Queen’s Park Rangers 2 (Taraabt 22, Diakite 66) – Arsenal 1 (Walcott 37)
Man of the Match – Bobby Zamora (QPR)
So, there we are again. Another miserable week looms large. Arsenal were outfought, outmuscled and completely outplayed, by Queen’s Park Rangers.
So much for marking the 11th death anniversary of David Rocastle with a win, Arsenal just couldn’t come out of their cages as QPR, made most of Arsenal’s physical limitations to power their way to a 2-1 win, which is, of course a fantastic result for them
Laurent Koscielny was declared fit and took his place along side Thomas Vermaelen in the heart of defence. Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey was given a start ahead of Gervinho, on the left, which is so not the Welshman’s preferred position.
Arsenal were the first to do the initial running, but QPR pegged the Gunners’ back, as they won the midfield battle. QPR, as expected had started with a defensive minded midfield, as Barton, Diakite and Derry all got the nod. Jamie Mackie, who scored an invaluable winner over Liverpool, started on the right.
Bobby Zamora came to the end of Adel Taraabt’s free kick, but it went over. Nedum Onouha’s shot was met with Alex Song’s hand, and he was lucky to escape the attention of the referees. Bobby Zamora was particularly impressive throughout the game, as he used his physical strength to torment Koscielny and Vermaelen. He managed to hold his ground, and kept the ball with him, allowing his teammates to surge forward.
QPR soon had the lead, as some fleet footed movement from Taraabt hoodwinked Thomas Vermaelen, and he finished emphatically past Szczesny. It was the Moroccan’s first Premier League goal, and what a time to get it.
Arsenal’s response was slow, as QPR still manned the midfield. However, Arsenal got their luck, as van Persie drew the entirity of Rangers’ defence into him, allowing Theo Walcott to be in a good position. His first shot hit the post, but the rebound came back to his feet, and he didn’t make a mistake. 1-1.
Jamie Mackie was denied a penalty, while Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs both spurned chances. The chance of the match fell to van Persie, as he ran clear of the QPR defence, and everyone would have expected him to score, but his shot was parried away by Paddy Kenny.
Arsenal soon paid for it, as Jamie Mackie, aided by a Vermaelen slip, calmly placed the ball for Samba Diakite, who scored a fine winner, in the 66th minute. Arsenal just didn’t turn up, in what proved to be an under par performance, from the Gunners, especially after the high of their 7 consecutive wins.
Marrouane Chamakh, Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on, but it was always a case of too little too late.
Szczesny (6.5) – Not helped by his defence.
Sagna (7) – Looked a bit lacklustre going forward. Defensively sound.
Vermaelen (6) – Not his best day in an Arsenal shirt.
Koscielny (6.5) – Like Vermaelen, seemed to be struggling against the physicality of Taarabt, Zamora and Mackie.
Gibbs (6) – Did well going forward, but allowed the dangerous Mackie enough time and space to foray into Arsenal’s penalty box.
Song (7) – Arsenal’s best player on the pitch, as he looked to stem QPR’s midfield.
Rosicky (6.5) – Never looked sharp. Had a couple of moments, but overall poor.
Arteta (6.5) – Was well marshalled by the Rangers’ midfield, who frustrated Arsenal’s passing game.
Ramsey (6) – Not his fault, is it, that he is being played out of position.
Walcott (7) – Apart from the goal, never looked like a danger to the opposition’s defence. Lacked innovation and ideas.
van Persie (7) – Spurned the chance of the game, and got minimal feed from midfield today.
Gervinho (7) – Added a bit of freshness on the left, but never a threat really..
Chamberlain and Chamakh – Came on too late to get a rating.
Overall Team Rating – 6.58