Clint Hill

QPR is cleaning house: Barton, Ferdinand, Zamora all out at Loftus Road

4 Comments

After finishing dead last in the Premier League and being relegated to the Championship, Queens Park Rangers will be cutting down its roster next season.

[ RELATED: Premier League Playback ]

Manager Chris Ramsey acknowledged that there would be quite a bit of turnaround for the club, with many players being out of contract at the end of this season and with the club needing to be smart financially without the cash flow from playing in the Premier League.

Today, the club announced that only Clint Hill and Alejandro Faurlin would be offered new deals at Loftus Road.

That means that Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Richard Dunne, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Brian Murphy and club captain Joey Barton will not be wearing the blue and white hoops of Queens Park Rangers next season.

QPR will also lose Niko Kranjcar, Eduardo Vargas and Mauro Zarate, who were all on loan at Loftus Road.

[ RELATED: Nine FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland during dawn raids ]

The Hoops spent big money on their quest to earn Premier League glory, but the club flopped, losing 24 of 38 matches and finishing last in the league. Defense was the biggest issue, as Queens Park Rangers conceded a whopping 73 goals on the season.

Losing so many key players will surely hurt QPR, even though they will be playing in the second division. It’s almost certain the club will also lose top scorer Charlie Austin, who will surely receive a nice pay day from a bigger club after scoring 18 goals in his first season in the Premier League.

Manchester City 6-0 Queens Park Rangers: Aguero’s hat trick emphatically relegates R’s

2 Comments

source: Getty Images

Sergio Aguero’s 23rd, 24th and 25th goals of the season clinched another UEFA Champions League berth for Manchester City, and doomed Queens Park Rangers to the Championship in a 6-0 win on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.

Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner also scored for City, which moves into second place. The Citizens have a three-point lead over Arsenal, which has played two less matches.

QPR is last in the Premier League, as manager Chris Ramsey was unable to undo the harm caused by Harry Redknapp’s poor start.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Aguero put City up when Steven Caulker allowed him to dribble toward the box, and Clint Hill darted in front of Caulker to tackle the Argentine. Aguero bodied the ball past both and then chipped a sliding Robert Green to make it 1-0 after four minutes.

Charlie Austin headed past Hart in the 20th minute off a great Joey Barton cross, but the striker was one of a trio of offside R’s and the goal wouldn’t go.

City, still, was firmly in control of the match and unfortunate not to have added a second and third goal. A terrific combination play with David Silva and James Milner failed to amount to a goal when Fernando failed to put home Milner’s cross.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

source: Getty Images

And Kolarov made it 2-0 when his free kick influenced Bobby Zamora to break from the wall, and the ball curled past a diving Green.

The former World Cup keeper then was called upon to make a sprawling stop on Aguero, who had turned the QPR back line into a speed bump.

Barton sent another free kick in that Leroy Fer tipped off the cross bar, and Joe Hart snared Zamora’s headed rebound to keep the score 2-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The second half provided no reprieve for the R’s, with Yun Suk-Young bungling the trapping of a David Silva clearance right into the path of Aguero. The Argentine raced onto a long breakaway run, and wasn’t about to let left-for-dead Green deprive him of a brace.

Green made a pair of saves on Silva and Kolarov midway through the second half to keep the deficit 3-0.

source: AP

Moments later, Matt Phillips was whistled for taking down Silva in the penalty area, and Aguero completed his hat trick.

Then Wilfried Bony won a header down to Aguero, who passed across the six-yard box for Milner to tap home.

Yaya Toure subbed on late to a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” from the Etihad faithful. It was funny, all things considered.

Longtime City man Shaun Wright-Phillips entered late for QPR, and earned a nice round of applause from his former home fans.

Silva finished a slick combo play started by Aguero and aided by a Bony back heel pass to complete the scoring.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Milner (Navas, 82′), Fernandinho (Toure, 75′), Lampard (Bony, 63′), Silva, Aguero.

Goal: Aguero 3 (4′, 50′, PK 65′), Kolarov (32′), Milner (70′), Silva (87′)

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Caulker, Dunne, Hill, Phillips (Wright-Phillips, 86′), Barton, Henry, Suk-Young, Fer (Kranjcar, 78′), Austin, Zamora (Hoilett, 53′).

Premier League preview: Liverpool vs. Queens Park Rangers

1 Comment
  • Liverpool hold commanding 34W-8D-8L record in series
  • Reds won 3-2 at Loftus Road in October
  • QPR’s last Anfield win came in 1991

Two sides chasing unlikely scenarios meet at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Liverpool’s top four hopes have been all-but-dashed by Tuesday’s loss to Hull City, while QPR sits four points away from Premier League safety with four matches to play in the season.

The Reds are certainly the more talented side, but how plucky will they be feeling knowing an undefeated finish would still require a Top Four rival to basically lose out? Daniel Sturridge remains out for Liverpool, and is off to Boston to explore whether hip surgery is a good choice for his rehabilitation.

Leroy Fer is set to enter the fray for QPR, which could be without Bobby Zamora (who has been playing through pain).

What they’re saying

Liverpool’s Jordon Ibe on progressing as a player: “You could see how well everything was going when I first came back and we won three or four games on the bounce but now we’re going through a difficult spell. But it’s great for me to go through this and hopefully we can get out of this stage.”

QPR boss Chris Ramsey on the team’s survival mindset“The mood’s been fantastic. They were a bit deflated after the weekend but the likes of Joey Barton, Clint Hill and Richard Dunne have been making sure nobody’s chin is too low to the ground. We do believe we can stay up. We know it’s going to be a very difficult task but everybody is up for it.”

Prediction

It’s hard one to call, really. If this were JPW’s PL picks, I’d peg this one under “Don’t touch this”.  QPR’s a grittier side under Chris Ramsey, and the absence of Harry Redknapp’s bluster would seem to be helping, but moral victories count for little any more. Anfield will be the deciding factor, though, at least in my prediction. Liverpool, 3-2.

QPR 0-1 Chelsea: Blues weather storm and Fabregas wins it late (video)

Leave a comment

The home side held firm for 88 minutes against the league leaders, but eventually gave way to precision and technique as a masked Cesc Fabregas scored with two minutes in regulation to restore Chelsea’s big lead in the Premier League title battle.

Fabregas wore a protective mask to cover his broken nose suffered last week, but it didn’t keep him from scoring Chelsea’s winner on their only shot on target as QPR proved spirited but just fell short of pulling themselves from the relegation zone.

It took Chelsea a few minutes to get themselves going but they eventually maintained solid possession. The first chance of the game was a cross of all things, one from Willian on the right wing that clanged the post on seven minutes gone.

The first half progressed with few landmark events, as the game turned into a chess match. As expected beforehand, QPR looked to use its physicality to peg back Chelsea, while the visitors used its technical ability to keep QPR off the ball for long spells. Chelsea always looked the more threatening side, as the home side had little to offer up front with their strikers cut off from the rest of the squad.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

However, Chelsea struggled to produce any serious chance in front of goal without Diego Costa and Loic Remy, and the half-hour mark passed with little for either fans to cling to. The best hope for the home side was corner count, which racked up in their favor, but there was little challenge in the box when they were flung in.

The first shot on target appeared just before halftime as Charlie Austin ripped an effort from distance, and a good one, that forced Thibaut Courtois into an acrobatic save. QPR carried that momentum into the second half, as Matt Phillips whipped in a scything cross but it just eluded Bobby Zamora at the far post minutes after the break. Clint Hill then tried a curling effort but it settled into the arms of Courtois.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Lacking any type of attacking threat in the second half, Jose Mourinho brought on Oscar just before the hour mark and Chelsea immediately responded, getting forward with greater intent. But QPR didn’t give up. Phillips got a ball from Zamora in the box, and with his back to goal he spun Nemanja Matic around and ripped a point-blank shot, but it went right at Courtois who parried well.

Austin remained a threat as both teams rung changes with 10 minutes to go, but he still could not get a ball past Courtois, and QPR would eventually pay for not taking chances. A horrible punt from Rob Green fell back to Chelsea, and they charged down the left flank. Oscar and Eden Hazard combined and and laid off to Fabregas charging into the box, and the masked man beat Phillips to the ball and thundered in a drive for the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

That was it for QPR, who held firm for 87 minutes before finally capitulating to the league leaders and the air came out of the previously rambunctious Loftus Road. The three points for Chelsea restore a seven point lead at the top of the table, still with a game in hand. QPR, meanwhile, fail to pounce on losses by those around them and remain in the relegation zone, two points from safety.

The result caps off a perfect day for the Blues, who also escape without a yellow card for either Fabregas or Nemanja Matic, who would have received a suspension against both Arsenal and Manchester United had they been cautioned. Instead, the yellow card record is wiped clean for the stretch run per Premier League rules.

LINEUPS:

QPR: Green, Isla, Caulker, Onuoha, Hill, Phillips, Sandro (Kranjcar 81′), Barton, Henry, Zamora, Austin.

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Ramires (Oscar 56′), Willian (Cuadrado 80′), Hazard; Drogba.

Goals – Fabregas 88′

WATCH: Chris Ramsey says inconsistent play hurt QPR

Leave a comment

Queens Park Rangers was minutes away from back-to-back wins, only to concede a late goal to leave Villa Park with a draw.

Manager Chris Ramsey believes his side “played well in spells” after going into halftime trailing 2-1, but that inconsistency cost the R’s all three points.

[ RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS: Aston Villa 3-3 Queens Park Rangers ]

Aston Villa looked the better side in the first half, but QPR responded in the second and took the lead through goals from Clint Hill and Charlie Austin.

Unfortunately for Chris Ramsey and the R’s, Christian Benteke stole the show and completed his hat-trick with a late free kick, the match ending in a draw and each side taking home a point.

[ WATCH: Tim Sherwood disappointed with draw against QPR ]

Despite dropping two points, there are some positives for QPR heading into the weekend, as Ramsey must prepare his side for a match against Chelsea at Loftus Road. The R’s have scored seven goals in their past two matches, and have taken points in consecutive matches away from home for the first time this season.

Still sitting in the relegation zone, QPR must continue to grind out points if they want a shot at playing Premier League football next season.