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Saturday, September 11, 2010

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- QPR Beat Middlesbrough 3-0 (with three second half goals: Helguson (pen), Hogan and Mackie to stay top on goal difference. A crowd of just under 15,000.

- VIDEO Snippets from today's game(although NOT the Goals)


Neil Warnock hailed the R's second half display, as Rangers maintained their place at the summit of the division with a smashing 3-0 victory against Middlesbrough.

Second half goals from Heidar Helguson, Hogan Ephraim and Jamie Mackie clinched a worthy win, to the delight of the R's gaffer.

"We had one or two choice words at half-time because I thought we could step it up a gear and be one or two yards quicker to everything," Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk.

"They did what I wanted in the second half and we looked a very good team for that period.

"We needed to enjoy it more in the second half and that's exactly what we did.

"We were off the leash at the start of the second half.

"The second goal was as good as you'll see anywhere this weekend.

"It was a fantastic ball from Tarbs and Hogan finished it in clinical fashion." QPR


GORDON STRACHAN said he was struggling to find words to say to the supporters after the 3-0 defeat at QPR as his team experience a "dark period".

The season began on a wave of optimism but Boro have won just one of their first five games, scoring just two goals in the process.

Asked what his message to the supporters was, Strachan said: "At this moment it's hard to talk to people when you're in an embarrassed state.

"I really need to sit down and think and try to find adequate words. At the moment I don't have adequate words."

Strachan said he was also keeping his counsel in front of his players, explaining: "There's times when you're better saying nothing to the players and then you go again later."

Boro matched the npower Championship pacesetters every inch of the way during an entertaining first half when both sides created plenty of chances.

But a Rangers penalty soon after the break was followed by two further goals in quick succession.

"The first half was a good one an enjoyable game with chances at either end," said Strachan.

"For the first goal we were sloppy, we lost a few tackles we should have won, and then we let a couple more goals in."

Strachan said he wanted a build a team of men after identifying a lack of experience in the squad he inherited, but the players are not responding to setbacks in the way he had hoped.

"It's something that has to be addressed one way or another," he said.

"There's always a way to come through these things, you do it through hard work, drive and determination. But at the moment it's a dark period."

Meanwhile, Strachan revealed that on loan defender Matt Kilgannon had returned to Sunderland for treatment on a back problem.

"It's only right that they decide what his treatment will be and what the future holds for him," the manager said. "The most important thing to make sure he gets the right treatment." Middlesbrough

QPR Official Site: QPR 3 Middlesbrough 0
three-goal blitz inside ten minutes saw the R's preserve their place at the top of the Championship with a 3-0 win at home to Middlesbrough.

Heidar Helguson opened the scoring for the Hoops, tucking home a penalty after he was brought down in the area.

Roared on by a partisan home crowd, Rangers doubled their lead just four minutes later in some style.
Adel Taarabt's sweeping cross from the right was of sheer perfection, with Hogan Ephraim bursting into the area before guiding the ball into the goal.

QPR even had the luxury of adding a third when Jamie Mackie netted from only a few yards out after a goalmouth scramble, as the R's stretched their unbeaten run in the league to five matches.

The R's remained unchanged in a 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of Gordon Strachan's Middlesbrough.

Paddy Kenny once again lined-up in goal, with a back four consisting of Bradley Orr, Matt Connolly, Kaspars Gorkss and Clint Hill.

Shaun Derry and Alejandro Faurlin were in defensive midfield, with Mackie, Taarabt and Ephraim operating further forward.

Heidar Helguson spearheaded the QPR attack.

On a sundrenched afternoon is West London, it was the R's who were fastest out of the traps.

Taarabt was unsurprisingly in the thick of the action, receiving the ball around 30 yards from goal, before twisting and turning two players and unleashing a stinging effort that was well held by Jason Steele.

It was an open first ten minutes to say the least, with the play switching from one end to another at a breakneck pace.

Indeed, it was Boro who were next on the attack, and when Scott MacDonald picked up possession midway into the R's half, he drove at the QPR defence before firing just wide of the target from around 20-yards out.

Play then switched to the other end. Gary O'Neil had the chance and his resultant effort was one that Kenny did very well to beat away, after the midfielder took control of the ball 25 yards from goal and fired in an effort on goal.

Moments later, however, the R's were back on the attack.

Taarabt was brought down for a free-kick 25-yards out, and he dusted himself down before playing a sideways pass to Ephraim, who in turn cut in from the right and fired in an effort that was parried away for a corner kick.

The match was certainly a hard-fought affair, with challenges flying in from both sets of players.

QPR were menacing - and soon after they came their closest yet to putting themselves in front.

Kenny's long ball was brilliantly controlled in the box by Mackie, who held off his marker before laying the ball back to Taarabt on the edge of the penalty area.

With the goal gaping Taarabt seemed certain to net, but he could only drag his shot wide of the right-hand post, albeit with his weaker left foot.

Just before the half-time interval, the magical Moroccan forced a stunning save from Steele.

After Ephraim did well to control Hill's throw-in, he turned and knocked the ball on to Taarabt, who cut-in from the left and curled an effort at the target that was superbly tipped around the right-hand post.

The bright conditions continued as the second half got underway - and the R's got off to a perfect start as they took the lead.

Gorkss' header was controlled out wide on the left by Taarabt, and when the attacker played a delicious centre with the outside of the foot into the area for Helguson, he was tugged to the ground by his marker.

The referee was left with no other option than to point for a penalty and Helguson didn't disappoint from the spot, coolly sliding the ball home into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Loftus Road was now at its rocking best - and the partisan crowd were treated to a second goal four minutes later following a stunning assist from Taarabt.

The R's playmaker picked up possession out wide on the right before clocking Ephraim's darting run into the box.

The rest was poetry in motion, as Taarabt played a cross on to a sixpence for Ephraim, who had the simplest of tasks to touch the ball home from six yards on its way into the net.

These were quite unbelievable scenes in W12 - and remarkably, Rangers were three goals to the good come 59 minutes.

Taarabt's corner from the right-hand side caused havoc in the Boro ranks, and when Gorkss' left-footed effort deflected into the path of Mackie, he slid the ball home from close range.

Neil Warnock decided to freshen things up as the clock ticked down, with both Orr and Taarabt given standing ovations when replaced by Peter Ramage and Akos Buzsaky respectively.

Derry could have added fourth when his rasping drive was well held by Steele, as could Ephraim when his curling shot from the right hit the crossbar.

Though it didn't matter, as the R's held out for three more precious points.

QPR: Kenny, Orr (Ramage 69), Hill, Derry, Taarabt (Buzsaky 70), Helguson, Faurlin, Mackie (Smith 81), Gorkss, Connolly, Ephraim. Subs: Cerny, Leigertwood, Agyemang, Parker.
Goals: Helguson (pen) 49, Ephraim 53, Mackie 59

Middlesbrough: Steele, Bates, Wheater, McManus, McDonald, Boyd (Lita 65), Bailey, Kink (Hoyte 55), Robson, O'Neil, Tavares. Subs: Coyne, Miller, Halliday, Arca, Smallwood. Referee: Mr M P Russell
Attendance: 14,784 QPR


AFTER turning in their best performance of the season in the first half Boro were ripped apart with three goals in nine early second half minutes, writes GORDON COX from Loftus Road.

There was no significant response and what had shaped up with promise turned into Boro's fifth successive game away from home without a goal.

Mickael Tavares made his Boro debut and Gary O'Neil returned from injury in a Boro side which showed two changes from that which lost at Barnsley.

Matt Kilgallon and Julio Arca were the men to make way, the latter dropping to the bench.

The QPR team was unchanged from that which scored two goals in injury time at Derby to grab a draw and maintain an unbeaten start to the season, one in which they had scored in every game.

Recent loan signing Tommy Smith (Portsmouth) started on the bench.

Barry Robson started at left-back, Tarmo Kink on the right of midfield and Nicky Bailey on the left. Tavares seemed detailed to keep an eye on the npower Player of the Month for August, QPR skipper Adel Taarabt.

An open start to the game had both defences in early action. Tavares looked mobile as he tidied twice tidies up nicely, Taarabt shot from the edge of the box and Jason Steele saved, while at the other end Scott McDonald wriggled free to square across the six-yard box, but Kris Boyd was a yard off the ball.

It was an encouraging start from Boro, with Tavares continuing to look impressive, always looking for the ball and looking comfortable on it.

The better football was being played by Boro, Kink bringing a scrambled save from Paddy Kenny with a low drive from the edge of the penalty area and McDonald not too far away.

Effective covering work from David Wheater kept Rangers at bay as play swung to the other end in an all action game.

Twice Jason Steele was called on to makes saves, tasks he performed well, the best one coming after a shot from inside the area from Hogan Ephraim.

Taarabt then shot just wide from the edge of the box as Boro only half cleared a corner.

When Robson linked up with McDonald and clever footwork from the Australian took two players out of the game and set up Bailey, Boro were in with a chance on the right-hand edge of the penalty area, but Kink completely miss-hit a left-footed effort seven yards out and skied the ball many a yard.

A great chance to take the lead came from a Robson corner with 32 minutes played as Rangers didn't cope with a left-footed inswinger and the ball fell to Boyd who dragged wide from inside the six-yard box.

Chances to shoot or deliver a dangerous ball into the box came in a sustained period of Boro pressure, eventually Matthew Bates crossed deep to the back post and McDonald shot into the side netting.

There were a few nervous glances at the referee when Robson appeared to make contact with Heidar Helguson inside the penalty area, when played was brought to a halt a few seconds later there were furious protests from Neil Warnock and several Rangers players - surprisingly none of which were punished or reprimanded by a very lenient official who could easily have taken action.

Approaching injury-time Taraabt went for goal from distance and Steele produced a fine save away to his left to tip around for a corner.

The last meaningful action of a very watchable, evenly and keenly contested first half which could have gone either way.

Half-time: QPR 0 Middlesbrough 0

After starting the brighter in the second half QPR were handed a gift with 48 minutes played as Robson flattened Helguson, the linesman put his flag across his chest and the referee, correctly, awarded a penalty.

Heidar Helguson took the penalty, scoring comfortably away to Steele's left, the goalkeeper had gone to the right.

Five minutes later it was even better for the league leaders as Taraabt delivered a superb cross whipped in low and Hogan Ephraim volleyed in from seven yards, a fine finish.

In an incredible start to the second half Rangers added a third with 58 minutes played as Alejandro Faurlin saw a shot blocked, Boro failed to clear and Jamie Mackie reacted quicker than anyone to turn home from inside the six-yard box.

In among the flurry of goals Gordon Strachan replaced Kink with Justin Hoyte, moving Robson to the right of midfield.

Another change, when the game had calmed down, saw the introduction of Leroy Lita, scorer of two goals here last season, who took the field to a chorus of boos from the home fans as he replaced Boyd.

The same fans were soon taunting Strachan.

Boro had been shaken out of the game and couldn't manage a response which would have encouraged the travelling fans who had journeyed in decent number.

A solitary strike from O'Neil, always clearing the bar from 30 yards, a rare effort.

Two more arrived in quick succession inside the last ten minutes, Robson and McDonald linking to set up Lita who first time low shot was blocked almost as soon as it had been despatched, before Hoyte did well to cut in from the left and seeing a goalbound curler deflected for a corner.

Rangers almost added a fourth just over three minutes from time, but a curling effort from Ephraim from the right-hand edge of the penalty area came back off the bar.

In the closing minutes a flicked header almost fell for sub Andrew Halliday who would almost certainly have scored had he made contact, but the ball flew past just out of reach.

QPR: Kenny; Hill, Orr (Ramage 68), Connolly, Gorkss, Derry (Capt from 70), Ephraim, Taarabt (Capt to 70) (Buzsaky 70), Faurlin, Mackie (Smith 80), Helguson. Unused subs: Cerny (gk); Leigertwood, Parker, Agyemang.
Middlesbrough: Steele; Bates, Wheater, McManus. Robson, Kink (Hoyte 55), O'Neil (Capt), Tavares, Bailey (Halliday 79), McDonald, Boyd (Lita 64). Unused subs: Coyne (gk); Smallwood, Arca, Miller.
Referee Mike Russell, Hertfordshire.
Middlesbrough Robson, 48, foul.Attendance 14,784
Conditions Bright and warm with a gentle breeze.
Website Boro Man of the Match Jason Steele Middlesbrough

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