QPR vs. Norwich | Match Report

QPR vs. Norwich | Match Report

An inspirational substitution from Paul Lambert was the difference between the two automatically promoted sides on Saturday. Super-sub Grant Holt came on to slot home a 73rd minute winner to help Norwich edge this close mid-table battle.

The home side took the lead after 15 minutes following sloppy defending by QPR. Ricky Martin latched onto a loose ball after Ferdinand failed to clear from a corner, this defensive mix up saw the ball sit up nicely for Martin who was ready to net from close range. As predicted , it was a close game and Luke Young’s leveller on 59 minutes was no more than QPR deserved. Young placed the ball into an open net following a brilliant effort that came back off the post from Jamie Mackie. It was Grant Holt who had the last say however, shortly after coming on as 70th minute substitute he scored the winner, lifting Norwich up to ninth in the table.

The game was tightly contested and despite Neil Warnock suggesting otherwise, Norwich probably deserved the win more than QPR. A draw may have been a fairer result and QPR will rue another two defensive mistakes and possibly another three points they could have earned. After just eight minutes Simeon Jackson decided to test third-choice keeper Radek Cerny from 20 yards, forcing the Czech into a decent save. Cerny who has only made two reserve appearances this season due to his own injury problems has been called into first team action due to serious injuries to first and second choice keeper’s Paddy Kenny and Brian Murphy. The Canaries continued to pressurise the QPR back four and one of QPR’s summer targets Steve Morison nearly netted his fourth goal of the campaign but Cerny was able to parry the ball and stop the R’s from going behind.

After dominating for the first 15 minutes and deservedly taking the lead, Norwich were very lucky not to give away a needless penalty after Wright-Phillips was brought down by keeper Ruddy, for some reason however Clattenburg waved appeals away. QPR continued the first half only impressing in short intervals and very rarely threatened Ruddy’s goal.

QPR were very comfortable in possession, continuously passing the ball around but struggled to break down the Norwich back four, rarely creating chances. They were gifted with a very good opportunity in stoppage time when Shaun Derry should have latched onto the end of a Shaun Wright-Phillips free-kick but just couldn’t poke a toe out that would have seen the R’s level. It was probably Shaun Derry’s first poor game of the season and I have no doubt Joey Barton will stroll back into the team following his suspension at West Brom on Saturday.

The second half started as the first half finished. QPR created a couple of chances and retained possession well. The leveller in the 59th minute was no more than the visitors deserved as QPR began to look the stronger of the two sides and started to take control of the game. Norwich needed to change things before QPR took the lead. This lead to Lambert bringing Hoolahan and Holt on in the 70th minutes and the double substitution had an immediate impact. Seconds after his introduction, Luke Young cleared a header from Holt off the line. Moments later however, QPR couldn’t prevent Holt finishing from fellow substitute Hoolahan’s cross, Lambert’s brilliant tactical decision saw his side regain the lead.

QPR had their most successful period in the game as they were chasing for an equaliser in the last 10 minutes but solid defending from Norwich and some very poor finishing from Ranger’s saw Norwich close out a game they maybe didn’t deserve to win. As the statistics below show it was a very even game and it was only due to sloppy defending, poor finishing from QPR and a questionable referee’s decision as to why QPR didn’t leave Carrow Road with a point or more.

Norwich QPR
Total Passes

352

434

Accurate Passes

248

318

Pass Completion

70.45%

73.27%

Possession

44.10%

55.90%

Total Shots

14

12

Shots on Target

3

2

Total Crosses

16

28

Accurate Cross

6

7

Injuries to a few very key players and a lack of an out and out striker has made it clear that funds need to be spent in January for QPR. It looks as though there is a need for another decent centre-half, another striker and a play maker all of which should be on Warnock’s wish list as holes are starting to appear in a team who have been successful so far this season. West Brom at home on Saturday is the next challenge for QPR who would be looking for a win following a disappointing result in Norfolk.