Thursday, 12 April 2012

QPR 3 - Swansea 0

Ouch, so much for my pre-match optimism.

Whilst not a good performance, the scoreline flattered QPR slightly, even if Ashley Williams called the performance ‘garbage’ on Twitter after the game.

The match hinged on QPR scoring right at the end of first half which largely came about as a couple of Neil Taylor errors, the first was letting a pass roll under his foot to give QPR a throw and then from the throw fouling Zamora on the touchline to give the free kick from which QPR scored.  I’m assuming this sequence of events rather than any injury was why Taylor was substituted at half time.

It’s not exactly advanced analytics: set pieces are great opportunities to score so concede fewer set pieces and you’ll concede fewer goals and I’d imagine Rodgers was fuming at half time.  

Prior to the goal, things were relatively even (7 shots from QPR, 5 from Swansea) and plenty of boos from the home fans as Swansea kept the ball for long periods suggesting that had it stayed level until half time the crowd would have got increasingly jittery.

The Swansea performance seemed to be low on energy with their best chances coming from Sigurdsson's corners.
Credit must go to the QPR defence as 6 of 11 of Swansea’s attempts were blocked, 5 of these from within the box with 3 of the 6 blocks being made by Clint Hill.
Sigurdsson had only 1 attempt at goal all game and aside from his excellent corners, had a relatively quiet game.  Graham again had few opportunities with only 2 attempts.

No Swansea player managed more than one successful take-on (notably Sinclair 1 from 5 and Dyer 0 from only 1 attempt), Diakite for QPR had 4 from 4 and Taraabt 3 from 4).  To be fair to Dyer he was the second most fouled player during the game despite only playing 45 minutes (fouled 3 times, Barton most with 4). 

Swansea were made to work hard in defence centrally as can be seen by the areas of tackles made as opposed to QPR whose tackles were largely along their right hand side (i.e., Sinclair's wing).

Allen was again top tackler for Swansea with 5 tackles

Conspiracy theorists may like to note the odds on the next Spurs manager where, (as of afternoon of 12th April) Rodgers is as low as evens to be next permanent Spurs manager.  Much has been made of Spurs’ form since Capello resigned as England manager and it’s inevitable however fanciful, that similar parallels will be drawn with regards to the situation at Swansea and Redknapp’s possible departure.

Personally, I feel if he was to be offered the Spurs role he wouldn't turn it down as you don’t get jobs at that level coming along too often and probably sees someone like second favourite David Moyes who is always the bridesmaid but never the bride and managers such as Phil Brown, John Gregory and David O’Leary who were once flavour of the month but now are more likely to be thought of in terms of ‘Whatever happened to..?’

Away from rumours and speculation however, this was a game where some sloppy defending resulted in the opener with Swansea being outplayed in central midfield and being unable to pull themselves back in to the game in the second half.

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