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Sunday, March 06, 2011

QPR's Win Over Leicester: Compilation of Reports and Managerial Comments


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Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER


- One Year ago Today: Neil Warnock First Game in Charge of QPR: Reports, Comments and Table!

- On This Day in Football March 6: FINALLY! QPR FA Cup Quarter Final Success!

- Next: Millwall - Stats/Past Results

- A Millwall Fan Site Survey re "Millwall's Football Hooligan Element"

- Four Year Flashback: "People Trying to Destroy the Club"

- Gary Borrowdale May be Returning to QPR

- Marking 25 Years (Yesterday), since QPR Qualified for Wembley with League Cup Semi-Final "Win" (draw) at Anfield-

- The Complete QPR Accounts (for Year Ending May 31, 2010)

SUNDAY PEOPLE/Dean Jones - Promotion chasing QPR eye summer move for Birmingham CIty midfielder Lee Bowyer
- QPR will make a move for Lee Bowyer if they win promotion to the Premier League.
- The midfielder produced a heroic display in last week’s Carling Cup success, but his Birmingham City contract ends this summer.
- There is a chance the 34-year-old may still be offered a one-year extension but Bowyer (right) expects to leave.
- A terrific run of form has left Rangers as firm favourites to win the Championship, and Bowyer is the sort of experienced player to help Neil Warnock’s side settle into top-flight life. People

QPR vs Leicester Reports and Comments

- VIDEO: QPR-Leicester Snippet

1 QPR 35 37 70
2 Swansea 35 17 62
3 Cardiff 35 15 61
4 Norwich 35 12 60
5 Nott'm F 35 15 59
6 Leeds 35 10 57
7 Burnley 33 11 53
8 Hull 35 4 52


Neil Warnock praised the goalscoring heroics of birthday boy Ishmael Miller, who came from the bench to net an 88th minute winner for the R's.

Miller, who turned 24 today, came on as a second-half substitute and scored the decisive goal just two minutes later, after latching on to Wayne Routledge's through ball.

And Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "I thought - and Curley (Keith Curle) and Mick (Jones) agreed with me - that he could disturb the back four.

"They were so comfortable at times and have so much quality and he did just what we thought he might do.

"He had an impact and disturbed them.

"It was a fabulous game. You couldn't take your eyes off it. It was between two cracking sides.

"That's as good a game as I've seen this season.

"I thought that they shaded the first half but thought at half-time that we could get better.

"We've done that a few times this season.

"Even though they had a few chances, I thought in the second half we got stronger - even though they had a few chances.

"I thought we deserved to nick it at the end."

He added: "Today we had to have stuff under our shirts. We had to show a lot of commitment and team spirit.

"The recipe today was spot on.

"You realise who are alongside you when the chips are down.

"We've got those as well as ones with ability.

"Today this place was rocking in the second half.

"It lifted the roof off when we scored.

"It was a cracking goal. I've never enjoyed myself so much in my career in football."


QPR manager Neil Warnock heaped praise on goalkeeper Paddy Kenny following his side's hard-fought 1-0 win over Leicester at Loftus Road.

Kenny was at his best to keep out Darius Vassell and Andy King as the Foxes missed a host of chances before on-loan West Brom striker Ishmael Miller snatched victory for Rangers two minutes from time.

Table-topping QPR's unbeaten run now stands at 11 npower Championship games as they continue their march towards seemingly inevitable promotion.

Warnock said: "They were two great saves by Paddy Kenny, but that's what he's all about. There isn't a goalkeeper in the Premier League who's better than him. I wouldn't swap him for any keeper in the country.

"I've known him since way back when he was at Bradford Park Avenue and he went on loan to Whitby. If you can play at Whitby you can play anywhere. The lad's just fantastic.

"I've told Arsene Wenger about him many times down the years, but he hasn't been interested and I'm glad about that because I wouldn't want anyone else.

"Then you've got players like Heidar Helguson and Adel Taarabt, who hadn't trained because they were ill, and Wayne Routledge, who went home from training yesterday with antibiotics and then rang me to say he wanted to play.

"When you've got lads like that, who do more than they should do, it shows you how much character you've got in your squad.

"That's what makes this such a fantastic result. Leicester were as good as we've played this season, and if we'd lost or drawn I couldn't have complained about anything.

"Both sides were good, the referee was good, and both sets of fans were great. The atmosphere was just brilliant. If you want excitement, you won't get better than that. It was a great spectacle."

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson found the defeat, which dents his side's play-off ambitions, hard to take.

Eriksson said: "It's hard to lose a game like that. I don't think we deserved to lose it. I felt we were as good as they were, if not better.

"Near the end I was on the bench thinking 'we'll win this game' but in the end we lost it. But the good thing is that if we play like that in the remaining 11 games we'll have a good chance.

"QPR are very solid and hard to break down. They don't do any nonsense at the back - they knock it long - and then at the other end they have players that can win a game.

"Once Ishmael Miller is equal with you or ahead of you, you will not catch him. He is so quick and so strong.

"There's not much passing of the ball, but with the players QPR have they will cause problems. I'm sure they'll be promoted.

"In three games now we haven't won. Maybe we should have done better. The only thing we can do is keep playing as we are, because we cannot go on losing if we play like that."
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/liv.....h tml&BID=3660

FULHAM CHRONICLE/JACOB MURTAGH QPR boss pays tribute to West Brom striker

QPR boss Neil Warnock praised super-sub Ishmael Miller after QPR beat Leciester.

The on-loan West Brom striker came off the bench to score his first goal for Rangers and earn the points at Loftus Road.

And Warnock was full of praise for the youngster, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem, after the game

"He hasn't played much football the last few years – you've got to use him sparsely," said Warnock.

"He has that impact. He's got ability and needs 10 or 15 games to convince himself he can play without injury.

"He just knocked the ball far enough in front of him that the defender couldn't tackle him in the box. The rest was history and it was a great finish


City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson thought his side were unfortunate to be beaten by Championship leaders QPR after an impressive Foxes performance at Loftus Road.

Ishmael Miller's 87th-minute winner pushed City down to ninth in the table, while extending Premier League-bound Rangers' lead at the top to eight points.

It was a tough blow to take for Eriksson's men, who had provided a stern test for the division's outstanding team for long periods of an excellent game.

They managed to shackle the creative talents of R's talisman Adel Taarabt, while Yakubu and Andy King both drew heroics from Paddy Kenny at the other end.

But Miller, who was in Eriksson's squad during his time as Manchester City boss, punished them heavily late-on.

"It is hard to lose games like that and I did not think we deserved it," Eriksson told the media after the game.

"I thought we were as good as they were, perhaps even better.

"We created some good chances and at the end I was sat on the bench thinking we were going to win it.

"The heads are down in the dressing room and we will come into training tomorrow and get over it, and be ready for the next game on Tuesday against Norwich."

More reaction from Sven-Goran Eriksson coming soon to Foxes Player.

Fulham Chronicle - QPR wait on Fitz Hall injury -By Jacob Murtagh
The QPR defender limped out of the win against Leicester clutching his right leg – a problem that sidelined the 30-year-old for a lengthly spell earlier this season.

But boss Neil Warnock revealed Hall hasn't torn it, but will be assessed again on Monday ahead of the clash at Millwall 24 hours later.

"The good thing is he hasn't pulled it," said Warnock.

"He's just cramped up, and we will know more on Monday.

"He done the right thing and came off. He has done well to get back to where he is and it's another game under his belt."
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-....#ixz z1Fl7nfEUJ

Fulham Chronicle- QPR keeper is the best in the country - Warnock
NEIL Warnock hailed Paddy Kenny as the best keeper in the country after QPR beat Leicester.

The Irishman pulled off a string of fine saves as Ishmael Miller's late goal earned Rangers the points at Loftus Road.

And Warnock was full of praise for the 32-year-old after the game.

He said: "Paddy's the best keeper in the country, and I wouldn't swap for anyone – even in the Premier League.

"Thank goodness Ireland don't want him! I've told [Arsenal manager] Arsene [Wenger] a few times about him over the years but he never took any notice of me and I'm glad now."

Fulham Chronicle - Neil Warnock praises QPR's crocks after Leicester win
By Jacob Murtagh

NEIL Warnock hailed QPR's walking wounded as they stretched their lead at the top with victory against Leicester.

Ishmael Miller's late goal earned the points at Loftus Road as the Rangers boss celebrated his first anniversary in charge with a win.

"We've had [Heidar] Helguson and Bradley Orr who haven't kicked a ball this week," said Warnock.

"[Adel] Taarabt has not trained at all this week, while [Wayne] Routledge went home with a virus yesterday which should have kept him out for three or four days, yet he rings me this morning and says he wants to play.

"There has been a lot of character and gritty performances today considering the circumstances we've had this week."

Paul Warburton/Fulham Chronicle - West Brom striker wins it for QPR
ISHMAEL Miller came on to score a priceless goal - his first for QPR - and win a pulsating match for Hoops.

The West Brom loanee's run from deep to slide the ball under keeper Ricardo at the death was the 50th in a league match by Rangers against Leicester and saw his new team maintain their charge at the top of the Championship.

In 1983 both Hoops and Foxes were promoted from the second tier to the top-flight - and on the strength of this game - both sides are headed for glory again.

The game came alight in the 27th minute at both ends.

Heidar Helguson was on the receiving end of a blocked shot by Buzsaky and drove hard and low only for Ricardo to hack to safety. Barely 30 seconds later Yakubu's chip from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar by Paddy Kenny and the same Foxes' player then vollleyed just over from the corner.

A cracking game then saw Helguson loop a header goalwards from inside the box with the keeper this time fisting the ball away.

The Rs striker was again in the thick of action when he was cynically upended on his way down the wing five minutes into the second period. Play continued with Taarabt eventually stinging Ricardo's hands with an angled shot.

However, Sol Bamba was not forgotten by the referee for the earlier Helguson foul and was the first to get a yellow card.

Sadly, the Rs striker was next in the notebook for a challenge on Richie Wellens, but not before Wayne Routledge unleashed a rising effort from an acute angle into the side netting.

It was closer still when Helguson was a toe-end away from connecting with a Tarrabt cross-cum-shot as the action ricocheted from end to end.

Sub Matt Connolly got himself in a tangle as he tracked back with Andy King and there was relief all around when the Leicester player chipped a chance over the bar.

King was frustration personified when he then saw his goal-bound header tipped on to the bar five minutes later. And the mother of all goalmouth scrambles saw Clint Hill hack away to safety.

The defender was the first to raise his fists in gratitude at the end - and all thanks to Miller on the first anniversary of boss Neil Warnock's arrival in west London

BBC QPR 1 - 0 Leicester
Ishmael Miller's late goal saw leaders QPR stretch their lead at the top of the table to eight points while also denting Leicester's play-off ambitions.

Leicester missed a hatful of chances and were made to pay when Miller burst past Sol Bamba to slot past keeper Ricardo with two minutes remaining.

Ricardo also saved with his feet to stop Heidar Helguson's effort from going in earlier in the match.

Darius Vassell and Andy King brought out two good saves from Paddy Kenny.

The first was a header brilliantly stopped by the keeper and the second, a lob which had to be tipped over by the QPR man.

Foxes forward Yakubu also smashed a volley fractionally over the bar after Jeffrey Bruma rose highest to meet Matt Oakley's ball.

The Nigerian forward had another effort - a 20-yard drive that fizzed past the post.

Foxes manager Sven Goran Eriksson then brought Martyn Waghorn. The former Sunderland player beat fellow substitute Matthew Connolly but lifted his shot over the bar.

At the other end, Helguson headed narrowly over from a Adel Taarabt free-kick, while winger Wayne Routledge fired into the side-netting.

QPR's unbeaten run now stands at 11 league games as they surge towards probable promotion.

GUARDIAN/John Ashdown - Queens Park Rangers beat Leicester 1-0 with an Ishmael Miller goal

Ishmael Miller provided Neil Warnock with the perfect anniversary present at Loftus Road, popping up with an 88th-minute winner – his first goal for the club – to extend QPR's lead at the top of the Championship. It meant a double celebration as the striker, on-loan from West Bromwich Albion, was celebrating his 24th birthday.

It is almost exactly a year since Warnock took the reins at Loftus Road. Then, QPR were a relegation-threatened club where expectation regularly outstripped achievement. Now they are 11 games away from a return to the top flight for the first time since they lost their Premier League status in 1996.

"It feels a lot of water has gone under the bridge," said Warnock of a whirlwind first 12 months in charge.

Miller's goal, after the striker charged on to Wayne Routledge's superb through-ball and outmuscled Leicester's Sol Bamba, came two minutes after his introduction from the bench, a substitution that represented Warnock's final throw of the dice at the end of an entertainingly even game that could have swayed either way.

Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was arguably the home side's best player, superbly tipping over Yakubu's lob in the first half and doing likewise with Andy King's header in the second. The bear hug Kenny received from his manager at the final whistle was fully deserved.

"What a snip. You won't find a better goalkeeper in the country," said Warnock of a player he has signed for Bradford Park Avenue, Bury, Sheffield United and, most recently, QPR, for £750,000. "I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the Premier League. I've told Arsène [Wenger] about him a few times, but I'm glad he's not listened to me."

Ricardo in the Leicester goal had less to do, although Heidar Helguson was a gnat's wing away from poking home Adel Taarabt's cross 20 minutes from time.

QPR were also grateful for some profligate Foxes finishing – twice Martyn Waghorn got the better of Matt Connolly, twice he slashed shots over the bar with Kenny at his mercy.

Leicester's manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, felt the result was harsh on his side, and Warnock concurred he could have had few complaints had the visitors taken the spoils. Defeat leaves City five points from the play-offs, though very much in the hunt having enjoyed their own revival in five months under the Swede. The visitors certainly contributed to the spectacle.

"It was a fabulous game, you couldn't take your eyes of it," said Warnock. "There were two cracking sides – that's as good a game as I've seen all season."

Hyperbole, perhaps. But given the spacewalk-sized stride towards promotion this result represents for QPR, you could forgive their manager for being a little excited.

In the away corner, there was the mild-mannered Swede, Sven-Goran Eriksson. In the home section sat loud-mouthed, tempestuous Yorkshireman Neil Warnock. It was a true clash of characters.

Ultimately, Warnock could not be quietened as his QPR side won this promotion scuffle in a dramatic denouement thanks to one of his substitutions.

Warnock threw Ishmael Miller into the action, on his 24th birthday, with just four minutes to play. Within two of those minutes, Miller had used his physicality to bustle through Leicester’s defence and find himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Ricardo after a beautifully measured pass from Wayne Routledge. His powerful finish ensured a happy birthday and a satisfying day’s work for his manager.

In the post-match press conferences, there were predictable platitudes from disappointed Eriksson and a few snappy soundbites from Warnock. The QPR manager chose to heap praise on goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, whose saves kept them in the game, saying: “I’ve told Arsène Wenger about him plenty of times but he takes no notice. You won’t find a better keeper in the country.”

QPR had their first chance in the 20th minute when Fitz Hall headed over from Adel Taarabt’s free kick. The home side increased the pressure, midway through the first half, as Heidar Helguson’s eight-yard drive forced Ricardo into a sharp save with his legs.

Leicester reacted in the right way as Yakubu produced an ambitious, dipping 30-yard effort that Kenny pushed over brilliantly. Andy King displayed similar audacity with another long-range hit as they finished the half well.

Akos Buzsaky’s angled strike, blocked by Ricardo,

re-energised QPR early in the second half. Helguson headed over Taarabt’s left-sided free-kick on the hour and, soon afterwards, Routledge drove the ball into the sidenetting from the edge of the six-yard box.

Leicester did not lose their ambition, though, and their hopes were raised by a flurry of chances. Martyn Waghorn skied two of them and King was also frustrated as his close-range effort was tipped over by Kenny. Leicester were sunk, though, as Routledge, who had been ill during the week, produced his magic for Miller.

Eriksson said: “We had our chances. I was sitting on the bench thinking we will win this, but we lost. We have to get over it.”

MIRROR By Colin Malam
Ishmael Miller celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday by scoring the goal that keeps Championship leaders Queen's Park Rangers climbing strongly towards the Premier League.

On loan from West Bromwich Albion, Miller came on as an 85th-minute substitute for Adel Taarabt. Three minutes later, his strength enabled him to claim the winner that keeps QPR well clear at the top of the table.

Victory was more than the London club deserved. Sven-Goran Eriksson's Leicester gave as good as they got and ought to have gone home with at least a point.

They might even have won had their own late substitute, Martin Waghorn, put away either of the two good chances that fell to him.

Given the good form of these teams, it was surprising the game took a long time to take any real shape. Perhaps the high stakes were responsible for the scrambling football.

There was certainly no goalmouth action until the 26th minute, when Leicester goalkeeper Ricardo saved with his foot as Heidar Helguson tried to beat him with a fierce shot from a narrow angle.

Almost immediately, Leicester struck back with a cunning Yakubu lob that Paddy Kenny tipped over the bar as he back-pedalled furiously. Then, from the corner, Yakubu lashed the ball inches over.

QPR had to reorganise just after the half-hour, when Fitz Hall went off injured and was replaced at centre-back by Matthew Connolly. But Leicester full back Ben Mee wasted a great opening down the left.

Despite all the urgings of both sets of supporters in Loftus Road's biggest crowd of the season - 18,068 - the game did not improve after the interval.

Almost an hour had gone when Ricardo beat away a shot from Akos Buzsaky - only Rangers' second serious attempt at scoring in the whole game.

Leicester looked the more dangerous side as the game went on, and substitute Waghorn should have scored a minute after coming on for Darius Vassell.

Beating Connolly in a tussle for the ball in the QPR penalty area, Waghorn lofted his shot over the bar with only Kenny to beat.

Leicester were now in full cry. King showed that by heading against the bar, with the help of Kenny's fingertips, from Yakubu's cross.

Waghorn also shot over the bar following another mistake by Connolly, but the most telling substitution was yet to come.

Fed by Wayne Routledge, the strapping Miller took on and beat the equally hulking Sol Bamba in a run down the left before poking the ball past Ricardo.

SUNDAY MERCURY - QPR dent Leicester's play-off hopes
Mar 6 2011 by Roy Bayliss, Sunday Mercury

LEICESTER manager Sven-Goran Eriksson found his side’s 1-0 defeat to QPR at Loftus Road hard to take after it put a dent in his play-off ambitions.

QPR’s Paddy Kenny was at his best to keep out Darius Vassell and Andy King as the Foxes missed a host of chances before on-loan West Brom striker Ishmael Miller snatched victory for Rangers two minutes from time.

Table-topping QPR’s unbeaten run now stands at 11 Championship games as they continue their march towards seemingly inevitable promotion.

Eriksson said: “It’s hard to lose a game like that.

“I don’t think we deerved to lose it. I felt we were as good as they were, if not better.

“Near the end I was on the bench thinking ‘we’ll win this game’ but in the end we lost it. But the good thing is that if we play like that in the remaining 11 games we’ll have a good chance.

“QPR are very solid and hard to break down. They don’t do any nonsense at the back – they knock it long – and then at the other end they have players that can win a game.

“Once Ishmael Miller is equal with you or ahead of you, you will not catch him. He is so quick and so strong.

“There’s not much passing of the ball, but with the players QPR have they will cause problems. I’m sure they’ll be promoted.

“In three games now we haven’t won.

“Maybe we should have done better. The only thing we can do is keep playing as we are, because we cannot go on losing if we play like that.”

QPR manager Neil Warnock heaped praise on keeper Kenny following his side’s hard-fought win.

Warnock said: “They were two great saves by Paddy Kenny, but that’s what he’s all about.

“There isn’t a goalkeeper in the Premier League who’s better than him.

“I wouldn’t swap him for any keeper. I’ve known him since way back when he was at Bradford Park Avenue and he went on loan to Whitby. The lad’s just fantastic.”

He added: “Leicester were as good as we’ve played this season, and if we’d lost or drawn I couldn’t have complained about anything.”

Substitute Ishmael Miller came from the bench to net a late, late winner for top-of-the-table QPR at Loftus Road.

A fiercely-contested clash for the duration, this effervescent encounter appeared to be heading for a stalemate before the introduction of the West Bromwich Albion loanee four minutes from time.

It can only be described as a tactical masterstroke by R's gaffer Neil Warnock, with Miller on target just two minutes after he was introduced.

Wayne Routledge's clever through ball fell perfectly into the path of Miller, who shrugged off the challenge of Sol Bamba before slotting the ball under Ricardo from 10 yards.

The result means the R's now sit eight-points clear at the top of the npower Championship, prior to Cardiff City's clash at home to Ipswich Town tonight (Saturday).

Warnock named an unchanged starting line-up for the visit of the Foxes, hot off the back of last weekend's stunning 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough.

Paddy Kenny was in goal for the R's, while Bradley Orr, Fitz Hall, Danny Shittu and Clint Hill made up QPR's back four.

Shaun Derry and Alejandro Faurlin were in defensive midfield, behind attacking trio Routledge, Adel Taarabt and Akos Buzsaky.

Heidar Helguson led the R's line up front.

Meanwhile, Tommy Smith was named among the Rangers substitutes, following a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

The opening stanza of this affair proved to be a tight one, with neither side giving an inch.

However, although chances were at a premium, the first 15 minutes were certainly keenly contested, with both teams wholeheartedly vying for possession.

It took 26 minutes for the first shot on target to arrive.

Helguson and Buzsaky played a neat one-two in the box, before the former's low drive from 10-yards out was diverted to safety by the legs of Foxes keeper Ricardo.

From the resultant corner, Taarabt's out-swinging cross was eventually deflected into the path of Hall who, with his back to goal, hooked an ambitious overhead kick over the bar.

Play soon switched to the other end, where only a magnificent stop from Kenny denied Leicester from taking the lead.

Ricardo's goal-kick sailed all the way through to Yakubu and, when the Everton loanee raced clear of his marker, the Nigerian front-man's subsequent looping effort - that appeared to have Kenny beaten - was superbly tipped over the bar by the R's keeper.

It was a half that promised much but delivered so little by way of clear-cut chances - so much so that you felt that this one could only improve after the break.

Buzsaky forced a smart save from Ricardo on 56 minutes.

The Magical Magyar picked up possession on the right-hand byline, before bursting into the box and smashing an effort from a tight angle straight at the Foxes keeper, who did well to beat the ball away from the target.

Moments later, Helguson also went close, with his glancing header from Taarabt's sweeping free-kick from the left going just over the bar.

Rangers were edging ever closer.

Orr's ball into Helguson from the right saw the R's attacker play a clever reverse pass to Routledge, who bore down on goal before unleashing a powerful shot that smashed into the side netting.

But Leicester also went within a whisker of finding the net just minutes later.

Connolly failed to deal with a ball from deep and, when substitute Martyn Waghorn muscled his way past the defender, his effort went just over the advancing Kenny and over the target.

This was real end-to-end stuff.

Orr found Taarabt on the edge of the Foxes box, before the Moroccan magician's cross-come-shot went agonisingly across the face of goal - out of the reach of the waiting Helguson from six-yards out.

At the other end, Leicester went arguably their closest yet.

Yakubu found space down the left-hand channel and, when his pinpoint cross found the head of King, the midfield man's nodded effort - that appeared to be heading for the top right-hand corner - was superbly tipped to safety by Kenny.

If anything, Leicester appeared to have the momentum - that is of course, before a tactical masterstroke by Warnock - with Miller coming on to replace Taarabt - proved pivotal.

Routledge picked up possession on the left and, when his threaded through pass found Miller, the Baggies loanee shrugged off the attention of Bamba, before coolly slotting an effort under the onrushing Ricardo and into the back of the net from close range.

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Hall (Connolly 31), Taarabt (Miller 86), Helguson, Buzsaky (Ephraim 90), Faurlin, Routledge, Shittu.

Subs: Cerny, Hulse, Smith, Vaagan Moen.

Scorers: Miller (88)

Bookings: Helguson (68)

Leicester City: Ricardo, Oakley, King (Gallagher 79), Bruma, Naughton, Wellens, Abe, Yakubu (Dyer 86), Bamba, Mee, Vassell (Waghorn 65).

Subs: Weale, Vitor, Moreno, Berner.

Bookings: Bamba (53)

Referee: Mr R East

Attendance: 18, 068 (3237)

Leicester Official Site - Report: QPR 1 City 0
City's promotion hopes were dealt a sickening late blow as substitute Ishmael Miller hit the winner to extend QPR's lead at the top of the Championship.

Miller had barely been on the pitch sixty seconds when he raced onto a Wayne Routledge pass three minutes from the end, puncturing an impressive Foxes side that had comfortably matched the division's outstanding team for long periods at Loftus Road.

It sparked wild celebrations among the R's biggest home crowd of the season and pushed City back to ninth in the table, five points off the top six with 11 games to go in the season.

Looking to become only the second visiting side this season, after Watford, to leave Loftus Road with maximum points, Leicester went into the clash with the R's showing two changes from the 1-1 draw with Coventry.

With on-loan Chelsea defender Patrick Van Aanholt missing with a thigh injury, City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson opted to start another loanee, Manchester City's Ben Mee, in the left-back berth. Further forward, Matt Oakley added some midfield steel in place of Paul Gallagher, leaving Yakubu and Darius Vassell to lead a two-man attack.

Table-toppers QPR, looking to take a further step on what looks an increasingly-likely road to the Premier League, stuck with the same side that won so handsomely at Middlesbrough last week. Unbeaten in ten games prior to this game, Neil Warnock's men were hoping to extend their five-point lead at the top of the table and break into 70-point territory.

Rangers' success this season has been built on the talent they boast in attacking areas, particularly the mercurial gifts of skipper Adel Taarabt, who took an early opportunity to advance down the right after Mee had been crowded out on the touchline. Richie Wellens did well to apply pressure though, and the Moroccan's cross dropped behind.

But if the Rangers captain thought he would have things all his own way, Mee did his best to adjust the balance on eight minutes, thumping into a bone-shuddering, but perfectly-fair, challenge on the talented youngster that had the 3,200 City fans behind the goal on their feet.

While wary of the threat at their own end, City were growing in confidence further forward and Mee advanced to excellent effect down the left flank on 16 minutes, exchanging passes with Yakubu before the Nigerian's cross was sliced wide by the arriving Oakley under considerable pressure.

Taarabt switched with Akos Buzsaky to play a more advanced role alongside Heidar Helguson, but continued to be on the fringes by his own high standards. He finally got something going on 27 minutes when he combined with Helguson to give Buzsaky some space in the right side of the area, but Helguson's subsequent shot was saved smartly by Ricardo with his feet.

After dealing with the resulting corner, City responded superbly and went close twice within 30 seconds. Yakubu was responsible for both efforts, showing all his class and ability to issue a stark warning to the hosts.

Ricardo's clearance downfield found the on-loan Everton man moving into space down the left, but his angled volley from 25 yards was not what anyone expected and Paddy Kenny did superbly to tip over the bar.

The Nigerian striker was stunned that he hadn't bulged the net and he went close again from the resulting corner, flashing a drive just over the bar after Mee had headed down Oakley's delivery.

It was a sign that City were prepared to trade blows with their highly-rated opponents and they went close again on 38 minutes when Yakubu chested down 35 yards out and Andy King flashed a beautifully-struck shot a foot past Kenny's right-hand upright.

Not to be outdone, the hosts looked to have fashioned a fine opening of their own a couple of minutes later - Taarabt again the creator as he slip Wayne Routledge into space inside the box, but the assistant's flag went up just before Ricardo made a fine stop.

Turning into a very decent contest, the game flowed to the other end once more as Wellens and Yakubu combined well to find Mee charging in behind down the left, only for his low cross to prove just out of Vassell's reach in the middle. Naughton managed to retrive, crossing from the right before Yakubu controlled and curled straight at Kenny.


The game continued in its open nature after the break as City began to enjoy more of the ball and QPR looked to catch them on the break. Bamba was late in reaching a challenge with Helguson on halfway and was subsequently booked, but the attack broke down after referee Roger East had played advantage.

The hosts continued to threaten as Ricardo was forced to parry a well-struck shot from Buzsaky and Mee was forced to make a brilliant intervention to deny Taarabt after Routledge and Alejandro Faurlin had combined down the left.

While competing strongly in midfield and holding their own in the possession stakes, City were struggling to stop Rangers getting forward and when Helguson's neat lay-off picked out Routledge in the right side of the box, Foxes fans at the other end were relieved to see the wrong side of the net ripple.

Martyn Waghorn was introduced for Vassell soon after the hour and was in on goal with his very first touch, bustling Matthew Connolly off a long ball over the top and just lifting his shot over the bar.

The hosts, though, were starting to look ominously dangerous and were within a whisker of hitting the front on 70 minutes - Taarabt controlling Faurlin's pull-back from the right and flashing a drive across goal that Helguson was a stud's length from reaching.

Taarabt's frustration continued to grow as Bruma easily shook him off in a race for the ball 15 minutes from time, setting up a resulting attack from which Yakubu crossed from the left and King's header was brilliantly tipped over by Kenny.

As the irritation spread to the home supporters, City continued to give themselves a chance of a shock result and Waghorn will feel he should have done better ten minutes from the end - blazing over after Connolly had misread a ball over the top.

City mounted considerable pressure from that point, forcing a string of set-pieces that QPR began to rock from, but their defences were breached just three minutes from time with the simplest of goals.

Having been dispossessed moments before, Routledge was gifted the ball on the left flank and curled in behind the City defence for Miller, only brought on a minute before, to chase.

GOAL! QPR 1 CITY 0 - MILLER (87mins)

Bamba did his best to get back, as did Ricardo to close the space, but Miller was deadly as he slipped under the advancing Portuguese.

Latest action to appear here as it happens . . .

Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Kenny; Orr, Hall (Connolly 31), Shittu, Hill; Taarabt (c) (Miller 86), Derry, Faurlin, Routledge; Helguson, Buzsaky (Ephraim 90+4).

Subs not used: Cerny, Hulse, Smith, Moen.

Booked: Helguson

Leicester City (4-4-2): Ricardo; Naughton, Bruma, Bamba, Mee; Oakley (c), Abe, King (Gallagher 79), Wellens; Vassell (Waghorn 65), Yakubu (Dyer 86).

Subs not used: Weale, Vitor, Teixeira, Berner.

Booked: Bamba

Attendance: 18,068 (3,237 away)

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)

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