QPR 2-3 Manchester City – as it happened
An excellent game of football at Loftus Road as Manchester City fought back from a goal down to win 3-2 against an impressive QPR.
All the goals can be found here.
93 min: Helguson heads it wide, that should be it. It is, full time whistled with Joe Hart’s goal kick. Full time.
92 min: Paddy Kenny is up for a corner. 20 seconds left.
91 min: Armand Traore is substituted, Clint Hill in his place. Manchester City seem to have this done, taking a succession of cheap free kicks slowly on the right hand side.
90 min: The game has gone quiet, with QPR relying on long balls now. There are three minutes left of this.
87 min: QPR are having most of the ball, but are creating little. Edin Dzeko comes off and Kolo Toure comes on to reinforce the defence.
83 min: QPR so close to equalising as Helguson hits the post. Jamie Mackie is replaced by Tommy Smith. There are seven minutes, at least, left, and that last effort will spur QPR on to believe they can get something from this. Psychologically, it makes City more likely to sit back and invite more pressure.
80 min: Barton goes hard and late through the back of Silva, and is rightly booked. He really took a kick at him, and could have been sent off. He mouths off at Silva who dares to look aggrieved at being booted deliberately. How odd, Joey.
79 min: Dzeko flicks a pass through for Silva. He cuts back onto his left foot, and drills a shot wide of the goal. Excellent pass from Dzeko, who as he is tall, we are meant to be surprised he can pass.
77 min: Balotelli dives, anticipating a touch from Luke Young in the box. Pathetic. He’s booked.
76 min: Now Warnock changes up. Bothroyd is taken off and replaced by Puncheon. QPR will keep pressing for an equaliser.
73 min: Goal! QPR 2-3 Manchester City Kolarov has room to cross, and curls a lovely ball in for Yaya Toure. He meets it excellently, and his header finds the net. Immediately, Mancini swaps Barry for Balotelli. City are back on top now, but most importantly, FIREWORKS GAG.
72 min: QPR are a changed side. Whereas against Chelsea they were beheaded chickens, today Faurlin, Barton and Wright-Phillips have passed the ball excellently. If Taarabt stopped playing silly buggers, it would be a fine midfield.
68 min: Goal! QPR 2-2 Manchester City (Helguson) Traore is slipped in down the left as City reorganise their midfield. It was Johnson who let Traore in, and the cross is met by Bothroyd. His diving header hits Helguson, played onside by Savic, and deflects into the goal. City tried to bollock the linesman, saying it was offside. But it wasn’t. It was a goal. A GOAL.
66 min: Much better from Traore. Another spell of QPR keeping the ball, but his cross is volleyed well over, an excellent chance goes begging. Mancini makes his first change, as Adam Johnson replaces the muted Aguero. Is Adam Johnson as unpleasant as everyone says?
65 min: A good spell of possession ends when Traore crosses poorly. Traore has got forward very well, but his crossing has been poorer than even Patrice Evra’s.
62 min: Mackie twists past City defenders, but can’t get his shot away. He is clipped slightly by Savic, and the commentator says he should dive. The commentator says he should dive. What a sorry state this country is in.
60 min: Excellent save from Kenny. Dzeko is put in with a great through-ball, he wallops a low shot to Kenny’s right, who stretches to beat it away. This has been a really enjoyable football match. Yeah, I know, me too.
58 min: QPR come back at City now. City though have sharpened up a great deal, and despite Kompany being in the stands in his twatty hat, it’s unlikely they can break down City again. There’s no Taarabt on the bench, who would be worth the risk.
57 min: George Templeton again. ‘Watever Manchester City is paying David Silva, its not enough. That first touch is so brilliant and the finish is pure class. I know everyone says that City pay ridiculous wages, but you will have a hard time convincing me that Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany don’t earn every pound whenever they play.’ Of course they don’t earn their money. This whole thing is a grim capitalist spectacle. But in another sense, yeah, they’re fantastic.
54 min: Now Dzeko has a chance. Just inside the box, he has plenty of time to curl a shot goalwards. It’s too wide, and probably too slow, and out for a goal kick. Less than a minute later, Richards strides forward, centering the ball for Aguero. He tries a curler, too, but this time it’s well over the QPR goal.
51 min: Goal! QPR 1-2 Manchester City (Silva). Flip hot stuff. Silva dummies a pass back to Milner as he collects a cross in the QPR box. Instead of passing, he flicks the ball past the defenders going after him, and shoots low and hard past Paddy Kenny at his near post. A fantastic goal.
49 min: A scrappy opening to the second half, QPR aren’t pressing as they were in the first half, and City are enjoying possession far closer to the QPR goal. It’s a risk to try to shut them out for 45 minutes like this.
45 min: We kick off, and Joey Barton’s long range shot is clawed away by Joe Hart. Smart save and shot.
Philippa Booth has done some research. ’78% of City’s goals in the League before now have come in the second half, so trying to call it at half-time would appear a bit problematic.’ I didn’t know that. Given QPR have started to tire already, City will be optimistic. They can’t play as badly as they did in the first half.
George Templeton reckons, ‘Despite all the money spent on defense, without Vincent Kompany Manchester City’s defense is average.’ I would say half the problem for City is the switch from defensive to attacking strategy this season. So far, their forward play has been so good that there’s little pressure on the defence. Now, with the forwards misfiring, they’re under more pressure. It’s too early to say if there’s a real problem there.
You can find all the goals here.
46 min: There we go, it’s half time. I’m going to make another cup of tea. This game has been thoroughly entertaining, I recommend you get yourself an entirely legal subscription and watch it if you aren’t.
44 min: City hit the post! Kolarov is tackled inside the box and the ball rolls out to Aguero. He steers a low show towards goal, Kenny is motionless, but it clips the post to go out for a goal kick. Manchester City look like they can be bothered, finally.
42 min: Goal! QPR 1-1 Manchester City. Time to do the tedious Poznan. City break forward, the ball comes to Edin Dzeko, who cuts in to rifle a great finish into the corner of the net. It was a fantastic finish, and now Manchester City will expect to win this. QPR couldn’t keep up their pressure for long enough.
41 min: Dzeko passes back. It’s dreadful. It’s intercepted by, I think, Mackie, who has time to cross to Bothroyd, again in space. His header is back from the direction it came from, but it just strokes the post. A let off for City, who now have a free kick, just left of central. Half of City are considering taking it. Kolarov takes, it’s over the wall, but it can’t come down enough so is out and over by a good couple of yards.
38 min: Kolarov slips as he attempts to cross. Bobbie Em is looking flipping cross right now. City have been a shadow of their usual excellence, I expect him to make at least one substitution at half time. The trouble is that defence, midfield and attack have all been lacking, what changes can he make to solve all three?
37 min: Phillipa Booth emails, which is appreciated. ‘Anyway – am watching the match with no sound (long story) so am wondering what would be the best backdrop I could add?’
What about a nice bit of Part Chimp?
33 min: Wright=Phillips sprints down the left. He cuts across, stumbles a little, passes right to Mackie. He shoots to Joe Hart’s right, the keeper pushes it away well, and Helguson dives to head back on goal. It looks to be going in, but Joe Hart reacts brilliantly to block, and the striker had already been flagged offside.
32 min: Aguero slipped in by Yaya Toure. He’s in with a chance to shoot, but Ferdinand takes it off his toes. It turns out Bothroyd won his freekick, that he converted, by simply falling over.
27 min: Goal! QPR 1-0 Manchester City (Bothroyd). A great cross from Joey Barton, curling away from the keeper. Bothroyd, in a disgusting amount of space, puts a firm header to the right of Joe Hart. This was coming. Manchester City run forward in search of an equaliser, Aguero handballs the ball to control it, passes to Dzeko, but his shot is blocked.
26 min: Manchester City are sluggish, and QPR are doing the whippet. They are getting everywhere. Barton has another freekick now. Forty yards from goal, just by the right hand side byline. Helguson lurks, but…
23 min: Almost. The corner is taken deep and Helguson puts it back across goal. Ferdinand, stretching, puts it wide. It was such a good chance. City’s attack is ended when Silva’s pass is far too heavy for humanoid James Milner to reach. Mancini has the radge, and has asked his subs to warm up.
22 min: Feel free to email. Adel Taarabt’s absence is conspicuous, because he’s not constantly acting the tart. A freekick to QPR, just in City’s half, is headed out for a corner. Joey Barton’s crossing has been much better today.
20 min: Decent spell of possession for Manchester City, exchanging passes between the defence, Barry and Yaya Toure. As soon as they venture further forward, Faurlin intercepts a pass and is fouled. Vincent Kompany, in the stands, is wearing a really, really, stupid
17 min: Here’s ray of sunshine, Ethan Dean-Richards, ‘A note on Alex Ferguson’s 25 year celebrations. Some genuine emotion at Old Trafford – 25 years is a real achievement and Ferguson deserves praise for it – but like everything top clubs come up with it also felt forced and self-conscious. The naming of the stand, the guard of honour: surely it’s really meant for when he retires. It’s like they can’t wait for an excuse for a show of sentimentality to prove that they aren’t a corporate machine. Of course, faux-sentimentality is exactly what corporate machines do – see the Christmas adverts for details. Still, I can’t wait for Mancini’s 25 years shindig. ‘ I can’t disagree. God, I love football.
14 min: Aguero skips past Anton Ferdinand, nutmegging him in the process. His run down the touchline results in a corner, but QPR win the ball back, and play their way out of trouble. Helguson receives the ball from Barton, and from the same position as his earlier volley, aims a left foot shot straight at Hart.
12 min: A speculative long ball is cleared by QPR. They’ve been much more impressive than they were against Tottenham, Neil Warnock having decided to stick with the team that performed well in the second half last week.
10 min: Yaya Toure does the same, and my ESPN feed goes haywire. Traore again down the left in space crosses, but the ball is cut out calmly, and the ball is now with the probably objectionable Joe Hart.
8 min: Faurlin spreads the play left. Traore’s cross is deflected out for a corner. Barton, with his hair cut, takes the corner. It’s cleared at the far post. The ball is cleared by City after some sustained pressure, but Barry spoils a break by passing to the advertising hoarding.
6 min: Neil Warnock has taken on a Martin Sheen look. Martin Sheen’s current body, but with his Apocalypse Now eyes. Manchester City remain mainly in their half as QPR hassle them.
3 min: QPR have started the brighter of the two teams. Helguson puts a volley just inside the box wide of the goal. QPR are pressing City just as they did Chelsea when JT dropped his F bomb.
1 min: We’ve kicked off, so just another two hours and I can go to bed. Garry Bareth’s thirty yard shot goes well over.
So, half a billion pounds. Does that make City’s title triumph more or less hollow than his Inter Milan trophies? I suppose nobody really cares anymore.
Those William Hill adverts. Someone needs to be taken to task for them, with a baseball bat.
Team News, while I make ma cup of tea.
QPR: Kenny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Mackie, Barton, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd, Helguson.
Subs: Murphy, Orr, Hill, Derry, Smith, Andrade, Puncheon.
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Savic, Lescott, Kolarov, Barry, Toure Yaya, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Nasri, Clichy, Toure, Balotelli.
Good evening. I’m struggling a little here. Last night I went to the Hackney Pearl, the one redeeming feature of Hackney Wick. After a couple of hours I found myself behind the bar with the barman, inventing a new cocktail. Well, more a twist on an existing classic. It’s damson gin, pastis, lime juice, mint and soda water/prosecco. Give it a go, it will make you feel nightmarish the day after.