Written by kirsikka
After the recent run, we needed to arrest the slide with a performance and result to try and start putting pressure back on the teams that have been closing in behind us.
Overall, it was job done. Elements of this made it the perfect game as QPR like to play in an open and attacking style which suits us.
There was a spell in the second half which was amongst the best we’ve seen under AFC Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker. We pinned them into their area and were picking them apart at will, just the finish lacking.
Strikers will miss easy chances. The good ones put it out of their head and focus on the next chance. It shows how far Solanke has come that he put that easy as they come open goal header miss to notch the next one. He looked a threat all night and could (should?) have scored more.
We shouldn’t always compare everything to Howe but that is our benchmark. Under former manager Eddie Howe you never quite felt comfortable when the other team was having a spell. Despite the recent troubles, we feel much more solid under Parker in those patches.
There was still some wayward passing out there but mixed in some excellent moves. More of the latter, less of the former and we’ll be in very good shape moving forward.
QPRs were desperate in the final quarter, resorting to appealing for a penalty every time the ball went into the area. That shows how well we’d shut them out as none of them were even a close call. For the one chance they did create, Lerma’s block was heroic.
A good day at the office.
Lerma: You can see the difference he makes to the whole team. First choice under four managers. There’s a reason.
Mepham: Considering everything, he stepped in and did very well. Even dug Cahill out of a hole in the first half.
Solanke: A constant threat, although perhaps should have scored a second.
Room for improvement:
Anthony: A bit harsh maybe but looked out of touch during his spell on the pitch. Hopefully, the Junior sub was precautionary as that’s an excellent set of options.
Overall we have to be delighted with that. On the balance of good chances created that should have been a two or three-goal victory. Chapeau to Scott and his team.
Man of the match against QPR
Can’t overstate how vital those 3 points were for morale going into an easier run of games (on paper).
We looked superb for the middle 3rd of the match, similar to the Bristol City performance but we didn’t get the 2nd our domination deserved.
Great grit at the end, all of the back 5 looked good.
Zemura just makes the whole side look more balanced, nice to see us creating chances down both sides.
Referee Keith Stroud had a decent game to be fair, didn’t get a lot wrong and wasn’t too swayed by any of the theatrics on either side.
Some of Lerma’s antics…my word. I would hate him so much if he played for any other side. As it is, I love him!
I thought the first half was quite even. QPR looking quite lively with some good passing moves and we also had our moments, especially with the open goal header missed by Solanke.
Dare I say it, but for the first 25 mins or so of the second half, we looked like we finally found our mojo and started to play like a top of the table team…its been a while! The only disappointment was having to hold on during the last 10 mins when we really should have been out of sight.
I’ve got no idea why we have been so poor recently, and it’s equally strange that Fulham have also been struggling at the same time. I think that when we are at our best, we are comfortably better than most in this league. However, if you don’t front up and perform every time, the Championship is always capable of giving you a slap.
A final note on Lewis Cook, as he seems to be a bit ‘marmite’ with our support. For me, I think he brings something to the team that others don’t. Definitely room for improvement, but I think he is one of the few players we have who receives the ball and actually looks forward to see what is available and then tries to make it happen. Although he does need to cut out some of the ‘hollywood’ passing for now, as he was miles off with a couple of the cross-field passes.
Jeff Lerma also proved again tonight that he should be first on the teamsheet every week. AFCB legend.
Waz afcb said…
Very pleasing performance, certainly one of our better displays this season. Unlike quite a few of our victories this season, we thoroughly deserved the three points based on the balance of the game and the chances created. This is the kind of level we need to sustain if we are to mount a challenge.
Most pleasing was the way we continued to press high and attack them in the second half, that was far more like it in terms of the way we need to manage the game. Could easily have had more goals in the second half.
Nobody played badly but a couple stood out for me. Jeff was absolutely outstanding. For the first time this season, he was played in his natural position and this really showed, when he is allowed to concentrate on what he is good at (protecting the back four) there probably is not a better midfielder of this type at this level. Asking him to contribute in any kind of advanced role just doesn’t suit him at all as is if detrimental to both him and the team, so he needs to be allowed to flourish in his natural position for the remainder of the season.
The other stand out player was Stanislas. During his time on the pitch, everything good we did from a creative perspective came through him, lovely vision and execution. The worry as always will be whether he can stay fit for any sustained period of time.
On Lewis Cook, I thought he was okay, nothing more nothing less. He clearly isn’t entirely comfortable in that more advanced midfield role but it is far more preferable to us that he be given this responsibility to allow Lerma to claim that defensive midfield spot. He did okay and grew into the game.
The only worry for me is Christie. He is a good player no doubt, but we quite simply need a player who is playing the position he does in our set-up to provide at least some kind of goal output, and to be honest I’m not sure that he can. His shooting is so woefully poor that it’s laughable. We don’t have a lot of goals in the team as it is and to have one of our main attacking players contribute nothing at all in this department could prove very costly.
It’s a conundrum because he is certainly a good player but I would be inclined to give Brady a run on the right to see if he can contribute more in the form of goals. But that is the only worry.
Matt Stevenson added…
These are so much more fun to put together when we have won and played well. As normal individual ratings are prone to error!
After our typical slow start (no shots for 20 mins) we dominated the game, bar one big scare that doesn’t show up on xG (more later). QPR’s only registered attempt that was rated above 1 in 10 was Willock’s shot that Jeff brilliantly blocked. We only had three shots rated above 1 in 10: Dom’s header in the first half (around 2 in 5), following a lovely cross from Billing; Anthony’s miss after the ball from Stacey evaded everyone (54%) and Solanke’s attempt that was blocked from the left side of the penalty area (about 1 in 7) but had a lot of attempts. Solanke’s flicked goal was rated as 1 in 25.
It must have pleased us all that we didn’t sit back on the lead as has been the case. In the second half the xG was 0.24 to QPR and 1.00 to AFCB, it may have been influenced by their lack of match sharpness but our intent was impressive. The big scare was when Stacey appeared to throw his arm at the ball in the penalty area. It missed by inches, and if it had hit, I’d be hard-pressed to say it wasn’t a penalty. All the good work could have been thrown away.
As frustrating as the results have been, our last 4 games have been away against the teams in 2nd, 5th, and 7th, and home to the team in 3rd. I hadn’t realised exactly how tough they had been collectively. – Join the conversation, click here.