Spudsy2061
3 years ago10,000+ Views
[31st-Jan-15] Stoke City 3-1 Queens Park Rangers
A superb Jonathan Walters perfect hat-trick downs a wasteful QPR as Rangers remain in the bottom three a point adrift from safety.Some dodgy defending in the opening half an hour allowed Walters to curl in an effort from his right foot to give the hosts an early 1-0 lead. Later on, in a wonderful trade of passes with teammate Stephen Ireland, Walters slotted home a ball from his left foot to allow Stoke a two goal lead before Niko Kranjcar managed to halve the deficit for Rangers 10 minutes from the half-time break. Stoke’s Begovic had to save a wonderful effort from Joey Barton off a free kick that almost drew the Hoops level. Walters then managed to head the ball in from close range to complete his perfect hat-trick and secure 3 points for the Potters. The defeat means that Rangers are not only in the bottom three but also still stagnant on the road and now as we learned yesterday, managerless. So what can help Rangers? Their play at home is admirable, 5-4-3 in their 12 games with 19 points and is certainly form enough for a strong finish in the mid-table should those results have been replicated away from Loftus Road. The problem is and only is their away form on both sides of the ball. With just 6 goals in their 11 games on the road, the form is worse off than all other Premier League clubs except Aston Villa, but even Villa’s 4 goals, while poor, has only garnered a -8 goal difference. QPR’s now -21 GD on the road is miles worse than any other Premier League side, the next closest being Leicester City’s -14. The 11 opening road losses is the worst start by any top flight side since Liverpool’s 1953-1954 season, a season that saw the Reds finish bottom of the First Division and sequentially relegated. This form suggests much the same, but a new manager could change that with Redknapp’s resignation now official. With 15 games left to play, whoever takes the seat will need to improve the results on the road immediately. Stoke on the other hand could finish in the top half of the Premier League for just the second time and for a second year running. Currently in 9th, Mark Hughes’s win over his former club has left the Potters sitting well placed, 4 points back from tumbling West Ham. There were a lot of fears when Hughes took the reins from Tony Pulis, who kept Stoke comfortably in the Premier League for a long time, but the change of style seems to be working. The Britannia is still a traditionally difficult place to play at, especially for Arsenal, and Stoke do have the ability to shoot well from range with the likes of Adam and Walters. Crouch’s ability as a target man from set pieces is also not to be underestimated. In the end, Hughes put the demons from his time at QPR to bed and Stoke fans will be reveling in their time in the top half of the table.
4 comments
Must be hard for the perfect hat-trick. What a game he had!
3 years ago·Reply
@CitySarajevo Only helps highlight how poor QPR have been away from home.
3 years ago·Reply
@Spudsy2061 They lost yesterday too.
3 years ago·Reply
@CitySarajevo But they did also just beat Sunderland on the road 2 minutes ago.
3 years ago·Reply
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