Queens Park Rangers 2 - West Bromwich Albion 2

Date: Wednesday 6th March 2024 Live on Sky Sports
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-2-3-1) Begovic, Dunne, Cook, Clarke-Salter (Fox, 80), Paal (Dykes, 80), Hayden (Hodge, 60), Field, Smyth, Andersen (Willock, 72), Chair, Frey
Unused subs: Walsh, Dixon-Bonner, Cannon, Larkeche, Armstrong
(4-2-3-1) Palmer 6.1, Furlong 6.1, Kipré 6.4, Pieters 5.4, Reach 3.9 (Ávila Gordón, 60 5.4), Yokuslu 5.4 (Chalobah, 79 4.1), Mowatt 5.6, Fellows 5.9 (Ajayi, 54 6.2), Diangana 6.0 (Swift, 79 4.2), Johnston 7.1 (Weimann, 79 4.4), Wallace 4.9
Unused subs: Griffiths, M'Vila, Marshall, Malcolm
Manager: Carlos Corberán  4.5
Scorers: Field (17, 81); Johnston (25), Diangana (27)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham 4.6
Attendance: 16,818   Home Fans 4.7   Away Fans 6.9
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 16


Random thoughts:

  • Sloppy, short of ambition.
  • I wish I'd put a thousand quid on Field scoring - but two??
  • Two brilliant goals for us in a magical three minutes (Coventry replay), but we didn't deserve all three points. It was inevitable QPR would score in the second half the way we set up.
  • Penalty was injust. Kipre handball save was brilliant and very lucky. Overall, fair, then.
  • Subs weakened us and we conceded almost immediately.

If I were Patel, I would be asking why we chose to defend for 45 minutes when we had the skill to match them.

A point when Norwich lost was not a disaster.

Boing Boing.

Ancient Baggie:

That was a painful watch. 2 great goals but other than that it was an absolutely dreadful performance. Trying to play keep ball in all the wrong areas just gave QPR the initiative.

How we managed to steal a point is beyond me. Reach was a disaster, Pieters looked leggy and Kipre was erratic. Wallace worked hard but he's not a centre forward and we just can't keep the ball in forward positions.

We desperately need 3 points on Sunday now but that won't be easy.

As a footnote Sam Field was head and shoulders above any other midfielder on the pitch, another one that we've produced only to move them on to be replaced by bang average journeymen.

Brendan Clegg:

A nightmare closure of the A40 about 3 miles from the ground meant that I only just made kickoff following 2 hours of stress in pretty much standstill traffic, so I had no idea of the lineup, was starving and thirsty. I thought the pre-match tribute to Stanley Bowles was fantastically observed by home and away fans.

After about 5 minutes I thought ‘this is a game for Bartley’ not knowing he hadn’t made the squad due to injury.

On a tight pitch QPR pressed us like lunatics, doubled up on MJ and Fellows very quickly and moved the ball fast. They seemed to have numbers where it mattered and their big forward won a lot when they went long.

Their opener was a spill from Palmer, an obvious dive and then we seemed to stand still as the ball was crossed in for Field to show more desire than anyone to slide home.

It wasn’t deserved but they had been on top. We had a bit of a spell of nothingness before out of nowhere Johnston got the ball wide, chopped inside, jinked again and then smashed one in off the post/top corner. Insane goal. Unbelievable to do it so regularly and for each one to be better than previous.

Straight after, Fellows got 1v1, skinned his man and cut it back to Diangana who at pace touched it with his left and smashed it in with his right a millisecond before being clattered. Another outstanding goal.

Frustratingly for about 10 minutes after we had our best spell but rather than going for the third when we had options and numbers, we were conservative and took safe choices. The half ended with us penned in and defending a succession of corners and pressure but we held on.

Second half we got totally battered. Jed worked hard but couldn’t make it stick at all and Grady couldn’t find pockets so it was backs to the wall.

The penalty looked really soft in real-time, Palmer made a great save. Our goal lived a charmed life and Fellows for Semi made sense and so did Pipa for Reach who was now being relentlessly targeted.

I’m not sure when the hand of Kipre happened in that spell but at the time it looked a wonder-save by Palmer.

The final triple-sub saw Okay, MJ and Grady off for Weimann, Swift and Chalobah and unfortunately we conceded soon after through another high ball and Field bundled it home.

We did finish strongly but some poor choices by Chalobah and Swift broke down promising situations and our own run of late corners came to nothing.

Overall we were really lucky to get anything as QPR were miles better so you’ve got to be grateful. We missed a striker, Bartley and Townsend and we looked tired in areas, but if we can find a way to win on Sunday it’ll make this solid point even better.

Hats off to Sam Field. I’ve never seen him play so high or look so fit. He was everywhere and was easily the best player on the pitch. If we don’t go up, we’d do a lot worse than have him as a replacement for Chalobah and I imagine he’d be within our wage budget.

  • Palmer - 6 Redeemed his early error and overall was solid.
  • Furlong - 7 Pick of the back 4 for effort.
  • Kipre - 7 Mostly good, unbelievable save.
  • Pieters - 6 Generally good but looked like a game to far for the legs and mind.
  • Reach - 6 Did his best. Used the ball well and penalty was harsh.
  • Yok - 6 Hassled and pressed but we missed him when he was off.
  • Mowatt - 6 Loads of effort but did look tired.
  • Fellows - 6 Couldn’t get into it yet still made an assist.
  • Grady - 6 Great goal and worked hard but smothered
  • MJ - 7 An unbelievable goal despite them marking him tightly. Our only out ball 2nd half.
  • Jed - 6 Absolutely ran himself into the ground but needed to get hold of it better for us.
  • Semi - 7 Him carrying it at pace gave us something extra
  • Pipa - 6 Did a better containment job.
  • Chalobah - 4 One important tackle but 2 or 3 absolutely terrible passes
  • Swift - 5 Lost it cheaply too often
  • Weimann - 6 Decent enough cameo

Kev Buckley:

Belated thoughts: though if we were stiil playing as I write this, we still wouldn't have scored.

At least one player got into the spirit of the Stan Bowles tribute, with QPR's Danish midfielder Lucas Anderson sporting long hair that was constrained with a head-band, albeit not quite the bouffant coiffure of the great man, but that was about as much flair we did get on show, on a night when most players simply tucked their shirts in; rolled their socks up, and followed the game-plan.

Corberan resisted the temptation to deploy left-Back Pieters in place of the injured Townsend, although Bartley's injury in training would have meant that starting Ajayi in the middle having moved Pieters to left-back would have seen no centre-backs on the bench, so that might have been his main consideration when asking Reach to deputise.

By the time the applause for Bowles started as ten minutes came up, there's been little of note from the Albion other than a couple of, by now, customary give-aways, as most attempts to play out from the back got no further than the half-way line.

Albion had two chances to clear their lines before QPR scored just before another ten minutes had passed, the pressure building into a shot from outside the box which wasn't held by Palmer and although we weren't immediately made to pay, a cross from inside the box on our right found Albion old-boy Sam Field arriving unmarked between five Albion defenders, who were guilty of neither covering the spaces nor the players making runs into them, and he had a simple sidefoot home.

No real surprises in seeing us concede first away from home, and of course, once we had gone behind and had to try and make something happen, we did so, although it's hard to see how Johnston's dribble in off the left touchline and spectacular strike, that beat the keeper at his near post, was part of a gameplan to score, given that he only got the ball that far advanced on one more occasion all game: though the distance from the target of his second merely served to highlight how good the first strike had been.

Our second goal, though, did have more of a planned feel about it as we worked the ball wide to the right so as to allow Fellows to run at his man and once again, his pulled-back cross fell to Diangana, making a Swift-like run into the box, who took a great touch to nudge the ball past two defenders and give him space to fire home the second right-footed score by a left-winger on the night.

Once we were back in front though, we went back to knocking it around presumably trying to take the sting out of a game that we had just put the sting into, and could even have applied the coupe de grace to. Absolutely baffling tactics at that stage in the game but not, if we're being honest, all that much if a surprise.

Five minutes into a second half that, once again, we'd come out for with little intent, other than to invite the opposition on, Reach tried to block a cross but, in turning his back on the ball so as to keep his arms out of the way, got one elbow high enough to see the ball make contact with it, and the ref pointed to the spot.

The poorly taken penalty was saved by Palmer from about half the distance to the post but QPR quickly delivered another cross that led to a header that had him beaten but Kipre, covering behind his forlorn dive, stuck up an un-noticed hand and palmed it over the crossbar. Hard to fault the officials for thinking that the goalie would have got the touch, although VAR would surely seen Kipre dismissed and another penalty attempt offered up.

Four minutes later and any thoughts that we might look to finish the game off were ended when Ajayi came on for right winger Fellows and Corberan set them up playing in a 541, with Diangana moving from the number ten role onto the right of the four, although, given Wallace's effectiveness as a makeshift nine when he doesn't have a player in the "ten" role behind him, you could claim that this was now a 5-5-0.

Bringing on right-back Pipa into Reach's left-back position, some five minutes later, hardly changed things, other than to demonstrate that Pipa can pull a better shirt than Reach, but, ten minutes after a second right-back had come on, QPR would fashion a goal from our left side, only to see it chalked off.

The by-now substitution-by-numbers swap, of Chalobah for Yokuslu, was made with 78 minutes gone, although, in a subtle departure from recent games, it came as part of a triple, rather than a double, change, with both the goalscoring wingers, Johnston and Diangana, who had long since merely been doubling up in the full back areas, making way for Weimann and Swift.

The QPR onslaught continued unabated and, after they'd hit the bar from a header, the ball dropped into a much smaller space than the one Field had appeared in to score his first, but even here he still had the composure to steer a header over the line, to give the home side the parity that the Albion's negativity had been inviting since the restart.

There'd still be time, in which Albion were now hanging on to a point, rather than trying to hang on to all three, for Furlong to have to head clear a goal-bound overhead kick from right under the crossbar.

Perhaps on the back of scoring his first two goals in ages, Field signed a new extended contract later in the week, and, on this showing, Sam might well get a chance to score against us next season as well.