dunne’s header hit the crossbar following Joey Barton’s corner and as the ball came back in there was Charlie to put it away from close range.
Seconds later we were denied what looked like a blatant penalty when Joey Barton was tripped in the box but amazingly Craig Pawson wasn’t interested.
Ben Foster made a good save from Austin at the near post and his third, and our winner, came four minutes from the end of normal time when he rose majestically to head in Joey Barton’s corner.
The noise generated reached high decibel levels but there was a nervous moment when the visitors hit the woodwork. Rangers hung on and against the odds three amazing points were secured to lift us out of the relegation zone. At the whistle my mind went back briefly to Wembley, 1967.
Not only was this Charlie Austin’s first hat-trick for the R’s, but it was the first by a Rangers player for ten years. Epic