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Saturday, December 05, 2009

QPR Crash at Home to Middlesbrough


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Gate just under 14K...QPR 1-Middlesbrough 5

QPR Official Site
Rangers suffered only their second home league defeat of the season, as Gordon Strachan picked up his first win in charge of Middlesbrough.

The visitors took the lead not long before the interval, as Dave Kitson flicked home Gary O'Neil's centre from free-kick.

Boro' doubled their lead shortly after the break, as Lita blasted home from the penalty spot after a handball in the area by Ben Watson.

The R's were momentarily back in the match thanks to a strike from substitute Patrick Agyemang.

But Boro' closed the game out with three further goals from Lita, O'Neil and Mark Yeates.

R's gaffer Jim Magilton made just one change to the side that drew 2-2 at home to Coventry City last Saturday.

That alteration came in defence, where Kaspars Gorkss replaced the injured Matt Connolly (pelvis).

Radek Cerny started in goal for Rangers, behind a backline of Mikele Leigertwood, Fitz Hall, Gorkss and Gary Borrowdale.

Akos Buzsaky, Ben Watson, Alejandro Faurlin and Adel Taarabt made up the Hoops' midfield.

Wayne Routledge was joined by Jay Simpson up front.

As the rain lashed down on a rather lush Loftus Road playing surface, the R's were on the attack immediately.

Indeed, Rangers started brightly and won three corners before two first half minutes had even passed on the clock.

Soon after, Taarabt linked well with Routledge on the edge of the area after a teasing run, only to fire his shot high and wide of the target.

The R's were certainly the stronger force in the early stages of the match.

Passes were exchanged between Hall, Simpson, Routledge and Taarabt before the latter shot when free on the left-hand side of the box, though his bullet shot was deflected away for a corner.

From the resulting set-piece, Watson played a devastating centre on to the head of Leigertwood, though the right-back could only nod wide of the target when unmarked from six-yards out.

At the other end, striker Leroy Lita cut in past Gorkss on the right before firing his shot safely into the arms of Cerny in the Rangers goal.

Rangers were soon back on the attack, again with some intricate passing play.

This time, passes went back and forth between Simpson, Faurlin, Watson and Taarabt before the ball found its way back to the Gunners loan man on the edge of the area.

With his back to goal, Simpson spun and shot before shooting just wide of Brad Jones' left-hand post.

Play soon switched to the other end, where Boro' came the closest yet to opening the scoring.

Yeates surprised everyone by firing a speculative drive from fully 35-yards out which cannoned back off the crossbar - and courtesy of Gorkss mopping up the danger - back into the arms of Cerny.

The visitors were beginning to have their say in the encounter. Kitson's reverse though ball put Lita through on goal, but Cerny was again on hand to collect the ball down low.

Moments later, Boro' took the lead.

O'Neil was the architect, firing in a lovely cross from a free-kick into the path of Kitson, and the frontman made no mistake thereafter, firing the ball past Cerny from 10-yards out.

Just short of the break, Emanuel Pogatetz squared for O'Neil before the midfielder sent in a curling effort on target from long-range, but Cerny was aware of the danger to tip the ball over for a corner.

As the second half got underway, Rangers were dealt an almighty blow in their attempts to get back into the match.

After a ball was headed for goal from a Boro' corner, the ball appeared to strike the hand of Watson, with the referee left with no option but to point for a penalty.

Lita stepped up to take it and made no mistake thereafter, blasting the ball down the middle of the goal for the visitors' second.

Rangers manager Magilton acted almost immediately to the setback, introducing both Rowan Vine and Agyemang for Buzsaky and Simpson - and it was a change that paid instant dividends.

The ball broke to Vine down the left, before he squared expertly for Agyemang in the area.

Agyemang almost stumbled in an attempt to get an effort in on goal, but he kept his cool to sweep the ball into the back of the net to put Rangers firmly back into the game.

Just as the R's were looking the more likely to find a fourth goal of the game, Boro' caught the hosts on the break to fire in a third.

Lita was in on the action again, driving at Hall down the left -hand side before cutting past the defender and firing -with the aid of a deflection - into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

With time still left to play, Rangers did continue to attack their opponents.

Watson had Rangers' next chance, though he could only fire high and wide of the goal as the ball bounced kindly to him on the edge of the Boro' penalty box.

Moments later, Gorkss played a long into the direction of Routledge, only for the winger to shoot wide as the ball unexpectedly deceived the keeper and fell to his feet.

Boro' were to have the last laugh too, as they added two further goals to seal the encounter.

First, Lita broke at pace before striking the foot of Cerny's left-hand post, with O'Neil making no mistake to fire into an empty net from 12-yards out.

Before Yeates drove at his defender and curled superbly into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to seal the points.
QPR: Cerny, Hall, Leigertwood, Routledge (Pellicori 82), Buzsaky (Vine 52), Gorkss, Watson, Faurlin, Simpson (Agyemang 52), Borrowdale, Taarabt.
Subs not used: Taylor, Ramage, Stewart, Williams.
Scorers: Agyemang (54)
Middlesbrough: Jones, Pogatetz, Yeates, Lita, St Ledger, O'Neil (Digard 79), Arca, R Williams, Wheater, Kitson, Osbourne.
Subs not used: Coyne, Hoyte, Riggott, Emnes, McMahon, L Williams.
Scorers: Kitson (31), Lita (Pen 50 & 60), O'Neil (75), Yeates (
Bookings: Lita (50), Osbourne (58) Referee: Mr P N Gibbs Attendance: 13, 949 QPR

Middlesbrough Official Site

A SUPERB display full of power and attacking endeavour brought Gordon Strachan his first win as manager and Boro their first ever victory at Loftus Road, writes MIKE McGEARY.

Loan star Dave Kitson opened trhe scoring in the first half before Leroy Lita took over with an excellent individual display, scoring two goals and setting up another for Gary O'Neil, before Mark Yeates added a late fifth.

Teenage forward Luke Williams was named among the Boro subs for the first time as Adam Johnson missed out due to a family illness.

If he had played, Williams, at 16 years and five months, would have been the youngest Boro player since Tom Murray in 1905.

Rhys Williams returned at right-back after missing the Peterborough game through suspension, while Gary O'Neil was back after injury, taking over the skipper's armband from club captain Emanuel Pogatetz..

Mark Yeates began the game on the left of midfield in place of Johnson, with Julio Arca operating on the right.

The home side made just one change after their 2-2 at home to Coventry last weekend, with Kaspars Gorkss replacing the injured Matt Connolly in defence.

Rain began to lash down shortly before kick-off on what looked to be an excellent playing surface.

Rangers put on the early pressure as they attacked the end housing the Boro fans, forcing two corners in the opening minutes.

The first clear chance came on five minutes when Adel Taraabt exchanged passes with Wayne Routledge before firing over the bar

Rhys Williams set up a brief Boro breakaway with a fine tackle but soon the action swung back to the other end.

The lively Taraabt, on loan from Spurs, again fired narrowly over with the ball deflecting off Williams and Mikele Leigertwood heading over the resultant corner.

As Rangers continued to dominate, Brad Jones had to be alert to hold onto a long-range snapshot from Gary Borrowdale on 14 minutes.

Boro's first effort on target came immediately afterwards as Leroy Lita fired straight at Radek Cerny from just outside the box after being released by a beautifully weighted Arca pass.

And Gordon Strachan's team came desperately close to opening the scoring on 21 minutes when Yeates unleashed a superb left-foot shot that bounced down off the underside of the bar and away to safety.

It would have been the former Colcehester United forward's first Boro goal and he continued to show up well as Boro began to get a foothold in the game.

Boro had another great chance on 27 minutes when Lita did well to stay onside and delay his run and Kitson found him with a neat pass.

But with only the keeper to beat and Fitz Hall bearing down on him, Lita shot early and Cerny was able to smother easily.

The resurgence continued as Gary O'Neil cut in from the left and shot just inches wide of the left-hand post.

Hall was booked moment later after hauling down Yeates midway inside the Rangers' half on the half hour mark.

O'Neil stepped up to take the free-kick into the box and goal machine Kitson stuck out a leg to lash it into the roof of the net for his third goal in a week.

It was a just reward for some enterprising Boro play after the visitors had weathered the early Rangers' storm.

Yeates was next to threaten for Boro, releasing Lita with a delightful reverse pass, only for the striker to be stopped in his tracks by a crude tackle and a linesman's flag.

Wheater jumped highest to clear a dangerous Routledge cross from the right on the edge of the six-yard box during a now rare Rangers attack .

With five minutes of the half remaining Boro came agonisingly close to scoring a second.

A Pogatetz throw-in was flicked inside by Kitson and O'Neil picked the ball up before curling a dipping shot towards the top corner of the net, only to see Cerny tip over.

Half-time: QPR 0 Boro 1

Boro doubled their lead with a Lita penalty three minutes into the second half.

O'Neil's left-wing corner was headed towards goal by St Ledger and the referee spotted a goal and blew his whistle just before Wheater turned the ball into the net.

Lita blasted an unstoppable spot kick into the roof of the goal.

Jim Magilton responded with a double substitution - and the decision paid instant dividends. Rowan Vine was the supplier for fellow sub Patrick Agyemang to score, both contributing with their first touches,

But Boro's advantage was restored on 59 minutes thanks to a fantastic strike from Lita, who cut in past two challenges and let rip a stunning, low drive across the keeper that nestled just inside the bottom right-hand corner.

It was the third goal in three games for former Reading man Lita, who had been booed with every touch by the home fans from the start of the game,

Boro's travelling army responded by singing the striker's name as he celebrated in front of them.

Rangers weren't beaten yet and Jones produced two smart parries before Watson fired over the bar from just inside the box.

The home side had an amazing let off on 69 minutes after a superb Boro breakaway.

The unstoppable O'Neil carried the ball half the length of the pitch and skipped past Hall as if the big defender wasn't there. With Lita also available on his right, O'Neil instead slipped in Arca, but his shot was saved and when the ball came back to the Argentinian failed to get any power on his second effort.

But with little over 15 minutes remaining, Boro did score and fourth goal that hopefully put the game beyond Rangers' reach.

There looked to be little on when Lita attacked down the right before unleashing a cracking shot from just inside the corner of the box.

The ball smashed against the upright and rebounded to O'Neil, who steered the ball goalwards from a central position just inside the box.

Boro continued to dominate proceedings and soon added a fifth goal through Yeates.

The Dubliner played a one-two with Kitson and drifted across the front of the box. He had options but only one thing on his mind as he released a low, curling shot into the bottom corner for his first Boro goal.

It rounded off a great day out for Boro fans and a game that provided a huge morale boost for the team, who had given a mauling to a team sitting well above them in the Coca-Cola Championship table before the game.

QPR: Cerny; Hall, Borrowdale, Gorkss, Leigertwood, Routledge (Pellicori 79), Watson, Buzsaky (Vine 51), Taarabt, Faurlin, Simpson (Agyemang 51). Subs: Taylor (gk), Williams, Ramage, Stewart.

Middlesbrough: Jones; R Williams, St Ledger, Wheater, Pogatetz, Yeates, Arca, Osbourne, O'Neil (Capt) (Digard 78), Lita, Kitson. Unused subs: Coyne (gk); Hoyte, Riggott, Emnes, McMahon, Bent.
Referee: PN Gibbs Bookings QPR: Hall (foul on Yeates, 29)
Middlesbrough: Lita (ungentlemanly conduct 49); O'Neil (foul on Watson, 57)
Attendance: 13,949 Conditions: Cold with driving rain.
Website Boro Man of the Match: Leroy Lita Middlesbrough

ITV.com - Strachan earns first win in romp

Gordon Strachan broke his win duck in style as Middlesbrough ran riot in a 5-1 win against QPR at Loftus Road.

Boro boss Strachan celebrated a maiden victory at the fifth attempt as Leroy Lita's brace and goals from Dave Kitson, Gary O'Neil and Mark Yeates sank sorry Rangers.

Kitson and Lita put Boro 2-0 up before Patrick Agyemang pulled one back. But instead of folding under the pressure, Boro stepped up a gear and Lita hit the third before O'Neil and Yeates put the icing on the cake.

Rangers' promotion push is in danger of coming off the rails, however, with Jim Magilton's side having won just once in their last six outings.

The hosts were actually the livelier side in the opening stages with Wayne Routledge linking up well with Adel Taarabt, although the on-loan Tottenham star's finishing was wayward.

Home midfielder Mikele Leigertwood headed Ben Watson's corner over and eight-goal top scorer Jay Simpson fired wide.

But Boro looked dangerous on the break and Lita shot straight at Radek Cerny before, out of nothing, Yeates crashed a 25-yard shot against the crossbar.

Sean St Ledger forced a fine save from Cerny after being teed-up by Kitson, but the former Spurs goalkeeper could do nothing about Boro's opener on the half hour.

Fitz Hall was booked for a clumsy tackle on Yeates and O'Neil swung in the resulting free-kick which was turned in by the out-stretched boot of Kitson.

The on-loan frontman has managed just two top-flight goals since joining Stoke last summer, but he has no such problems in the Championship and grabbed his third in three games for the Teessiders.

O'Neil thought he had grabbed a second before the break with a superb long-range shot but Cerny pulled off a fine save.

But Boro did double their lead when Watson handled in the area three minutes after half-time.

The ball was bundled into the net but referee Phil Gibbs had already pointed to the spot, and the official avoided a potentially awkward moment when Lita blasted the penalty past Cerny.

Magilton responded with a double substitution which paid immediate dividends, Rowan Vine's first touch a cross to fellow sub Agyemang who swept the ball past Brad Jones.

But Lita struck again on the hour mark when he latched onto a mistake from Leigertwood, cut inside and rifled an unstoppable shot past Cerny.

Lita was denied a hat-trick when another drive crashed off the post but O'Neil was on hand to tuck in the rebound.

And Yeates wrapped up a convincing win when he broke clear, ignored Lita's pleas for a square pass and coolly curled the ball past Cerny. ITV.com

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