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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tabloid: Forest's £2+ Million Bid for Blackstock....QPR's Bristol City Win: Additional Reports

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- Nottingham Forest have lodged a £2.2 million bid for QPR striker Dexter Blackstock.
- Billy Davies has been given permission by the club's board to sign the striker who cannot agree terms over a new contract with the Hoops.
- Davies would be looking to take the forward on loan until the end of the season initially and then make the move concrete during the close season.
- Boss Davies has added loan signings Isaiah Osbourne and Gary McSheffrey to his ranks and has also approached Everton's Iain Turner.
-However, his attempt to snatch Marlon Harewood from Aston Villa on loan has fallen through and he still wants to add more experience to his squad."
Sunday People :

- See Also: - QPR and Bristol City Managerial Comments
- QPR and Bristol City Official Site Match Reports

- Photos from Game
- Vital Football QPR Match Report

SUNDAY MIRROR/Colin Malam - Robins' wings are clipped by loan star Taa
- Queens Park Rangers developed the winning habit that Bristol City were looking to claim themselves.
- Victorious in midweek for the first time in 10 games, QPR fully deserved to get the better of a City side aiming for the playoffs again.
- Rangers won with a late goal by Adel Taarabt, who is on loan from Tottenham and starred on the left of midfield.
- He replied to a goal against the run of play by Michael McIndoe that cancelled out Jordi Lopez's opener for QPR.
- Rangers manager Paulo Sousa said: "We showed a lot of spirit. We acted the right way when Bristol City equalised.
- "Adel Taarabt is a different kind of player, he helps us a lot with his quality.
- But today is not like 20 years ago - one player doesn't win the game alone." City manager Gary Johnson admitted to being very disappointed by his team's performance.
- "We didn't do ourselves justice," he said. "That wasn't my game we were playing out there.
- "We lumped it a little bit and today was a poor day for us. I didn't recognise anything we were doing and we didn't deserve anything anyway.
- "They won, they move on and we move out of here frustrated."
- Johnson had admitted in advance his team needed to win as many as possible of the seven fixtures left if they were to force their way into the top six. So, true to his word, City attacked Rangers with a bold 4-3-3 formation.
- They didn't make a lot of headway, though, against opponents who lined up 4-5-1.
- Most of the first-half chances were created by the home side, Adriano Basso making a flying save to keep out Samuel Di Carmine's fierce shot from Taarabt's clever reverse pass.
- It was only a matter of time before Rangers scored. They did so in the 65th minute from a freekick 25 yards out awarded when Jamie McCombe was very lucky not to be booked for fouling Di Carmine and abusing him verbally.
- Lopez took revenge by driving the dead ball over City's wall and into the top corner before wheeling away in triumph.
- But a lapse of concentration 12 minutes later let City back into the game.
- Ivan Sproule was allowed space on the right to deliver a deep cross that McIndoe volleyed home sweetly at the far post.
- Qpr responded again, Taarabt driving home a winner he merited from a cross by Damien Delaney.
6 Cerny
6 Delaney
6 Connolly
6 Ramage
6 Gorkss
6 Leigertwood
6 Lopez
5 Alberti
6 Ephraim
8 Taarabt
6 Di Carmine
Basso 7
Orr 5
McAllister 5
Fontaine 5
McCombe 5
McIndoe 6
Skuse 5
Sproule 6
Johnson 5
Adebola 6
Maynard 5
Helguson (Connolly) 6,
Routledge (Alberti) 5
Cook (Di Carmine) 6
Elliott (Johnson) 5,
Styvar (Sproule) 5
Clever feet and quick brain. Best player by a distance
Referee: G Hegley 6 http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/2009/03/22/robins-wings-are-clipped-by-loan-star-taa-115875-21217217/

BRISTOL EVENING POST - Bristol City suffer suckerpunch at QPR
- Bristol City's Championship play-off quest suffered a potentially fatal blow in west London.
- In need of three points to remain within touching distance of the top six, the Robins finished second best to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
- A sterile encounter only came to life when Spanish midfield ace Jordi Lopez rammed home a brilliant free kick to break the deadlock in the 65th minute.
City thought they had salvaged a point when Michael McIndoe volleyed them level in thunderous fashion 13 minutes from time.
- But Rangers restored their lead four minutes later, Adel Taarbabt beating keeper Adriano Basso from close range to send City into the two-week break for international matches in low spirits.
- It was a sucker punch of the worst kind, reminiscent of the late winner Derby County poached at Pride Park earlier in the month.
- With six games to play, City require other results to go their way if there is to be any repeat of last season's march to the play-off final.
- Forced into making changes by injury and suspension, Bristol City boss Gary Johnson recalled Dele Adebola, Cole Skuse and Ivan Sproule in place of Louis Carey, Stern John and Gavin Williams, in the process reverting to the 4-3-3 formation which served his team well in games against Watford and Crystal Palace at Christmas.
And there was a surprise on the substitutes' bench in the form of midfielder Marvin Elliott, restored to the first team squad for the first time since tearing a groin muscle at Plymouth Argyle in January.
- Rangers' top scorer Dexter Blackstock failed a late fitness test, but winger Wayne Routledge had recovered sufficiently from the injury which ruled him out of the 1-0 midweek win over Swansea to return to the bench.
- This was a game neither side could afford to lose, given their positions outside of the play-off zone. Defeat would all but end Rangers' slim hopes of achieving a top-six finish, while City, four points adrift of the play-off places before kick-off, required victory to put pressure on the likes of Burnley, Preston and Cardiff.
Just as they did last season when they beat the Robins 3-0 at Loftus Road, the home side started brightly and twice threatened during the opening exchanges, Mikele Leigertwood shooting wide from range and Matteo Alberti testing Adriano Basso with a low shot which the keeper went down to gather.
- City quickly reasserted themselves and had claims for a penalty turned down by referee Graham Hegley after the ball appeared to brush Jordi Lopez on the upper arm during the melee which ensued following a Lee Johnson corner kick.
When Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt went to ground a little too easily under challenge from Skuse in the other 18 yard box moments later, the referee issued the first yellow card of the afternoon.
- The home crowd came to life on 22 minutes, Hogan Ephraim taking advantage of weak challenges from Bradley Orr and Liam Fontaine to put Taarabt through on goal. But Basso was equal to his angled shot, hurling himself to his left to push the ball behind for a corner.
- Although the Loftus Road playing surface was hard and bumpy, it was not entirely to blame for City's poor passing at times, a shortcoming which caused several promising situations to fizzle out.
- Ephraim's direct running was causing City some concern and another thrust deep into enemy territory presented Alberti with a clear sight of goal, only for the Italian's shot to be smothered by Basso.
City carved out the clearest chance so far on the half hour, Adebola out-jumping Kaspars Gorkss and directing a header into the path of Nicky Maynard, who was left with only keeper Radek Cerny to beat. But the striker snatched at his shot from 15 yards and sent the ball sailing high and harmlessly into the crowd, who responded in derisive fashion.
- Opportunity beckoned for the visitors on the stroke of half-time, Adebola going down under duress from Damien Delaney to earn a free kick in a threatening position on the edge of the 18 yard box. On the scoresheet against Coventry recently, Jamie McAllister's shot lacked accuracy on this occasion and flew some distance wide of the target.
- Bristol City emerged for the second half with renewed purpose and almost took the lead in the 49th minute, Adebola ghosting in behind a static home defence and sending his shot from an acute angle flashing across the face of goal.
There followed a lengthy delay while Adebola and strike partner Maynard received treatment following a clash of heads which left the pair sprawled flat out inside the six yard box. Fortunately, both were deemed fit to continue.
City experienced another moment of anxiety when the impressive Lopez surged into space just outside the penalty area and let fly with a rising drive which narrowly cleared Basso's cross bar.
- When left-back Matthew Connolly tried his luck from a similar distance moments later, his effort also sailed over the target. Lopez fared rather better from a free kick 20 yards from goal, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Basso unduly.
There was nothing Basso could do when the Spaniard found his range with another free kick on 65 minutes. Jamie McCombe fouled Sam Di Carmine on the edge of the penalty area and Lopez sent his set-piece effort curling into the top left-hand corner of the net to finally breathe life into a contest which had become becalmed.
- City required an instant response and McIndoe and Sproule both had shots charged down as the visitors swarmed forward. Johnson then conjured their first on-target effort, Cerny going down on one knee to save comfortably.
- Ephraim wasted a heaven-sent opportunity to put the game beyond City's reach on 69 minutes, steering his first-time shot wide of a gaping target after neat approach play from Lopez and Di Carmine had opened up the Robins defence.
City survived that scare and restored parity 13 minutes from time with a moment of rare quality. In space wide on the right, Sproule launched a deep cross over the heads of the entire Rangers defence to McIndoe, whose ferocious volley from 12 yards out made the net bulge in front of where the travelling fans were massed.
- But parity lasted less than four minutes, substitute Lee Cook crossing from the left for Taarabt to beat Basso with a well-executed finish from close range.

SKY SPORTS QPR seal late show
Rangers leapfrog Doncaster after narrow home win

- Queens Park Rangers came out on top of a frantic second half to take all three points in a 2-1 win over Bristol City at Loftus Road.
- The win puts QPR level on points with Ipswich but the Tractor Boys remain ahead on goal difference as Rangers stay in 11th position.
- The home side took the lead on 65 minutes when Jordi Lopez's well struck shot found the top corner from 25 yards.
- The lead was short lived, however, as Michael McIndoe levelled the scoring just 12 minutes later after some good work by Ivan Sproule on the right.
- Incredibly, within four minutes the home side were ahead again after Adel Taarabt restored their lead on 81 minutes and that proved to be the winner as the home side held out to full time.
The visitors flew out of the blocks with Nicky Maynard sending a snapshot wide of the post but Rangers soon grew into the contest with Taarabt drilling in two efforts and Matteo Alberti testing Adriano Basso with a long-range sighter.
- Genuine chances were hard to come by, though, with Samuel De Carmine's effort from the edge of the area that Basso did well to claw round the post the closest either side had come.
- Basso remained busy, having to fend away another attempt from Di Carmine, while at the other end Ivan Sproule should have done better when rifling a loose ball over the bar from close range.
- Alberti chanced his arm once more with Basso again equal to the shot, with Maynard volleying wide when well set inside the area for City.
- Gary Johnson's Bristol side should have gone ahead three minutes after the restart, but Dele Adebola could only power his header wide of the post when well-placed inside the area, while Rangers only remained a threat from outside the area with Lopez and Taarabt again the next to send efforts wide of the upright.
- The 27-year-old Spaniard was finally able to make one of his efforts count, though, when the opening goal came.
- Jamie McCombe was penalised for a foul on Di Carmine and Lopez stepped up to bend a 25-yard effort into the top right corner, finally breaking Basso's resolve.
- The goal signalled the start of a flurry of chances, with Rangers substitute Heidar Helguson twice going close with a couple of drilled efforts, while Lee Johnson should have done better for the visitors when he could only direct McIndoe's cross into the hands of Radek Cerny.
- McIndoe was able to redress the balance himself shortly after, though, when he crept in at the back post to drill home from 10 yards after Sproule's cross went across the box.
- But the parity only lasted for four minutes as Taarabt slotted home his first goal in English football before Wayne Routledge went close to adding a third with a fine late volley.

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