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Monday, November 06, 2006

QPR 4 Crystal Palace 2: Additional Match Reports

Guardian - David Ornstein at Loftus Road Monday November 6, 2006
Gregory left doubly grateful for Chelsea's gift

Given the growing contempt directed towards Jose Mourinho for his uncharitable outbursts, not to mention the ruthlessness his sides regularly display in dispatching the opposition, it is hardly suprising that one characteristic that Chelsea have yet to be associated with is generosity.
But their munificence in agreeing to extend the loan deal of Jimmy Smith at QPR has been warmly received at Loftus Road and, judging by this performance, John Gregory's side could be forgiven for thinking Christmas has come early. "I'm here for another two months which is good for me because, if I'm playing week in, week out, I can only get better," said the midfielder, whose loan extension will keep him at QPR until Boxing Day. "Who knows where my future lies?"
On this evidence there is only one place and that is Stamford Bridge. The first of his two goals was of the highest calibre. Controlling Kevin Gallen's pass with his chest he unleashed a venomous dipping volley from the edge of the area to leave Scott Flinders grasping in vain in the Crystal Palace goal. "Scoring from distance is something I've been practising," he said.
"Frank Lampard is an idol - the manager has shown me DVDs of him and I keep looking at his game, the sort of positions he gets in and the areas he shoots from. I like to learn from the best - like Lampard and [Michael] Ballack. They're always telling me what I can do to improve, which is really nice of them."
The 19-year-old was instrumental in the dismantling of a Palace side who have forgotten how to capitalise on match-winning positions. They opened the scoring, for the ninth time this season, when Tom Soares ghosted past Zesh Rehman to slot in Jobi McAnuff's precise centre but were soon pegged back by Smith's spectacular leveller.
When QPR failed to clear Mark Kennedy's corner, Clinton Morrison was on hand to restore the lead but after half- time Lee Cook demolished Palace in a 10-minute blitz. Their failure to clear the 24-year-old's corner allowed Steve Lomas to drive home the equaliser, before a jinking run left Danny Butterfield befuddled and with no choice but to haul him down in the penalty area. Gallen converted and Smith turned in Cook's corner to wrap up an enthralling win - QPR's first in more than a month.
Cook is shining on the left wing and is being coveted by some of the Premiership's biggest clubs - John Gregory will be fortunate to retain his services beyond the January transfer window.
Regardless of the Palace chairman Simon Jordan's apparent support for his manager, the odds on Peter Taylor becoming the 16th Championship manager to leave his post since last season are reducing. Jordan has a turnover rate of one a year since his arrival at Selhurst Park, with nine different people in all taking charge of the first team since 2000. However Kennedy came out in support of Taylor. "Everybody at the club is behind the manager and, if he's under pressure, then we're under pressure," the captain said. "Ultimately the manager can only do so much coaching, he can only do so much tactics, he can only do so much man-management but once we step over that white line it's down to us, we have got to take responsibility.
"There is no doubt the chairman has made the right decision in appointing him. I signed for Crystal Palace because I wanted to play for Peter Taylor and there are a lot of other boys who are the same. We've got a lot of talented young players who I'm sure will have the opportunity in the future to play for big Premiership clubs but they all want to stay and play for Peter Taylor."
Man of the match Lee Cook (QPR)

THE TIMES - Palace woe as QPR hit stride By Ron Lewis
Queens Park Rangers 4 Crystal Palace 2

“EMBARRASSED FOR MY chairman,” was how Peter Taylor described the feeling of watching Crystal Palace extend a run that has brought them only two points from 21. Simon Jordan looked embarrassed enough for himself as he left the directors’ box at Loftus Road five minutes before the end of Saturday’s defeat to the jeers of a few home fans. While his deep tan may have stopped him from blushing red, his face rather resembled a newly polished pair of shoes.
Had he stuck around to the end, he would have been able to listen to the damning verdict of his club’s supporters on a display that had seen Palace lose after leading at half-time. Many would like Jordan to start searching for a replacement for Taylor, who is only three months into his first season as the club’s manager.
“We can’t complain about the effort, but it’s up to us to defend better,” Taylor said. “It’s not working out as I thought it would. With the group of players we have got, I’m surprised at the position we are at. We’ve got to make a result from somewhere. You’re always under pressure, you put pressure on yourself. Simon Jordan has been outstanding, I’d like to get a better team for him.”
QPR leapfrogged Palace with this win and while they are hardly making huge bounds up the table, they were bottom when John Gregory took charge in September and are climbing the ladder in entertaining style — there have been 28 goals in their past six matches.
Despite twice trailing (they have conceded the opening goal in all but Gregory’s first match in charge), QPR always looked likely to win. In Lee Cook, they had the game’s most creative player, while Steve Lomas, Kevin Gallen, Gareth Ainsworth and Dexter Blackstock never stopped running. If they could defend, they would be a good side.
The headline-maker on the afternoon was Jimmy Smith, a 19-year-old on loan from Chelsea. He scored QPR’s first and last goals, his third and fourth for the club and his performances have been getting rave reviews. “I’ve been back to the (Chelsea) training ground several times and the manager (José Mourinho) has told me that people have been watching me and that I’ve been doing well,” the midfield player said. “I’ve got to keep performing well here and then who knows what the future holds?”
After Tom Soares had turned in Jobi McAnuff’s cross for Palace’s opener on 30 minutes, his third goal in four matches, Smith hit back with a dipping volley from 25 yards after being teed up by Gallen. But QPR’s ropey defence allowed Leon Cort a free header from a corner for Clinton Morrison to bundle the visiting team back in front.
In the second half, all the goals went to QPR as Palace folded. Lomas fired QPR level before Cook’s trickery saw him turn Danny Butterfield, who then pulled him down for a penalty, which Gallen converted. Smith tapped in the fourth after Scott Flinders, the Palace goalkeeper, had failed to get anywhere near Cook’s inswinging corner.
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): S Royce — M Mancienne, D Stewart, Z Rehman, M Bignot — G Ainsworth, S Lomas, J Smith (sub: N Ward, 90min), L Cook — K Gallen (sub: M Nygaard, 81). Substitutes not used: P Jones, M Milanese, M Rose. Booked: Lomas. FORM WDDLLD NEXT Luton Town (a)
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): S Flinders — D Butterfield (sub: D Freedman, 70), L Cort, D Ward, D Granville — T Soares, M Lawrence, M Kennedy, J McAnuff (sub: M Hughes, 82) — C Morrison, S Kuqi. Substitutes not used: G Kiraly, C Fletcher, S Green. Booked: Butterfield. FORM LLLDLL NEXT Stoke City (h)

Coca Cola CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 4 Crystal Palace 2 By Michael Martin

THERE were two questions on the lips of the Rangers fans as they streamed out of Loftus Road.
One: How lucky are we to have two of the most thrilling young players in the Championship - Lee Cook and Jimmy Smith?
Two: How long can we hold on to them?
Teenage prodigy Smith has had his loan deal from Chelsea extended until the end of December, but that is five months too short for most Rangers fans - one of whom barged in on his post-match press conference to beg: "Stay for at least a season, Jimmy!"
Cook, 24, has been attracting admiring glances from Premiership sides like Aston Villa, and more performances like Saturday's will be having them forming a long queue along South Africa Road.
He tortured Palace rightback Danny Butterfield all afternoon. His low point came in the 63rd minute when Cook dribbled past him, laid the ball off, got it back, and took a look around. Seeing that Butterfield was coming back for more - along with Tom Soares - Cook stopped, put his foot on the ball and waited for them to arrive.
When they did, he simply reversed between them and headed for goal.
Butterfield, clearly at the end of his tether, hauled him down and Kevin Gallen dispatched the penalty to make it 3-2 to the Hoops.
The game's other moment of genius was supplied by Smith.
With Palace leading thanks to Soares' 31stminute opener, Gallen flicked the ball to Smith.
His technique was sublime as he took it down on his chest and sent a looping volley into the top corner.
Smith's second goal, bundling in a Cook corner, put the game beyond Palace, who had looked to be cruising when they went 2-1 up just before half-time after Clinton Morrison had ushered a goal-bound Leon Cort header over the line.
But a rare strike from Steve Lomas levelled matters in the 57th minute, before John Gregory's side pulled away in the final quarter.
The Eagles have now failed to win in seven games and boss Peter Taylor is under real pressure.


The Sun - The Sun Match Report: "SUN STAR MAN - LEE COOK (QPR). The wing wizard turned the Eagles defence inside out.


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