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Karma | QPR vs. Aston Villa | Match Report

Being a QPR fan is never boring. There is always controversy and back-page headlines to read about when it comes to QPR. Michael Oliver made sure of it this week and assure that life wasn’t boring at Loftus Road by providing plenty of controversy. He had an (and I hate to say it, as a fellow referee) abysmal game in front of the Sky cameras. I know ‘expert’ pundits such as Robbie Savage and Alan Shearer believed Oliver had a good game, bar a couple of decisions, but he did not, he made at least three horrendous decisions (all penalties) and not only were his penalty decisions wrong, but  some of Villa’s tackles were borderline GBH and yet they somehow finished the game with 11 men.

Questionable decisions

Let’s start with the penalty that was wrongly given. Yes, there was a slight tug. Slight. Agbonlahor was never going to reach the ball and was already sliding. 99 times out 100, tugs like that in a penalty area or anywhere on the pitch wont be given, for some reason from 25 yards away, Oliver saw fit to give a penalty which no VILLA fans appealed for! This led to the first goal of the game, after 58 minutes in which QPR had dominated, once again seemed like QPR were going to drop points in a game they should have put to bed in the first half hour. This poor decision led to Traore being booked.

The controversy continued for QPR when Traore further heaped woe on QPR and became a ‘disgrace’ after recklessly flying in for a challenge, very late on in the game and rightly received a second yellow. With QPR’s Clint Hill’s departure on loan to Forest, this leaves them without a left back for the derby at Fulham on Sunday and Warnock was quick to reprimand Traore about his ‘stupid’ actions. He was QPR’s only booked player which shows, they were not playing dirty. This was in complete contrast to Villa, who had six players booked and Petrov and Hutton were fortunate to only receive yellows for two tackles on Shaun Wright-Phillips that as I said, were borderline GBH as opposed to an attempt at winning the ball.

Hutton was booked for the tackle. He later twice survived being sent off, when he literally saved the ball off the line with his arm, avoiding punishment, before later raising his arm to block a cross. When the ball struck his hand however, for the second time QPR were not awarded a penalty. ‘Rules state that if the arm is raised a penalty should be given’ His arm was most definitely not by his side when the ball struck his hand and yet no penalty wad given, confusing Warnock and QPR fans in the process. Hutton should have been sent from the field of play with a straight red for the first handball, or given a second yellow for the second handball. Either way leaving the field of play and giving QPR a chance to equalise. Neither was done and yet Alan Shearer still claims Oliver had a good game!

Karma did strike in 94th minute when QPR were lucky enough to save a point courtesy on Richard Dunne own-goal (who did have a very good game despite this) QPR finally had their first goal at home this season and a point from a game where they deserved all three. QPR did dominate the game as the statistics below show and once again showed they lack a killer instinct in front of goal.

I’m sorry to say that Bothroyd was poor in front of goal. Campbell looked sharp when he came on, and I believe he deserves a place in the starting line up. Bothroyd, however, looked a couple of yards behind the pace. He did well at holding the ball up and winning balls in the air, but struggled to create anything when in possession of the ball and had another frustrating day in front of goal, still leaving him desperate to break his QPR duck. He often dropped back or moved wide and this left gaping holes in the middle for QPR. As he was the one man upfront there was nobody to play the passes into when he drifted wide or short, and on a few occasions, if Bothroyd had been in position or QPR had a second striker on, he/they would have been left with easy tap-ins.

The man who did impress and looked most threatening for QPR was Adel Taarabt. He only had one shot on goal but that one shot was incredible. After leaving his marker stranded, he struck the ball with his right foot and watched it draw about 10 feet before hitting the post. If it had gone in, it would have easily been a contender for goal of the season. He passed well, completing 79% of his 56 passes. This once again helped the strong partnership he and Shaun Wright-Philllips are building, they linked up well and once again, their attractive style of football pleased the QPR faithful. After QPR conceded the penalty, Taarabt was the only player that looked like threatening. As time in the game began to run out, we saw his frustrated side and his game fell apart in the last ten minutes. I still believe he needs to work on his fitness if he is going to perform at his high quality for the full 90 minutes.

To summarise, it was an even second half, after a first half in which QPR      should have wrapped up all three points. The game was completely over-  shadowed by; and most papers on Monday morning agreed with me, by  some terrible refereeing decisions and I think the FA are going to have to  think long and hard about Michael Oliver’s next appointment. As a fellow  referee, I know what it is like to receive criticism for your decisions, but in  any workplace if you carry out your job as poorly as that, there has to be  consequences. How important these definite “two points dropped” as well as  the “two points dropped” against Newcastle may be, only time will tell, but it is another point towards the all important 40 mark.

Massive QPR fan and is aspiring to be a Sports Journalist! Despite being a QPR I try my best to be unbiased, however whilst watching the best team in the World it's not easy.
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