Late Cisse` Strike Saves QPR (with Video)By: phil | May 6th, 2012
Queens Park Rangers got a massive boost through a late goal by Djibril Cisse` to earn a win over Stoke City. The veteran Frenchman’s short-range strike earned QPR a win and a vital 3 points; combined with Bolton’s draw vs. West Brom, the Rs now find ourselves outside the relegation zone and with pretty good chances for survival.
Despite the ecstatic finish, this was a mostly pedestrian performance from QPR. Most of the game was bogged down in the middle of the field, and the Rs lacked much creativity (aside from Adel Taarabt, who played well for the fourth straight game and did manage to give Stoke some problems). Sure, Stoke looked sluggish as well – but that’s to be expected. They’re a mid-table team without a whole lot to play for, and they’re also known for a defensive approach, especially on the road. But QPR really needed a win here, and despite controlling a majority of possession and leading in shots on goal, there weren’t many good chances being created and the play in the final third was poor.
It’s only fair to say, though, that our defense was playing very well throughout. Aside from one instance in which Peter Crouch was given space to unleash a header, we mostly shut down the Stoke attack and cleared the ball well when we had to. But up front, we weren’t getting it done for most of the game – possibly due, in part, to the absence of SWP, a move which I didn’t really understand.
Anyway, both Shaun and Jay Bothroyd were brought on late, and the move did seem to spark the offense. From a corner, Anton Ferdinand got enough on the ball with his head to send it towards the goal, and Cisse` was in the right place at the right time. His goal was a pretty simple knock-in. But at that point, QPR supporters would have taken anything, as the jubilant reaction showed. Nearly equally important, WBA staged a late 2-goal comeback to draw level with Bolton and send QPR up the table.
As of now, we sit in 16th place. Wigan still has a match in hand (this comes tomorrow vs. Blackburn). If the Rovers get a win in that one, we stay in 16th. But even if Wigan wins, we still sit outside the relegation zone, and a draw vs. City next week would be enough to keep us up. Seems like a tall order, but keep in mind we played City very tough earlier this season, and that was before the arrival of our winter reinforcements, both of whom played well today.
Here’s video of the goal and subsequent celebration:
Cisse` earned his transfer fee right there. Check back in later this week for a preview of Man City and a look at the final weekend of the Premier League season.