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Sunday, January 29, 2012

QPR Report Sunday: Compilation of QPR-Chelsea Match Reports, Managerial Comments and Match Day Photos


- Photo Compilation of QPR and Chelsea Fans and the Security/Police Measures
- See Also: 130 Photos from QPR vs Chelsea
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- On This Day Flashback: QPR's League Cup Quarter Final Win at Chelsea (VIDEO)...Birthdays for Ex-QPR Mark Stein & Steve Yates

- Updated QPR Transfer Gossip Articles (Go to last page and work back!)

- Ex-QPR Director, Kevin Steele (Under Caliendo-Paladini) Sentenced to 5 1/2 Prison - and Steele/QPR Flashbacks

- Next: Aston Villa

Soccerway - Taarabt furious over Morocco exit

Morocco forward Adel Taarabt has expressed his anger at seeing his country suffer a group stage exit from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Atlas Lions surprisingly bowed out of the competition on Friday after being defeated 3-2 by host nation Gabon, but the QPR star admits their elimination was justified following a couple of below-par performances in Group C.

"I am very angry about our early elimination from the cup - we played terrible and we disappointed our fans," Taarabt told Itasport.

As a result of Morocco's failings, Taarabt revealed he wants to bounce back as quickly as possible by resuming his Premier League sojourn with QPR, who have enjoyed a recent upturn in fortunes with the appointment of Mark Hughes.

"I want to return to QPR and help the team as soon as I can. I'm happy to go back to London, but to leave without even a victory is really disappointing," the former Lens man said.
Morocco play out their remaining group match against Niger on Tuesday Soccerway


QPR Official Site

Posted on: Sat 28 Jan 2012

Mark Hughes believes QPR were unfortunate to concede what proved to be a match-deciding penalty as Chelsea edged through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at Loftus Road.

Referee Mike Dean awarded the spot-kick on 62 minutes, adjudging Clint Hill to have felled Daniel Sturridge at the far post.

"It wasn't a penalty, not at all," Hughes said after the final whistle.

"I think if Mike Dean looks at the incident again he'll see Daniel Sturridge has gone down very easily.

"He (Sturridge) knows in those circumstances he isn't going to win the header so he's looking for something in the box.

"Unfortunately the referee has seen that as a foul and we have paid the consequences of conceding the penalty.

"The referee will be disappointed with the decision because there is no way that it is a penalty.

"We are disappointed obviously and I felt that decision came during our best period when we were looking to affect the game in an attacking sense.

"That really took the wind out of our sails. It is disappointing but I am really proud of the effort the lads put in today."

Despite his understandable frustration, Hughes was able to take a number of positives from what was a tight affair against Andre Villas Boas's side.

"We have worked exceptionally hard today," said the R's boss. "We had good shape, good discipline, we understood what we needed to do.

"In key moments we needed to retain possession a little bit better than we did today but obviously we are playing an accomplished side in Chelsea.

"But in terms of our discipline and shape I thought we were excellent."

In the lead up to the game, the focus of many was on the expected handshakes between the two teams.

However, both QPR and Chelsea - in consultation with the FA - took the decision to drop the normal pre-match protocol.

And Hughes explained: "It got to the point where everybody was talking about the handshake when they should have been talking about a football match to be perfectly honest.

"It was ridiculous. So we decided to take it out of the equation and that was exactly the right thing to do."

Now QPR head into a crucial Premier League fixture at Aston Villa on Wednesday evening, and Hughes is looking ahead with confidence.

"We have got players to come in," he said. "We've got Nedum Onuoha and Taye Taiwo who we have added to the squad and hopefully we can bring a couple more in which will help us.

"What I have been really pleased with is the effort and the aptitude of the players.

"They work exceptionally hard for each other and I can't emphasise that too much. If I have that in the group I'm happy because I know I have got something to work with."

Chelsea Official Site

Posted on: Sat 28 Jan 2012

Andre Villas-Boas praised the team's discipline and was impressed by improvement shown after half-time in our FA Cup victory at QPR on Saturday.

Pre-match talk was dominated by the on-going John Terry and Anton Ferdinand saga, and this early kick-off did little to switch the focus back to football with neither side creating many goalscoring chances in an unremarkable and unmemorable encounter.

The goal this afternoon came from the penalty spot, Juan Mata finding the bottom corner after Daniel Sturridge had been nudged to the ground by Rangers defender Clint Hill in the second half. That we then went on to keep a clean sheet, with David Luiz and Terry exemplary, will also be food for thought with new signing Gary Cahill waiting on the bench.

'I think the excellent positive today was our change from the first half to the second,' the 34-year-old highlighted. 'We looked dominant for the whole game but in the first half we looked one-paced, slow in our possession, still creating danger but maybe with less incisiveness than in the second half and in the second half we were better and improved as a team.

'Because of that amount of attack we created in the second half we eventually got the penalty. It was a good solid display. QPR are difficult on the counter and create problems, mainly from our mistakes, but we move on with a good 1-0 and go through.'

The manager reserved praise for his defensive players, and in particular the captain who dealt admirably with a barrage of abuse from the home support.

'It was a good solid display defensively,' he said. 'To be fair this January we have shown we have organised ourselves a little better in defence, not conceding so many goals, and it is repaying us. We look more organised and solid and when we scored we managed to hang on to the match.

'Individually John had an excellent performance and was very focused, he managed to get the off-field events out of his mind and concentrate fully on his job.

'There was a tendency from the players to focus only on the game. To be fair the QPR players were also outstanding on that commitment. Emotions were kept low and both teams set out to play football and it worked as a spectacle.'

Villas-Boas felt the decision of referee Mike Dean to award us the penalty was justified, and pointed to the one given against us in October as justification.

'They reacted angrily of course, not satisfied with the penalty,' he said. 'Mike has given it and if you guys can recall it is very similar to the David Luiz and Helguson here, and nobody seemed to criticise anything, instead pointing the finger at David Luiz for his mistake.'

QPR boss Mark Hughes felt otherwise.

'I am pleased with the effort and performance but disappointed with
the penalty which I thought was very harsh,' said the Welshman.
'I think he said to Paddy Kenny that he had to give the penalty because the lad was going to head the ball in. I felt Daniel Sturridge went down a bit easily. It was one of our better periods in the game, where Cech made a good save.'

Hughes conceded QPR had not done enough to win but felt they were good for a replay.

'We're disappointed because we worked exceptionally hard today. In fairness we weren't able to retain possession higher up the field after defending so well, where our discipline was excellent,' the former Chelsea striker said.

'Along with that if you're working exceptionally hard you have to go the other way and we weren't able to do that as much as I would have liked, but we lost a number of players through injury during the week and Heidar Helguson had to come off at half-time.

'We didn't do enough to win but easily could have got a draw out of the game.'

Villas-Boas put out the strongest team available to him, but lost Ramires with what looks to be medial ligament damage in the second half.

'I think the team that we showed today was the team that has been competing extremely well in training. Everyone has been up a level on the winter trip [to Mallorca], and we had to make a decision for the starting 11 - it was strong,' the Portuguese said. 'Normally in cup competitions we see slight changes to the starting 11, not that I haven't done it in the past but bearing in mind our position in the league and the history and prestige of this trophy it sends a good sign for our commitment to the trophy and the people in our team competing for a place. It is still a competition for the players and today we set up with the best possible team.
'[Ramires] looks like a medial ligament injury, not so bad in terms of knee injuries. He will have an MRI tomorrow and we will know the full extent. Hopefully he will avoid an operation and be back soon. We could look at four weeks, but we have to know the extent of the injury to give a good assessment.'
It is possible Frank Lampard could return for Tuesday's Barclays Premier League game at Swansea.
'Frank we have to see how he comes back for training, he is still a doubt, a 50 percent chance, and Mikel shouldn't make it.
'We are within a five-point margin from the third-placed team and five points more than Arsenal in fifth. It's important to try and reach the top and go to Swansea fully motivated. They lost to Sunderland but are on a good run, plus they are one of the teams that play fantastic football. It should build up to an exciting game, and it's important for us to show consistency in the away games but do better than Norwich.'
Both managers discussed the decision, made jointly between Chelsea, QPR and the FA not to stage a pre-game handshake, given the attention that had been building.
'I think it was a wise decision bearing in mind the expectancy aroused from the fact a couple of events could happen in that handshake,' Villas-Boas said. 'Bearing that in mind it was wise not to do it because it could impact crowd behaviour straight after. Everything was clear and both teams got on. It was sensible.'
Hughes added: 'I thought it was the correct decision. There was so much attention shown to such a brief moment it was clouding the issue, which today was surely the FA Cup tie. It was exactly the right thing to do.
There were discussions yesterday, and we had a meeting last night and we gave our view on what should happen. We all came to the same decision.
'In the end it was about taking it out of the equation. I have a bit of history to do with handshakes myself and if they're not done with integrity why do it at all? They're an irritation and I don't know where they've come from. People think it is vitally important teams do this, I thought there was nothing wrong with the old days where you just run out and play a game of football.'

Finally, Villas-Boas had praise for the travelling Chelsea support.
'It was positive. We got more ticket allocation than the league game and filled out the stand,' he said. 'We had good support throughout the game, important for us. It is the environment we want to transfer to Stamford Bridge, which is much more anxious. Away it is more supportive and helps the players feel better.'

Dave McIntyre/West London Sport

Penalty decision angers QPR boss

Hughes believes QPR have a bright future.

QPR manager Mark Hughes insisted referee Mike Dean was wrong to award the penalty which led to Chelsea’s winner in the FA Cup clash at Loftus Road.

Dean pointed to the spot after Daniel Sturridge went down under a challenge from Clint Hill, who angrily argued that the Blues forward had dived.

Hill protested bitterly after a penalty was awarded against him.

Juan Mata made no mistake from 12 yards, sending his team into the fifth round and leaving Hughes furious.

“I think it was very harsh and Mike Dean will be disappointed when he sees the decision he’s made,” said Hughes.

“He told Paddy Kenny he had to give a penalty because he thought Sturridge would have scored with the header. I think he [Sturridge] went down a bit too easily.

“It’s disappointing for us because the goal came during one of our better periods in the game.”

Hughes praised Anton Ferdinand, who produced a solid performance despite the furore surrounding the R’s defender and John Terry.

“I think Anton has conducted himself really well, not just this week but over a number of weeks,” he said.

“The focus was on him, and for him to play as well as he did means he comes away with a lot of credit.”

Hughes added: “We’re disappointed, because we worked hard in terms of discipline and defensive shape but weren’t able to retain possession higher up the field after defending so well.

“If you’re working extremely hard you still need to be able to go the other way and affect the game. Unfortunately we didn’t do that as well as I’d have liked.

“It was understandable, because we lost players during the week and during the game.

“Heidar Helguson had to come off at half-time and Akos Buzsaky, who hasn’t trained all week, looked leggy towards the end.”

And Hughes revealed that Helguson, who has been nursing an ongoing groin problem, is “very unlikely” to play against Aston Villa in midweek


Dave McIntyre/West London Sport

Mata’s penalty gives Blues derby victory

Mata played a key role in Chelsea's first-half winner.

Juan Mata’s penalty settled the west London grudge match and sent Chelsea into the FA Cup fifth round.

The Spaniard showed great composure to score after Daniel Sturridge had gone down under a challenge from Clint Hill.

Terry played well after a nervous start.

But his team’s victory was somewhat marred by an injury to Ramires, who was stretchered off 12 minutes from time after falling awkwardly.

The spotlight was inevitably on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry given the furore surrounding the pair since the latter was accused of racially abusing the QPR centre-back when these teams met three month ago.

After much speculation about whether Ferdinand would shake Terry’s hand before kick-off, there were no handshakes at all – as the whole pre-match procedure was scrapped.

Back at Loftus Road for the first time since the alleged incident involving Ferdinand, Terry was predictably barracked by the home fans.

He looked nervous on the ball in the opening stages, but his team’s display with nine men against Rangers in October suggested the home side had reason to feel anxious.

QPR won that controversial clash courtesy of Heidar Helguson’s early penalty but spent much of the game chasing shadows despite the first-half dismissals of Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba.

That gave an indication of the gulf in class between these two neighbours and it was evident again for much of this encounter.

But for all Chelsea’s neat approach play, it took a hotly disputed penalty on the hour-mark for them to break the deadlock.

Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot despite Hill’s furious insistence that Sturridge dived, and Mata coolly netted his eighth goal of the season.

It came barely a minute after QPR had almost scored against the run of play.

Shaun Wright-Phillips’ shot was parried by keeper Petr Cech towards an unmarked Jamie Mackie, who was unable to react quickly enough to make contact.

Nevertheless, Chelsea’s breakthrough was a deserved one as they had been well on top.

They dominated most of the first half and Mata brought a save from Paddy Kenny after a slip by R’s defender Luke Young.

And early in the second period, Fernando Torres cleverly turned away from Ferdinand and Hill to tee up Sturridge, who blazed over.

After Mata picked his spot, sending Kenny the wrong way, Rangers rarely looked like finding an equaliser – although Cech produced an injury-time save to deny Young.

And the loss of Ramires robbed Chelsea of the game’s most impressive player.

As sweet as this victory will taste for the Blues, the prospect of a long spell without the Brazilian midfielder will cause them real concern.



Mata books Chelsea's passage as neighbours refuse to make a fuss
Not even a controversial penalty fans the flames as players avoid pre-match handshake and remain on best behaviour in wake of Terry-Ferdinand affair

There was no handshake, and precious little football either, at Loftus Road yesterday as a promising FA Cup tie was suffocated by the controversy surrounding it. So determined were both teams to avoidfurther inflaming the tension provoked by John Terry's alleged use of racist language towards Anton Ferdinand in their last meeting that QPR even accepted with only moderate anger the highly dubious penalty award which settled the match in Chelsea's favour.

The spot-kick, converted by Juan Mata on the hour, was given after Daniel Sturridge fell dramatically to the floor after Clint Hill made mild contact with his back. QPR, who beat Chelsea here in thrilling circumstances in October, never looked like levelling and can now return to their relegation battle. For Chelsea, the next items on the agenda are a Premier League match at Swansea on Tuesday, and an appearance at west London magistrates' court for Terry on Wednesday, where he will be formally charged.

If Terry is being affected by the affair it is not showing on the pitch. Yesterday he produced an assured performance, albeit rarely put under pressure by a QPR side overly focused on defence. Ferdinand, whose performances after the incidents faltered, also played well, which was all the more creditable given he was sent a bullet in the post last week.

"I thought Anton conducted himself really, really well, not only this week but for a number of weeks," said Mark Hughes, the QPR manager. "It was important he faced what he had to face, and I'm pleased for him. He was right to be concerned by the content of the letter. I read it and it wasn't particularly nice."

Andre Villas-Boas was equally complimentary about Terry, who was abused throughout by the home support. The Chelsea manager said: "He had an excellent performance, very, very focused. Off-field events were out of his mind and he concentrated on events on the pitch."

Only once did the verbal taunts threaten to spill over into something more sinister, a fan throwing the match ball into Ashley Cole's back as Chelsea prepared to take a throw-in. The refer-ee, Mike Dean, intervened, asking the nearest steward to speak to the man involved. There were no arrests, then or elsewhere in the ground, for which both clubs and the FA will be grateful.

It may have helped that there was not much to get excited about for the game was dire, especially in a lifeless first half. QPR, despite the small capacity of Loftus Road, failed to sell out this west London derby, and the fans who stayed away made the right decision. Hughes has made great play of the fact he has given his new team greater organisation and yesterday he praised his players' work-rate and defensive discipline.

Yet QPR have lost the attacking intent they had under Neil Warnock and only twice exercised Petr Cech. Once was in the seventh minute of injury time, when he parried Luke Young's shot, the other, after 59 minutes, led indirectly to Chelsea's goal.

Shaun Wright-Phillips beat Cole on the right and fired in a rasping shot, which Cech parried perilously close to Tommy Smith. It fell instead to Ramires, who run deep into QPR territory. The move broke down but was resuscitated, and Mata crossed towards Sturridge. Hill nudged the striker in the back and he tumbled to the deck with enthusiasm.

"It was very harsh," said Hughes. "Mike Dean will be disappointed when he sees the decision he's given. He told Paddy Kenny he had to give it as [Sturridge] was going to head the ball, but that was not my view." Chelsea lost to a similar, if more obvious, penalty in October and Villas-Boas said: "We were treated unfairly then, maybe QPR were treated unfairly [today]."

Chelsea fielded a full-strength team and Villas-Boas confirmed afterwards that, with the Premier League title looking out of reach, he was aiming to win the FA Cup. His team produced, as he said, "a good solid display" but lacked panache. Fernando Torres looked to have regressed, Mata only occasionally influenced play and Sturridge continually turned inside, on to his favoured foot but into trouble.

Worryingly, Ramires, who did provide energy, departed on a stretcher late on. The QPR fans suspended hostilities and clapped him off. He was diagnosed with medial ligament damage, but Chelsea hope the Brazilian will be back within a month.

There was one effort on goal in the opening half and that followed a mistake, Mata testing Kenny with a fierce shot. The second half offered little more, with Chelsea largely happy to knock the ball around the back four and QPR, even after falling behind, usually prepared to let them.

With Heidar Helguson suffering a muscle injury, Joey Barton quiet and Akos Buzsaky finding the game rather harder than he had against Wigan last week, QPR lacked firepower.

Hughes will doubtless renew his efforts to add to his squad in the closing days of the transfer window. "The disappointment was that we were unable to build on our defensive platform and attack," he said.

QPR (4-4-2): Kenny; Young, Hall, Ferdinand, Hill; Mackie, Buzsaky (Hulse, 80), Barton, Wright-Phillips; Smith, Helguson (Macheda, h/t).

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires (Romeu, 79), Meireles, Malouda; Sturridge, Torres, Mata (Essien, 90).

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Ramires (Chelsea)

Match rating: 3/10

Queens Park Rangers 0 Chelsea 1 (Mata, pen)

Spotlight on John Terry

So what happened to the handshake?

There was no formal handshake between the teams after QPR's players said they would refuse to shake hands with John Terry as a gesture of solidarity with AntonFerdinand. Terry did, however, shake the hand of Joey Barton the QPR captain at the coin toss, and those of the match officials. After the game, Barton (pictured) was again the only QPR player whose hand he shook.

How did the fans greet his first touch?

He was booed throughout by QPR fans, but as the match wore on the venom in the booing dropped. There was also a series of chants directed at Terry and his family, some too unsavoury to print. They included: 'John Terry, we know what you said'. The Chelsea fans cheered him.

Did he have any arguments with anybody on the pitch?

None whatsoever. The game was surprisingly bereft of confrontations between players.

How did he play?

Very well. If not quite flawless, Terry won the majority of his headers, tracked his man, won most of his tackles, generally distributed the ball well and made no serious errors. Independent

The Sweeper understands that the approach, believed to have been made last autumn, received a lukewarm response because of Fulham’s plans to expand the club’s home since 1896.

A planning application to develop the Riverside Stand and increase Craven Cottage’s capacity to 30,000 from 25,700 was submitted to the council earlier this month. Fulham, who were tenants at Loftus Road between 2002 and 2004 while the Cottage was developed, will only reconsider the possibility of a ground share if the proposal is rejected by the council.

QPR’s first choice is to buy a parcel of land that belongs to the BBC at White City, which is next to the vast Westfield shopping development and adjacent to the A40.

However, the cost of building a 30,000-capacity stadium from scratch in an area where land and construction costs are so expensive is proving prohibitive and the plan to go it alone at the site has been put on ice.

Sources have told The Sweeper that one suggestion that has been aired is for QPR to move from Hammersmith and Fulham to the adjacent borough of Ealing and a site in Acton, which is close enough to the club’s current Shepherd’s Bush home not to anger the hardcore support.

QPR refused to comment on their stadium plans but it is understood that the club’s priority when the transfer window shuts is to source a site for a new training ground.

No stadium share would get off the ground without the approval of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council, who insist they have not been pushing for the two clubs, who are 2.5 miles apart, to build a new stadium.

“There is always speculation and rumour about our premiership football clubs,” said a council spokesman. “However, suggestions that Fulham and QPR have held any discussions with the council about a possible ground share are wide of the mark." Goal.com

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