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Sunday, September 30, 2007

WBA Defeat QPR

UPDATE 6:00 PMOn live TV, QPR let in five against WBA and are now alone on the bottom. At half-time, the score was 3-1 (Ainsworth scoring for QPR). Final Score WBA 5 QPR 1. QPR remain the team in the four divisions yet to have won a game this season.
Sheff Wed 6 points 8 games
QPR 3 points from 7 games Minute-by-Minute
League Table

Rangers' boss John Gregory revealed he has had talks with incoming new owner Flavio Briatore and hopes he will be given time to turn things around once the takeover is completed.
He added: "We have all seen in the past people have got votes of confidence and they have gone the following week.
"So you just have to believe everything that they tell you.
"I have got a lot of trust in Flavio. We have talked about the future and I have to believe that he is a man of his word.
"I have had long conversations with Flavio about wanting to improve the squad.
"We have talked about bringing in players on-loan and, come January, if we are in a good position I am sure that Flavio will spend. He wants to win.'' Sporting Life

# QPR manager John Gregory on the impending takeover:
"We have all seen people get votes of confidence and they have gone the following week.
"So you just have to believe everything that they tell you and I have got a lot of trust in Flavio (Briatore).
"We've discussed the future and if we are in a good position in January I'm sure Flavio will spend. He wants to win." BBC

John Gregory refused to blame his players after the 5-1 defeat against high-flying West Bromwich Albion.
Speaking moments after the final whistle at The Hawthorns, Gregory told www.qpr.co.uk: "I'll protect my boys until the end of the earth.
"I don't worry about my own position.
"We'll get back on the training ground tomorrow morning and regroup for Wednesday."
Gregory added: "I suppose the only positive to take is the fact we can put the wrongs of this display to right in three days time.
"Sheffield Wednesday lost a number of games on the bounce and have won their last two and it can have a huge impact, both on the players and the league table.
"Three points against Colchester will make a huge difference."
Gregory praised the performance of West Brom, adding: "It was an extremely difficult afternoon.
"The Baggies are an exceptional side and today, they kept the ball extremely well throughout the 90 minutes.
"The Albion front two were very clever and caused us all sorts of problems." QPR

BBC Match Statistic: POSSESSION - West Brom 58% QPR 42%

Sporting Life Statistics
Shots On Target
14 7
Shots Off Target
6 2
Fouls (Conceded)
6 13
12 3
Yellow Cards
0 2

WBA Official Site Match Report

KEVIN Phillips crowned his 50th Baggies appearance with a brilliant two-goal blast as Tony Mowbray's men stormed into second spot with a truly five-star display.

Top scorer Phillips' fifth and sixth of the season and strike partner Ishmael Miller's third in two games earned Albion a richly-deserved 3-1 half-time lead.

And stunning second-half volleys from Robert Koren and skipper Jonathan Greening in the 57th and 65th minutes respectively wrapped up a fifth successive Championship win at The Hawthorns.

Gareth Ainsworth's 24th-minute reply - the first league goal conceded by Albion on Black Country soil this term - was the only blot on their copybook.

A sell-out home crowd lapped up the goal-fest as the visitors' first away defeat of the season left them rooted to the foot of the table.

The result made Tuesday's disappointing Carling Cup defeat seem like a distant memory as the five-goal blast made Albion the division's highest scorers..

Although yesterday's results saw the Baggies slip a place to fourth, Mowbray's men kicked off this televised encounter knowing a victory would move them within a point of leaders Watford.

The Baggies boss made two changes from the last league outing at Scunthorpe eight days ago, with Kevin Phillips and James Morrison replacing Chris Brunt and Zoltan Gera, who both dropped to the bench.

Albion looked full of beans from the off and caused Rangers no end of problems during the opening ten minutes.

Miller used all his brute strength to shrug off Danny Cullip and charge into the box.

He centred towards the unmarked Phillips, but Zesh Rehman slid in in the nick of time of hack the ball clear, denying the ex-England hitman a simple tap-in.

The strike partners swapped roles 60 seconds later, with Phillips teeing up Miller 15 yards out.

The 20-year-old pulled the trigger first time but his scuffed effort clipped off Damion Stewart and crept just wide of the far post.

Albion went even closer from the ensuing corner, with Phillips peeling away from his marker to smash Greening's perfect centre off Martin Rowlands' knee on the goalline, onto the near post and out to safety.

The hosts continued to keep the West Londoners pegged back and their pressure paid off with two goals in a minute.

Filipe Teixeira fed Miller in the 17th minute and the 'Moston Menace' raced past Rehman before squaring to Phillips, who had ghosted between two QPR defenders to tap home from three yards.

It was Phillips' 27th Baggies goal, making him the highest scorer currently on the club's books - one ahead of long-serving defender Neil Clement.

And Phillips returned the favour moments later.

Miller beat the offside trap to race onto the ex-Sunderland man's throughball before firing under Lee Camp's body and into the net.

The goal was much celebrated by England defender Micah Richards - Miller's Eastlands team-mate - who was sat in the Halfords Lane Stand.

The Baggies were in complete control - but a lapse in concentration handed John Gregory's side a 24th minute lifeline.

Dexter Blackstock leapt at the far post to head Rowlands' free-kick across the face of goal and Ainsworth held off Teixeira to poke home.

That was Rangers' first effort on goal and they soon recorded another, with Ben Sahar jinking inside Carl Hoefkens before dragging a right-footed shot well wide of the far post.

But normal service soon resumed.

Morrison sprinted onto Teixeira's lay-off, beat left-back Chris Barker before seeing an acute 15-yard drive brilliantly turned wide by Camp at his near post.

Greening whipped the corner in and the unmarked Leon Barnett powered a header towards the far post, where Stefan Moore kept it out with his thigh.

The ball bounced onto the lurking Phillips' knee and back towards Moore, who desperately hacked clear.

But it was a momentary reprieve as a moment of Phillips magic restored Albion's two-goal cushion in he 39th minute.

After Camp had done well to push away Miller's stinging 15-yard drive, Greening collected the loose ball and cleverly fed the 34-year-old, who curled a delicious effort over Camp and into the far corner of the net.

QPR threatened briefly before half-time when skipper Adam Bolder whipped in a dangerous right-wing cross.

The ball appeared to be arcing towards Blackstock before Barnett intervened with a terrific clearance which snuffed out the danger.

Albion were back on the attack after the interval - but almost shot themselves in the foot in the 49th minute.

Barnett had to take evasive action after Paul Robinson under-hit his backpass.

But the ex-Luton defender's attempted clearance cannoned off Sahar's knee and fortuitously flew straight at Dean Kiely.

Back came Albion and clever play by Miller fed Teixeira on the left.

The £680,000 bargain buy found Morrison eight yards out but the ex-Middlesbrough man wastefully side-footed over the bar.

Baggies chances were now coming thick and fast and, after Rangers had failed to properly clear Robinson's centre, Morrison let fly with an 18-yard volley which Camp gathered at the second attempt.

It was finally 4-1 in the 57th minute.

Phillips raced onto Koren's sublime throughball, held off Cullip and was denied a hat-trick by Camp's smart near-post save.

However, Cullip could only head the loose ball to the edge of the box and Koren slammed it in the top corner with a ferocious left-foot volley.

Albion were not satisfied and continued to pile forward at will.

Phillips raced onto Miller's square ball and saw his low 15-yard drive deflect off Stewart and squirm wide of the far post.

From sub Chris Brunt's ensuing corner, Robinson powered a header towards the far top corner and only Camp's brilliant one-handed save denied the left-back a first goal of the campaign.

Again, it was to prove brief respite as the Baggies netted from Brunt's following 65th-minute flag-kick.

Blackstock cleared his lines with a near post header but the ball looped invitingly to Greening, who lashed an unstoppable 25-yard volley inside the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Albrechtsen, Robinson; Morrison, Koren, Greening (Gera 68), Teixeira (Brunt 63); Miller (Beattie 68), Phillips. Subs not used: Steele (gk), Pele.

QPR (4-4-2): Camp; Rehman (Curtis HT), Cullip, Stewart, Barker (Bignot 60); Ainsworth, Bolder, Sahar (Ephraim 60), Rowlands; Moore, Blackstock. Subs not used: Cole (gk), Timoska.

GOALS: ALBION - Phillips (17 & 39), Miller (18), Koren (57), Greening (65). QPR - Ainsworth (24).

BOOKINGS: QPR - Curtis (foul 51), Rowlands (foul 80).

REFEREE: A D'Urso (Essex).


Kevin Phillips bagged a brace, as free-scoring West Bromwich Albion produced a five-star show to extinguish the R's unbeaten away run.

Rangers were second best in every department at The Hawthorns, on a day when the Baggies ran riot in front of the live Sky Sports cameras.

The R's trailed 3-1 at the end of an enthralling first period.

Albion opened the scoring in the 18th minute courtesy of Phillips, before he turned provider for Ishmael Miller, who sprinted beyond a static Rangers rearguard to make it two 60 seconds later.

The R's briefly rallied and when Gareth Ainsworth made it 2-1 when he smashed the ball home from close range in the 24th minute, the visitors sensed a revival.

But Albion restored their two-goal buffer just before the break, as Phillips notched a sublime goal, curling the ball past Lee Camp from the edge of the penalty box.

The rampant hosts made certain of the victory early in the second half, when Robert Koren smashed an unstoppable strike past Camp, before Jonathan Greening sent a fearsome 25-yard volley into the far corner to make it five.

With Danny Nardiello (hamstring) and Sampsa Timoska (illness) both ruled out, John Gregory handed starts to Ben Sahar and Zesh Rehman at The Hawthorns.

Ainsworth and Adam Bolder both overcame ankle and knee injuries respectively to play, while Stefan Moore replaced the suspended Mikele Leigertwood.

Veteran striker Phillips led the Baggies front-line, while at the other end of the pitch, Dean Kiely - who saved a Paul Furlong spot-kick the last time the two sides met - lined up in goal.

Albion made much of the early running, with Miller at the heart of their positive start.

In the eighth minute, the Manchester City loanee sent an enticing cross into the near post, which Damion Stewart did well to clear, under pressure from Phillips.

Miller was at it again a minute later, only to see his scuffed effort deflected wide by the outstretched boot of the Jamaican international defender.

It was all West Brom and when Phillips met Jonathan Greening's corner kick in the ninth minute, Rowlands was in the right place at the right time to clear his half-volley off the line, albeit by the aid of the post.

Miller was proving a constant threat and when he skipped past Rehman with ease in the 17th minute, Phillips was left with the easiest of tap-ins from two yards, for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Seconds later Miller made it two, when he arrived onto Phillips' precise through ball before baring down on goal and slotting the ball underneath the exposed Camp from 15-yards.

Undeterred, the R's got themselves back into the game in the 24th minute.

Rowlands flighted in an inviting free-kick to the back post and Dexter Blackstock headed across goal for Ainsworth to tap home from little more than a yard, for his first goal of the campaign.

It was also the first league goal Albion had conceded at The Hawthorns this season, much to the disgust of Mowbray, who bemoaned his side's defending from the dug-out.

Buoyed by their goal, Rangers grew in confidence as the half progressed and when Sahar cut in from the left flank on the half hour, his fearsome drive flew a yard or so wide of Kiely's left hand post.

The Baggies were equally as impressive on the counter-attack though and when James Morrison left Chris Barker trailing in his wake down the right flank, he cut and inside and was only denied by a first class save from Camp.

The ensuing corner almost resulted in goal number four, but Leon Barnett saw his towering header cleared off the line by Moore, and then Phillips was denied by the same player, albeit at the second attempt.

Camp had to be at his agile best to thwart Miller in the 40th minute, but he was powerless to prevent Phillips making it 3-1 just 30 seconds later.

Greening slipped a neat pass into the path of the Baggies top-scorer on the edge of the penalty box and he did the rest, curling a textbook right footed effort beyond the R's number one and into the top corner of the net.

John Curtis replaced Rehman at the resumption, with the summer signing slotting in at right back.

Rangers were very nearly gifted a second goal in the 49th minute, when Paul Robinson's misplaced pass put Barnett under pressure and his clearance from inside the box cannoned back of Sahar and into the grasp of the grateful Kiely.

Curtis was booked for two fouls in as many minutes on danger-man Filipe Teixeira, before Morrison sent a fizzing volley on target, which Camp gathered at the second time of asking.

Albion put the result beyond all doubt in the 57th minute.

Camp produced heroics to save Phillips' initial effort, but when Danny Cullip's clearance landed at the feet of Koren, his fearsome strike from 18-yards whistled past the startled R's custodian.

Moments after Camp tipped Robinson's goal-bound header over the bear, the hosts made it five - courtesy of another wonder-goal.

Blackstock's clearance from yet another Albion corner appeared to be adequate enough, but when Greening arrived bang on cue to meet the ball on the volley, Camp stood motionless as it rocketed into the bottom corner.

Rowlands did his utmost to reduce the arrears when he had two efforts saved in as many minutes by the otherwise untested Kiely, but it was Albion who finished in the ascendancy, with second half substitute Craig Beattie having a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside in the dying moments. QPR

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