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Match Report: Stoke City 2 QPR 3 (QPR Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 20th November 2011
Heidar the hero as the R's rule at the Britannia 

QPR produced a spirited, all-action display to collect 3 points from the Britannia stadium in an entertaining encounter.

Having run Manchester City close in their previous game, QPR went in to the game full of confidence. Stoke, on the other hand, were determined to erase the memory of their last match- a 5-0 defeat away at struggling Bolton.

An injury to Jay Bothroyd meant a re-jig in the QPR starting XI. Clint Hill came in at left back, Traore moved to left midfield and Shaun Wright-Phillips was moved up top to play off Heidar Helguson. Other injuries in the camp meant only 5 subs were named on the QPR bench.

QPR started the game very slowly and Stoke had an early penalty appeal turned down when Pennant went down under the challenge of Joey Barton on the edge of the area.  Having seen replays, there looked to be minimal contact and Pennant seemed to make the most of it.

It wasn't long before Stoke took a deserved a lead. Barton was caught in possession in the centre circle and Crouch fed Walters who finished well into the bottom corner. Stoke continued to press and seemed intent on making up for their recent 5-0 defeat at Bolton. Crouch went close to doubling the lead when a mix-up in the QPR defence resulted in his weak shot being cleared off the line.

It took QPR 20 minutes to wake up and they drew level when a superb cross from make-shift left winger, Armand Traore, was powerfully headed past Sorensen in the Stoke goal by the outstanding Heidar Helguson. It really was a well-worked goal and from that moment, QPR took control of the first half. The lead was doubled on 44 minutes when another beautifully crafted chance was finished smartly by Luke Young. It was nothing more than QPR deserved- it seemed only one team turned up at the Britannia intent on playing football.

The 2nd half continued in the same way and Helguson soon took his tally to 5 goals in 5 games after sneaking in at the back post to convert an excellent cross from Barton. He could have been celebrating his hat-trick a few minutes later if it wasn't for the linesman's flag.

To their credit, Stoke fought back and Shawcross' close-range header made it 2-3 and set up a tense finale. At every opportunity Stoke launched the ball in to the box but our defenders stood tall, with Helguson particularly impressive at defending set pieces. All the hard work was almost undone in the 85th minute when a clumsy challenge from Barton sent Huth tumbling. The referee ignored the calls for the penalty and QPR held on for all 3 points. Having seen the replays, the referee got the penalty decision wrong and QPR can count themselves a little fortunate.

Overall, this was an impressive victory for the Superhoops. Stoke is never an easy place to go but we dealt with their threat extremely well.

Helguson was magnificent- he led the line brilliantly and his defensive work was also fantastic. At set pieces, he did not have any marking responsibility and was told to attack the ball- I lost count of the number of headers he won. The whole QPR team stood up to the physical threat Stoke posed and some of the football played in the first half was top class.

As for Stoke, they made the least number of passes of any side in the Premier League this season and if they're to make any more progress they surely have to sacrifice Rory Delap- he can throw the ball far but 6 successful passes from a central midfielder in a Premier League game surely isn't good enough.

A tough trip to Carrow Road next week for the R's but with the confidence flowing through the team right now there's no reason why we can't pick up all 3 points.
Jawad Laouira

Total articles: 15

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