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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

QPR Report Wednesday: Swansea Reports...Next: Arsenal...Crushing Chelsea...Frank McLintock Turns 72

- Ex-QPR Frank McLintock Turns 72
- Throughout the day, the QPR Report Messageboard has news updates, comments and perspectives - even links to other board comments of interest re QPR matters (on and off the field) along with football (and ONLY football) topics in general....Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- VIDEO Highlights of Swansea vs QPR

- NEXT: Arsenal-QPR: Past Games/Reports/Photos..."Played for Both Clubs"

- Traore Off to the African Nations Cup in January

- Ex-QPR Frank McLintock Turns 72

- What the Premiership Table Looked like a Year Ago: Blackpool 8th with 25 points

- On this Day: QPR Crush Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

- QPR-Indian Connection Continues

- REMINDER: QPR Official Supporters Club (OSC) AGM & EGM Scheduled - December 31st Deadline to Attend or Apply

Some Recent Christmas Greetings to QPR Fans From Loftus Road
- The QPR Chaplain Reflects

- Photos from Swansea vs QPR


Neil Warnock was pleased with QPR's character, as Rangers came back from a goal down to claim a fully-deserved point against Swansea City.

Danny Graham 'handed' the Swans an early lead when he fired home from 18-yards despite handling in the build-up to the goal, before Jamie Mackie drew QPR level on 57 minutes.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Warnock said: "Their goal was a total injustice.

"We thought it was a blatant handball.

"The ref said he saw it but deemed it to be accidental, which is what worries me more than anything.

"When you watch it - it's the most obvious handball.

"On the flip side, they think they should have had a penalty and I said to Brendan (Rodgers) afterwards that I hoped it was the most blatant penalty you'll ever see, because of what happened to us for their goal."

Warnock added: "I said at half-time the second goal of the game would be crucial and once we got it I honestly thought we would go on to win the game.

"It's a good point here though.

"We played a lot quicker in the second half and I thought we were the better side.

"We looked much more of a threat."

The recalled Adel Taarabt was one of the stars of the show for Rangers in the second half and Warnock hailed his performance, adding: "Adel was super today.

"He probably deserved to be on the winning side, as did Ali Faurlin, who was magnificent."

Warnock added: "I'm delighted for Jamie (Mackie).

"He's a smashing lad, who gives us everything.

"When the keeper came out and spread himself I knew he'd tuck it away.

"He took it really well." QPR

GUARDIAN/Joe Lovejoy - Michel Vorm saves Swansea after Jamie Mackie earns point for QPR

Liberty Stadium

Queens Park Rangers were the better team when these two were in the Championship last season, Swansea City are better now, but the enigma that is Adel Taarabt turned back the clock on Tuesday to earn a draw for the club he is anxious to leave.

Neil Warnock, who is prepared to sell the Moroccan maverick to the highest bidder when the transfer window opens, restored him to the starting lineup for the first time since the end of October. He was rewarded with an influential performance which enabled QPR to wrest the initiative away from the Swans after they had taken an early lead.

Like his manager, Taarabt is not everybody's cup of Earl Grey, but he can play when the mood takes him and here he was back to something like the form that made him Championship player of the year last season, ahead of Craig Bellamy et al. Full of more dubious self-belief than the whole cast of The X Factor, he insists he should be playing Champions League football and has told his team‑mates so. But Europe's finest appear not to share that exaggerated opinion, and decent offers for his services have not been forthcoming.

If that situation changes next month and QPR get the £15m they want, Warnock will not be displeased, having grown tired of a player who gives a double meaning to the label "schemer". Taarabt will be gone anyway in the second week of January, when he joins up with Morocco for the Africa Cup of Nations. He was rivalled for man-of-the-match honours here by Holland's Kemy Agustien who, returning after hamstring trouble, gave Swansea the edge in midfield until Angel Rangel's withdrawal with an ankle injury forced Agustien into emergency service at full-back.

Both teams could have done with maximum points to keep them out of the relegation maelstrom, but the two of them seem good enough to stay up regardless. QPR are closest to the bottom three, but Warnock says he has money to spend and confidently expects to bring in "three or four" reinforcements in January.

The rival managers, good friends since gaining promotion together last season, eventually accepted that the draw was the most equitable outcome, but not before castigating the referee, Lee Probert, who had a shocker. He failed to penalise Danny Graham for handball in the act of scoring Swansea's goal, denied the Welsh team an obvious penalty and should have sent off Joey Barton for a dreadful foul on Jazz Richards. Barton said afterwards he was "off to hospital" where his wife was in labour. He was lucky not to be facing extended paternity leave.

Swansea were rewarded for a bright start with a goal in the 14th minute. Graham turned one way and then the other, bemusing Luke Young and Fitz Hall, before burying a right-footed shot low inside Paddy Kenny's left-hand post. It was a top-class strike by the £3.75m recruit from Watford, who was a slow starter at Premier League level but has now scored six in his last 11 games.

QPR claimed the ball hit Graham's hand during his execution and replays suggested they had a case. Warnock said: "The referee told me he saw the handball, but that it wasn't deliberate. That disappoints me more than if he'd missed it."

At half-time QPR had only Barton's shot from distance to show for their hurrying and scurrying, but Taarabt was starting to make his presence felt and in the 58th minute they drew level via a "route one" equaliser. The vertically challenged Leon Britton could only back-head Paddy Kenny's long clearance to Jamie Mackie, who scored from near the penalty spot.

Swansea should have had their penalty when Graham was floored by Armand Traoré. Brendan Rodgers said of the incident: "Traoré made the foul and normally, in the box with the referee so close, it's a penalty, but the referee's reaction probably summed up his performance. He was inconsistent throughout the game."

Warnock said: "I thought that was the most stonewall penalty you'll see. I said so to Brendan afterwards and we had a good laugh about it. Anyone can make a mistake, but at the end of the day they've got to know the rules." Guardian


Jamie Mackie's 57th-minute effort earned QPR a deserved share of the spoils at the Liberty Stadium.

In front of the live Sky Sports cameras, Swansea were ahead after just 14 minutes through Danny Graham.

There was a question of handball against the Swans forward in the build-up - but there was no doubting the quality of Graham's eventual effort, after he fired home a magnificent effort from 20 yards.

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Rangers - who were unfortunate to be behind - continued to press and, just 12 minutes after the break, found a warranted equaliser.

Leon Britton's misplaced header after a long kick from Paddy Kenny put Mackie in the clear, before the R's attacker kept his cool to slide the Hoops level.

Both sides pushed for a second, but the draw was probably a fair outcome.

Warnock rang the changes in South Wales, making no less than three alterations to his R's side that picked up a 3-2 defeat against Sunderland in W12 on Wednesday night.

Fitz Hall, Clint Hill and Adel Taarabt were all handed starts - at the expense of Matt Connolly, Danny Gabbidon and Shaun Wright Phillips respectively.

Kenny was in goal for QPR, in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Luke Young, Hall, Hill and Armand Traore lined up at the back.

Shaun Derry and Alejandro Faurlin were in defensive midfield, behind the more advanced trio of Joey Barton, Taarabt and Mackie.

Heidar Helguson - on target for his seventh league goal of the season against the Mackems last week - led the Rangers line in attack.

QPR made a bright start and looked tidy in possession - particularly through reintroduced Moroccan ace Taarabt.

It wasn't long before the R's carved open their first chance of the evening.

Barton's high ball from the right found Helguson at the back post, whose nod back across goal saw Mackie force a fine point-black save from Michel Vorm from all of three-yards out.

And the Swans keeper was again called into action on nine minutes - although his job was a little easier this time, comfortably collecting Helguson's tame effort low at his left-hand post.

Five minutes later, the hosts edged ahead with their first real opportunity of the contest.

Routledge's lofted cross found Graham, who eventually controlled - with suspicions of a hand ball - on the edge of the box before curling a shot low into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

QPR were unfortunate to be behind but it could have been worse just two minutes later, after Ashley Williams headed a Britton corner just inches over the bar.

The Swans - buoyed by a now vocal home crowd - grew in confidence after their opener.

But it was still Rangers who continued to pose more questions.

Vorm was forced into an acrobatic save on 18 minutes.

Taarabt's quick free-kick into Barton saw the former Newcastle man unleash a 30-yard blast that was fantastically tipped over the bar by the Dutch shot-stopper.

Kenny pulled off a smart save from Graham's 20-yard drive eight minutes before the break, before the R's twice went close to levelling on the stroke of half time.

Young and Taarabt combined down the right, before the latter sent over a looping cross for Hill, who - stretching for the ball - sent a header over the target.

Moments later, Rangers again went close. Barton's pinpoint ball from the right found Helguson, who rose highest but saw his nodded effort clear the bar.

The R's continued to enjoy their fair share of possession after the half-time interval - going close on in the 51st minute.

Barton's ball into Taarabt on the right-hand edge of the box saw the gifted playmaker turn to fire in a low shot that was deflected just wide of the target.

QPR soon went close again. This time, free-flowing build-up play eventually ended in Faurlin cutting in from the right, before curling a shot past the far post.

Swansea themselves went within a whisker on 56 minutes.

Allen's cutting ball put Routledge through on goal who, albeit from an acute angle, dragged an effort wide of the left-hand post from close range.

Two minutes later, Rangers were deservedly on terms.

Kenny's kick up field was unintentionally headed back by Britton into the path of Mackie, who raced into the area before coolly sliding the ball past Vorm.

Minutes later and Mackie - now in the grove after his goal - again went close, driving past two players and into the box, before Vorm did well to collect the ball at his feet.

The Swans had strong appeals for a penalty turned down in the 73rd minute, following Traore's challenge on Graham in the box.

And just a minute later, the R's almost struck what would have been a contender for goal of the season.

Crisp passing play eventually ended with Faurlin exchanging passes with Taarabt.

Thereafter, the Moroccan opened his body on 25 yards before drilling a low shot towards the right-hand corner that forced a superb stop from Vorm, who turned the ball around the post.

Swansea City: Vorm, Williams, Caulker, Britton, Graham, Sinclair, Routledge (Dyer 57), Rangel (Moore 57) Allen, Agustien, Richards.

Subs: Tremmel, Dobbie, Monk, Lita, Gower.

Goals: Graham (14)

Bookings: Richards (42)

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Hall, Taarabt, Faurlin, Mackie, Traore, Barton, Young, Helguson.

Subs: Cerny, Orr, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Connolly, Smith, Wright-Phillips.

Goals: Mackie (57)

Bookings: Hill (35), Barton (65), Taarabt (90)

Referee: Mr L Probert

Attendance: 19,570

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