Cardiff City 0 Queens Park Rangers 2. Match Report

Last updated : 21 September 2009 By Michael Morris
CARDIFF CITY crashed in embarrassing style to their second successive home defeat and third loss without scoring in 4 games as the excellent start to the season is fast becoming a distant memory. This was turgid football and simply unacceptable. Last month, the same group of players produced one of the finest displays in years to demolish Bristol City. The contrast could not be greater and was summed up by the abuse and jeers ringing out when Ali on the p.a. asked for those man of the match votes. As far as I know, a "winner" was never announced and quite right too.

A Jay Simpson first half brace put the Bluebirds away. Rangers won at a canter and didn't have to play well for their three points as City were far too easily dismantled lacking visible heart or fight. At times, they looked shockingly disinterested. Only tricky wideman Chris Burke should escape criticism on an afternoon when the new stadium lacked any atmosphere and was a completely sterile experience. 20,121 was the attendance - apparently minus 3,000 season ticket holders (they were the lucky ones) - but even so, you would never have known it.

QPR owner Fabio Briartore was forced to resign from the Renault F1 team in midweek after uncontested allegation of forcing a driver to crash in a Grand Prix, today he oversaw an even bigger crash.

***** TEAM NEWS *****

Steve McPhail started a 3 match ban for his Reading red card after an unsuccessful appeal but Dave Jones sprang a surprise by giving Solomon Taiwo his debut alongside Joe Ledley in midfield, Leds passing a fit fitness test to play while Paul Quinn started at right back after replacing the injured Adam Matthews in that role at Madejski on Wednesday night to have the dubious honour of marking Wayne Routledge. Miguel Comminges and Riccy Scimeca were added to the bench.

CARDIFF > Marshall; Quinn-Gerrard-Hudson-Kennedy; Whittingham-Ledley-McPhail-Burke; Bothroyd-Chopra. Subs:Enckleman, Gyepes, Comminges, Scimeca, Rae, Capaldi, Magennis.

QPR have had an unconvincing start to the season under Jim Magilton and blow hot and cold. However they have lost only once but drawn 4 of their 6 Championship games. All City eyes were on Wayne Routledge whom, it appears, would have been back at Cardiff had they sold Ledley or McCormack last month and raised the funds to complete a deal. All City eyes failed to notice last season's keeper Tom Heaton on the bench for them. Their midfield included Ben Watson on loan from Wigan whom City apparently tried to get last month - how badly we need someone of his ilk.

QPR > Cerny; Stewart-Gorkss-Borrowdale-Leighterwood; Routledge-Buzsaky-Rowlands-Watson; Vine-Simpson.

+++++ THE MATCH +++++

It wasn't so much a match as mismatch, such was City (non) effort, (non) work-rate (non) passing and (non) movement, and best glossed over so, thankfully, I will keep this brief.

The opening few minutes were uneventful but even with little hint of what was to come but it was clear that the livewires Routledge and Simpson were causing our all too static and one paced defence difficulties, a warning sign came as Simpson, on loan from Arsenal, broke clear but fired over. A promising edge of area free-kick was in a prime position for Whittingham but his tame effort went straight into the wall - just like 4 set pieces against Newcastle last week. Good to see the new state of the art training facilities are helping!

The opening goal was controversial and possibly/probably offside (I've yet to see tv footage) but showed up how limited the back four are. City appealed for offside but the uncontested lobbed ball towards goal and a deflected Vine shot come pass saw SIMPSON have the simple task of firing home under no pressure at all.

It was a lovely sunny and warm late summer day but there was rubbish on the pitch ... most of it wearing blue and white. City were clueless and lifeless in their attempts to get back into the contest. Taiwo was looking neat and tidy if uncreative but had had little to no help from City's wide men or forwards. When moved wide, the crossing and choices were poor but there was little spark in Chopra while Bothroyd looked like he would rather be somewhere, anywhere, else. However pumped balls in his general direction with no runners near or around him would be enough to bore anyone. It took half hour for City to have their first effort of note on goal, Ledley's effort had power but it was straight at Cerny.

Just after that, Rangers should have doubled their lead as Simpson once again found it way too simple to get behind City's defence but he fired wide when Vine was better placed and, of course, unmarked. That let off was temporary respite though as five minutes before the interval Taiwo and Ledley got in each other's way in comical fashion, the ball was moved to Routledge. He ran at City's defence, they decided simply to run backwards and Routs played in Simpson, again unmarked who blasted home hard and low. Maybe I'm being harsh having not seen it on tv but his shot didn't look central and I thought Marshall was slow getting down but he must have been bewildered and how unprotected he was.

The only good news for the club was that it was enough to send punters flooding early to the bars in need of a drink and the opportunity to get away from watching anymore with Rangers fans rejoicing at our disappearance.

Half-time: CARDIFF CITY 0 QPR 2

The fact it got no worse for City had more to do with The R's happy to consolidate and settle for what they had rather than any battling or fight back qualities by Cardiff. If the first half was desperate, this was a half that could have been sponsored by The Samaritans. Joe Calzaghe's hopeless dancing efforts on television were still more competent and convincing than this. Even saw normally placid and mild mannered fans shouting out their despair - and other assorted comments -- in the general direction of the pitch, players and even the manager.

City were dire, Quinn having to clear a corner off the line, then Vine hitting the post running in unopposed (of course) after Taiwo gave the ball away and was left looking like a rabbit in headlights. Dave Jones had to react removing the now shot Taiwo who had started well but whose game had fallen completely apart for Rae while Magennis was thrown on as the again invisible Whittingham was withdrawn.

Magennis showed enthusiasm and, finally some presence up front. It earned Jones' post-match praise along with Burke but, not wishing to be hard, it wasn't much to get too excited about. Magennis, like Chops and Bothroyd - didn't fire a single effort at goal. He could have though but when he found himself free with Cerny to beat, he panicked and his shot was horrid. At least he put himself about for the cause but if that's the positive Jones had to take from the game, it underlined just how pathetic an outing it was.

Riccy Scimeca played the final 25 for Bothroyd, the fact City removed a striker for a midfielder tells you everything you need to know about what a stinker Jay was having. He showed no appetite for the game at all and will get the scorn he deserves for that but the players in the dock are many.

Quinn looks limited, Gyepes will surely replace Gerrard or Hudson next game. If he finds his best from last season, he can replace both of them as far as I'm concerned! Kennedy offered little. Joe Ledley was unbelievably poor and Chops may have been on fire recently but he looks as if he has drowned now.

Dave Jones and his team need a heart-to-heart. Maybe there's not but that's the sort of performance that makes you wonder if there are problems behind the scenes. Certainly, if measured by attitude, commitment, movement and heart, we're a millio0n miles away from how we started this campaign yet results mean we are in 6th place and holding a play-off spot. Unless Jones sorts it out, McCormack and McNaughton return soon and he can move in the loan market, you have to speculate whether they can hold that position for long though.

Report from FootyMad

Cardiff City slipped to their second successive defeat at their new home after a poor display against an average Queens Park Rangers outfit.

A first-half double by Jay Simpson gave the visitors a deserved victory over the lacklustre Bluebirds.

City had Solomon Taiwo making his first start in place of the suspended Stephen McPhail. Gavin Rae had to be content with a place on the bench.

Wayne Routledge was in the Rangers line-up alongside a former City target in striker Rowan Vine.

City used the flanks in the opening minutes and Peter Whittingham and Chris Burke saw plenty of the ball, but it was Rangers who had the first strike on goal when Akos Buzsaky fired over in the 10th minute from just outside the area.

Rangers took the lead in controversial fashion, when Simpson appeared to be offside when he gathered the ball from Vine in the 19th minute to slot beyond David Marshall from a central position.

Simpson could have doubled the lead on the half hour, but he dragged his shot across the face of the goal with only Marshall to beat.

Rangers doubled their lead five minutes from the interval when Routledge split a hesitant Bluebirds defence with a pass out to the unmarked Simpson, who drove a low angled shot into the net.

No changes after the interval were surprising as the Bluebirds had hardly looked like a side in fourth place in the division.

The pattern of play remained the same as Rangers penned the Bluebirds back in defence and a mistake by Taiwo let Vine in on goal, but his shot struck the upright with Marshall beaten.

City boss Dave Jones made changes in the 54th minute with Rae and Josh Magennis replacing Taiwo and Whittingham.

The disappointing Jay Bothroyd made way for Ricky Scimeca in the 67th minute as Jones made his last play to get back into the match.

The Bluebirds were more of an attacking threat in the closing quarter, but without troubling the visitors' goal and Rangers fully deserved their victory.

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