AKOS Buzsaky’s brace helped secure a thumping first home win for Queens Park Rangers at the hands of Barnsley.
The R’s were well on their way when Mikele Leigertwood slammed home the opener from distance, and when Buzsaky rolled home a deflected effort before bending a stunning strike into the top corner, Rangers were in cruise control.
A confident crowd’s nerves were turned to tatters once again as Stephen Foster’s looping header and an Andy Gray strike on the rebound of a saved penalty hauled the arrears back to one goal for the Tykes.
Ben Watson scored on only his first start for the R’s to settle any jitters around Loftus Road with Jay Simpson’s close range effort adding the finishing touch to a fine overall display from the hosts.
There was an unsavoury incident at the end as Adel Taarabt reacted negatively to crowd criticism by gesturing twice, then storming down the tunnel after the final whistle without his shirt.
Even that display cannot overshadow what was a stunning performance from QPR as they finally showed the Loftus Road crowd something they’d threatened to for a while – goals galore.
Jim Magilton made two changes from the cup defeat against Chelsea with Ben Watson linking up with skipper Martin Rowlands in the middle of midfield and Radek Cerny taking the place of the impressive Tom Heaton between the sticks.
In front of Cerny was the now familiar back four of Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Damion Stewart and Gary Borrowdale, with Wayne Routledgde and Akos Buzsaky occupying the flanks. Rowan Vine once again patrolled behind lone striker Jay Simpson.
Barnsley handed debuts to Stoke City duo Carl Dickinson and Ryan Shotton in defence along with Stephen Foster and Nathan Doyle with Rob Kozluk and Darren Moore dropping out. Into midfield and Hugo Colace partnered Jacob Butterfield in the middle with Anderson de Silva and Adam Hammill playing wide.
Leading the line were strike duo Iain Hume and Andy Gray with John Macken dropping out from the side that beat Burnley in the Carling Cup during the week.
Kick Off: Queens Park Rangers v Barnsley
A different kind of atmosphere graced W12 following their recent performances, with the crowd getting behind the side and urging them to attack what is a shaky defensive unit in Barnsley.
It was the Tykes however who carved out the opening opportunity with Mikele Leigertwood being turned inside out at full back by Adam Hammill, the winger’s cross was too heavy for the onrushing Hume, but nevertheless the danger of the Tykes had been underlined in their early showing.
Play quickly switched to the other end with Wayne Routledge keen to get on the front foot and attack debutante Dickinson. His early cross caught many by surprise as it found Akos Buzsaky on the edge of the Barnsley penalty area.
The Hungarian took his effort early on his less-favoured left foot only to be denied by a barrage of defenders who closed the left-midfielder down from close range.
An end to end affair switched back to the Loftus Road end with Barnsley counter-attacking to great effect. Anderson de Silva surged through midfield before finding a defence splitting pass for Iain Hume.
The Canadian striker who scored the opening goal of the 2008-09 season at Loftus Road, pulled his shot wide of the right hand post. The warning sides were there despite QPR’s positive early showing against Mark Robins’ side.
A game that seemed good on skill but short on inspiration was lit up by a piece of magic to score the opening goal. Indeed very few people would have expected a QPR full back to open the scoring in such a manner.
Martin Rowlands useful play in possession found the onrushing Mikele Leigertwood and without so much of an invitation he slammed a low right-footed effort into the bottom right hand corner. A touch of class worthy of breaking the deadlock in any fixture.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Barnsley
Barnsley continued to threaten in wide areas with Hammill in particular able to cross at will as the stand out performer for the Tykes. Unfortunately for him, his team-mates didn’t appear to be on the same wavelength and further attempts went amiss.
The supporters cannot deny that Rangers were in the ascendancy with the supporters growing in noise and cajoling their side onto another goal. Indeed the inspirational play of Ben Watson and Martin Rowlands in the middle paid dividends as Rangers netted a second moments later.
The Wigan Athletic loanee picked up the ball at the heart of midfield with 15 minutes on the clock before slotted a perfectly weighted through ball for Akos Buzsaky. The Hungarian midfielder took a touch before rolling the ball past David Preece and into the bottom right hand corner via a slight deflection.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 2-0 Barnsley
In fairness to Barnsley it was a little harsh considering their effort and application in the first period, but it mattered not as QPR were doing what they had threatened to do for a while – put away their chances at home.
The R’s were in the ascendancy and this was reflected in the noise levels at Loftus Road. For successive fixtures the R’s were booed off in W12, but that showed no signs of re-emerging as the QPR players began to display their talents in abundance.
QPR were now attacking with great vigour and confidence, something they had threatened to do all season. Watson again turned provider rolling Wayne Routledge in down the right flank, the former Spurs wide-man struck a right footed effort back of the upright and away to safety.
The sprightly form of Jacob Butterfield was a glimmer of hope for the away support with the young midfielder getting in behind the defence on a couple of occasions and doing his best to mix it with the Rangers engine room alongside De Silva.
Players of his calibre were few and far between in the Tykes line-up, who searched for that inspiration and creative spark in front of goal. Rangers nearly sewed the game up after some excellent hold-up play from Jay Simpson.
The Arsenal loanee showed excellent strength with his back to goal before laying the ball off for skipper Martin Rowlands to strike. The effort looked destined for the target before being deflected away by the Barnsley rearguard.
Indeed the Tykes refused to lie down and had their first clear-cut opportunity of the game when despite pint-size poacher Iain Hume latching onto a Butterfield pass, Damion Stewart got back to clear away from his feet in the six yard box.
It seemed that everything the R’s touched turned to goal on a day where everything appeared to come together and after Simpson once again displayed great strength and vision to roll in Akos Buzsaky, the Hungarian international only had eyes for goal.
He looked up and delivered an outstanding curling effort beyond the reach of Preece and into the top right hand corner. Loftus Road erupted with noise as Buzsaky announced himself once again as the creative talent that Rangers have craved.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Barnsley
There could have been another before the break as the Tykes defence was torn to sunder by an irresistible Rangers attacking line. The three loanees Shotton, Doyle and Dickinson were clearly struggling with the R’s creative threat as they looked to learn each others game.
More useful work from the R’ midfield found Rowan Vine roaming in behind once more and his effort was excellent tipped away by the over-worked Preece, who could himself be thankful that the scoreline was as low as three going into the break.
The half time whistle was blown by official Mr Evans to a rapturous reception from the home crowd, it was clear that Rangers were the dominant side in terms of possession and goals. They went into the break an unprecedented three goals to the good for the first time since beating Watford at Vicarage Road under Luigi De Canio.
Half Time: Queens Park Rangers 3-0 Barnsley
The side were once again cheered onto the field as they looked to add more goals to display their overall dominance throughout the game.
Buzsaky was key tormentor in the early stages as he rolled the ball to Jay Simpson, the Arsenal forward did well to beat his man and get his shot away which was inches wide of the upright from close range.
While Rangers were continuing to dominate possession in the positive areas of the field, Barnsley looked at their most dangerous getting in behind and using the pace of Iain Hume and Adam Hammill on the counter-attack.
A sloppy foul by Mikele Leigertwood on Barnsley’s left gave Iain Hume the opportunity to curl an incredible deep cross into the six-yard box and with Radek Cerny caught in no-mans land defender Stephen Foster rose above his man to nod a looping header beyond the Czech stopper.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 3-1 Barnsley
Barnsley had a goal that arguably they deserved for their early pressure on Rangers, and soon after finger-nails were being bitten when a dubious penalty decision was given for a foul by Damion Stewart.
Hammill was his confident self down the left-wing before cutting inside and with Stewart seemingly stepping into a challenge the winger threw himself across his body, to the surprise of many Mr Evans pointed to the spot.
Andy Gray placed his penalty low to the right and it was parried by Cerny directly back into the path of the striker. He took the second invitation with glee to fire home on the rebound and get the Loftus Road crowd back on the edge of their seat, with some fearing the worst.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 3-2 Barnsley
Despite the concerted spell of pressure for the visitors they couldn’t carve out any meaningful chances in a whirlwind opening to the second period at Loftus Road.
The Tykes grew in confidence as the nerves were visibly growing around the ground. Fortunately for Rangers they couldn’t make their spell count – after the hour mark QPR displayed that killer instinct that separated the sides in terms of class.
Buzsaky once again was at the heart of the move as he crossed excellent for Rowan Vine, he knocked the ball down for Ben Watson who in only his third start notched a deserved goal that owed much to the dubious goalkeeping of Preece.
Luke Steele’s replacement spilled an effort that flew straight into his midriff and ineffectually pawed at the ball as it rolled in off the post and into the back of the net.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 4-2 Barnsley
Watson himself put in a stunning all-round performance, always ready to contribute to the R’s as an attacking force but was ever-present in defence to nod away set-pieces and corners at will.
A double change then ensued for Magilton’s side as Wayne Routledge and Rowan Vine left the field to an appreciative reception with Adel Taarabt and Alejandro Faurlín replacing the effective duo.
The changes didn’t dampen the R’s creativity as they notched yet another goal and this particular strike was a poachers delight, something that supporters have been craving for some time.
A corner from the aforementioned Watson was delightfully knocked down on the far post by defender Kaspars Gorkss. With the defence incredibly static Jay Simpson was allowed to ghost in and snatch his third in two games, prodding home from close range for Rangers fifth.
GOAL: Queens Park Rangers 5-2 Barnsley
Adel Taarabt had been lively coming from the bench, but disappointingly for him and Rangers it didn’t yield a goal with the Moroccan going closest with minutes remaining shooting wide of the left-hand upright.
Then came a talking point from the midfielder’s perspective, when for the third time in close succession he decided to go in alone instead of laying in the man searching for a hatrick Akos Buzsaky.
The creative talent ran blind into three defenders, clearly displaying he had a lot to learn about teamwork. After sounds of disappointment from the home crowd that he should have looked for his colleague – Taarabt gestured towards the support – with a minority opting to boo his next touch.
From then on the silent majority decided to use their voice and attempt to drown out the senseless booing on one of their own players. It was clear however that he was unsettled by the incident once again gesturing to fans that criticised him.
As the final whistle blew in W12, the supporters opted to cheer a truly heroic performance from the side who picked up their first maximum of the season. Five goals was something unforeseen before the start of the game and inevitably the players were cheered off the field.
Taarabt was quick to leave the field without his shirt as he bounded down the tunnel, not even this minor incident could overshadow what was a great day for Queens Park Rangers and could prove to be the turning point in their season.
Full Time: Queens Park Rangers 5-2 Barnsley
Queens Park Rangers
Radek Cerny, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Damion Stewart, Gary Borrowdale, Wayne Routledge (Alejandro Faurlín 69), Martin Rowlands, Ben Watson, Akos Buzsaky, Rowan Vine (Adel Taarabt 69), Jay Simpson (Alessandro Pellicori 79).
David Preece, Nathan Doyle, Ryan Shotton, Stephen Foster, Carl Dickinson, Anderson De Silva, Jacob Butterfield (Rob Kozluk 46), Hugo Colace, Adam Hammill, Andy Gray (Jamal Campbell-Ryce 76), Iain Hume (Daniel Bogdanovic 60).
Radek Cerny – 6/10
In truth he didn’t have a great deal to do on the day but could arguably be considered at fault for not commanding his area for Barnsley’s first goal.
Stephen Foster was afforded space in the air and nodded over a keeper caught in no-man’s-land. Other than that Barnsley’s finishing was wayward at best and Cerny was left with little to do.
Mikele Leigertwood – 7/10
Leigertwood found the early going tough against Hammill down the right, with the Liverpool man beating him and getting over his cross on a couple of occasions – but talk about a way of releasing your frustrations!
A truly commendable effort from Leigertwood as he strode forward to latch onto a Rowlands pass before drilling a fizzer beyond the dive of Preece. Conceded a needless foul that led to Barnsley’s goal but nevertheless was relatively useful at full-back.
Kaspars Gorkss – 8/10
Yet another excellent display from the Latvian defender as he was truly dominant in the air over both strikers and then Bogdanovic when he came from the bench.
He held the defence together during difficult times and held the ball well when he thought appropriate to relieve pressure. His knock-down for the final goal was a fitting tribute to an excellent display.
Damion Stewart – 7/10
Damion was once again good in the air and produced a tackle of real quality to deny Iain Hume a goal in the first period, that could have made things far more interesting from the visitors’ perspective.
The Jamaican once again linked up well with Gorkss in defence and they are proving indeed a formidable partnership at the heart of defence. He will be looking to continue this form against free-scoring Newcastle on Wednesday.
Gary Borrowdale – 6/10
Once again the full-back was relatively solid in all he did, with nothing truly spectacular coming from his left-foot.
His distributed rather well to his fellow defenders and midfielders as QPR looked to attack a faltering Barnsley rearguard. He may need a little more to his performance if the R’s are to overcome the Toon Army midweek.
Wayne Routledge – 8/10
Routledge was once again immense on the right-wing as he put a cobbled defence to the sword at Loftus Road this afternoon.
The winger cut inside, ducked outside and produced some testing crosses for the likes of Buzsaky and his colleagues to profit. Another display of great consistency.
Ben Watson – 8/10
Watson scored a goal to round off a thoroughly decent display at the heart of midfield. He and Martin Rowlands seem to take to their partnership like a duck to water, linking up to great effect.
Watson’s goal was somewhat fortuitous as he put his effort on target but a goalkeeping nightmare capped off the fourth goal of the game. His passing and movement was excellent throughout and hopefully Rangers can extend the loan once it concludes.
Martin Rowlands – 8/10
The midfielder showed great talent and versatility throughout as he commanded the centre of the park alongside Ben Watson.
The former Brentford man was excellent in possession and tough in the tackle. He moved over to the right flank when Routledge was withdrawn and still his passion and commitment to the cause was undying and faultless.
Akos Buzsaky – 9/10
What else to say that hasn’t already been said, a hatrick would have made it the perfect ten for the Hungarian international.
His first showed great composure while his second displayed great class as the scourge of the Barnsley rearguard worked his magic on an adoring crowd.
Rowan Vine – 7/10
Vine was useful during his time on the field making significant inroads into the Barnsley defence. His direct and purposeful running was tough to handle in the first period.
His second half display was slightly less effective but nevertheless gave the Tykes food for thought with a fluidity that was pleasing on the eye.
Jay Simpson – 7/10
Simpson bagged his third goal in two games in a poachers fashion, prodding home the loose ball home from close range.
His overall display was perhaps not as good as at Cardiff but nevertheless he showed isolated incidents of great strength and vision, laying on the stunning Buzsaky strike.
SUB: Adel Taarabt – 6/10
Replaced Rowan Vine – 69
The forward came on to a great cheer from the Loftus Road crowd and produced some excellent skill and trickery to compliment the Rangers attack.
At times he played purely on instinct, and when the killer ball was open to him he opted to fly solo rather than use the options before him. A positive substitution but still certain facets of his game to improve upon.
SUB: Alejandro Faurlín – 6/10
Replaced Wayne Routledge – 69
The Argentinean midfielder looked useful coming from the bench with some tidy flicks and passing to contribute to the Rangers threat.
He misplaced a couple of passes when the easier ball was on at times, but nevertheless he produced something to show the supporters he is waiting for his chance.
Replaced Jay Simpson – 79
The sizeable Italian forward came from the bench and did what was asked of him by winning nearly every ball in the air. Unfortunately for him his knock-downs weren’t read by his weary team-mates.
As a target-man he proved effective but will need more game time to produce and effective rapport and understanding with his team-mates.
Jim Magilton: 8/10 – Jim’s men did him proud today and he must have done sterling work in taking the pressure off the shoulders of his players during the week.
Today they certainly didn’t lack the belief and endeavour shown at home in recent games as they took Barnsley to pieces in a lively first half.
He will realise that his side can once again play without fear on the wide pitch at St James’ Park on Wednesday night, as the R’ search for a result on a tough ground.
Mark Robins: 6/10 – His side didn’t do him proud as they did during the week against Burnley, and you get the impression that the Tykes may stay up on their home form alone.
He would have taken great comfort from the two goals his side managed in W12, but nevertheless his gambit to hand two young loan signings their debut didn’t pay off.
Mr K Evans: Rather over-officious and brazen in his decision making and bookings today, and Barnsley can certainly feel hard-done-by in some of the bookings they received.
It seemed in the first half that he was booking every foul regardless of severity, and in the second half he calmed down a tad when he realised he may have to dish out a second yellow to someone.
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