Queens Park Rangers 1:0 Leicester City
City matched the league’s best side for 87 minutes on Saturday, before QPR sub Ishmael Miller struck a late winner to put QPR another stride towards the Premier League…
Sven Goran Eriksson made two changes to his side for this eagerly awaited clash with the league leaders, Mee replacing the injured Van Aanholt at left back and Oakley coming into the midfield in place of Gallagher.
Roared on by 3,200 visiting fans City enjoyed a bright start, Vassell setting up Yakubu in the box before the Nigerian was shoved over by Hall, who escaped punishment from the ref.
At the other end, Mee, Bamba and Burma looked solid dealing with the considerable threat of Taarabt.
In a tight encounter the first good save came from Ricardo on 27 minutes when he blocked a fierce shot from Helgusson with his right foot.
Rangers went close again when a rare piece of slack marking allowed Hall an overhead kick, which sailed over the bar.
At the other end Yakubu broke down the left and attempted a lob over Kenny which the R’s keeper tipped over at full stretch. From the resulting corner the ball fell for Yakubu whose half volley flew a couple of inches over the bar.
Yakubu then chested a ball into King’s path but the youngster couldn’t summon his usual accuracy.
The 0-0 scoreline at half time reflected what had been an even contest between two of the league’s best sides.
Rangers had the best of the early stages of the first half with Ricardo doing well to parry a well struck Buzsaky shot at his near post, Helgusson heading over from a Taarabt free-kick; and Routledge firing into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Sven brought Waghorn on for Vassell on the hour and although he battled well to create two good chances for himself, he couldn’t get either on target.
The first saw him in a chase on goal with Connolly, who he robbed of possession before lifting his shot just over.
King then hit the bar with a header from a Yakubu lob and Abe fired over from 25 yards.
As City’s fine spell contiinued Waghorn’s deft touch presented him with a chance from 8 yards before two defenders dived in to smother the opportunity.
Miller than came on for Taarabt with four minutes left and gave City an instant lesson in taking your chances…
Latching on to a through ball from Routledge, Miller’s fresh legs kept him ahead of Bamba and the West Brom loanee slotted the ball past the advancing Ricardo to win the game for the home side.
It was hard to accept that City had earned nothing from a very good display, and suddenly the task of reaching the play-off places looked that much harder.
Neil Warnock described it as: “A fabulous game between two cracking sides..” and for once it was hard to argue with him.
Sven looked a little down, saying: “It’s hard to lose a football match like that, but we’ll come back, still eleven to go.”
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Orr, Hall (Connolly 31), Shittu, Routledge, Derry, Buzsaky (Ephraim 89), Taarabt (Miller 86), Faurlin, Helguson. Subs Not Used: Smith, Cerny, Vaagen Moen, Hulse.
Leicester: Ricardo, Bamba , Naughton, Mee, Bruma, King (Gallagher 79), Oakley, Abe, Wellens, Yakubu (Dyer 86), Vassell (Waghorn 65). Subs Not Used: Vitor, Weale, Berner, Moreno.
Referee: R East (Wiltshire). Attendance:18,068.