Premier League

November 5, 2011

Full-time

QPR

2 - 3

Man City

Premier League

17:30 +00:00, November 5, 2011

Loftus Road Stadium, England

Referee: Martin Atkinson

  •  

    Okay, everyone. Thanks for joining me this evening. Keep coming back to see if City can maintain their lead at the top, or if Chelsea and Manchester United can close the gap. Goodnight.

  •  

    "When we play as a team and know our roles, we're a good team"

  •  

    "When they got the second goal, you'd have thought we'd go under but we bounced right back"

  •  

    Neil Warnock: "People right us off We played without fear. We're disappointed with the goals we conceded. I don't think we'll get a tougher test than that but credit to the boys."

  •  

    "The win was very important because we've played 6 very, very hard games and we've won, it was important because of the international break"

  •  

    ..."For me, David Silva is one of the best players in the world..."

  •  

    Roberto Mancini: "It was important we beat QPR. I knew that we could have a problem."

  •  

    Edin Dzeko named the man of the match. He worked hard and the game lacked a true star. Barton, perhaps, can feel slightly hard done by, though.

  •  

    Dzeko: "Compliments to QPR. I was surprised because they played well."

  •  

    The best start they've ever had to a Premier League season, but it'll be interesting to see if they have the staying power and know-how to remain top as the season progresses.

  •  

    City remain five points clear at the top, with Manchester United behind them in second.

  •  

    Post-match comments to follow...

  •  

    Neil Warnock certainly didn't look too disheartened at the final whistle. A good manager, he'll admire his side's spirit today.

  •  

    City not at their best today but, as is always said, it's the sign of a good side to continue to win when not playing well. QPR, meanwhile, also impressed and showed exactly why they should be confident of avoiding relegation. They'll be stronger still when DJ Campbell returns.

  • 90'

    Full-time! QPR 2-3 Manchester City

  • 90'

    Headed wide! Surely the last chance of the game.

  • 90'

    Corner to QPR now!! Paddy Kenny comes to join the attack. A late twist awaits?

  • 90'

    Free-kick to City, who are clearly taking their time.

  • 90'

    3 mins of added time...

  • 90'

    The games crying out from someone in a QPR shirt to have a shot. Barton aside, no-one seems to want to take responsibility...

  • 90'

    City certainly closing in on a five-point lead at the top...

  • 89'

    Balotelli goes for the chip from distance but it's not even close.

  • 89'

    2 minutes of normal time remaining.

  •  

    Heidar Helguson's disputed leveller and Yaya Toure's 'winner' up right now on the ESPN Goals App, it's FREE. UK only. http://es.pn/p9aTa4

  • 87'

    Dzeko off, Toure on (no doubt to the disappointment of many of those playing fantasy football...

  • 87'

    A waste of a cross. Straight out for a City goalkick. Toure now coming on - Kolo, that is.

  • 86'

    City in possession in midfield before losing out to Barton. Another good performance from the controversial midfielder, today - he'll be key for them for the rest of the season.

  • 86'

    City currently know what to expect of QPR.

  • 86'

    Gabbidon's cross headed clear by Richards.

  • 85'

    Kenny, as is customary of the trailing side at this point of the game, sends the ball long into the City box.

  • 84'

    Mackie off, to warm applause from the Loftus road locals, and replaced by Tommy Smith.

  • 83'

    What is it with Italian managers and Adam Johnson? Capello departs (it's almost as though he's not earning every last penny of hus £6m salary) having seemingly seen enough of any English 'talent' on show.

  • 82'

    Another header! QPR hit the bar after the free-kick, good effort from Capello.

  • 82'

    QPR free-kick, now.

  • 81'

    Barton petulantly swiped at the Spaniard's ankle. Should have tried that at 1-0, if anything.

  • 81'

    Barton booked for a foul on Silva. No arguments.

  • 81'

    Luke Young's cross collected comfortably by Hart.

  • 80'

    Silva curls an effort wide! Selfish, in truth, but he's a quality player and it's hard to blame him when he's in such form.

  • 79'

    Game resumes it's older pattern of City keeping QPR at length and forcing them to resort to hopeful long balls.

  • 79'

    City crowd out a QPR attack. Ball out for a throw-in.

  • 78'

    Balotelli booked for an obvious dive when looking for a penalty.

  • 77'

    Goal-kick sent long by Hart...

  • 77'

    Bothroyd off, Puncheon on.

  • 76'

    Balotelli instantly involved but his shot is blocked.

  • 75'

    Mancini wants to attack then, as he removes his holding midfielder for another striker.

  • 75'

    Barry off, Balotelli on.

  • 74'

    Kolarov, in space on the left, curls in a cross which is headed in by Yaya Toure.

  • 74'

    3-2 to City!!!

  • 74'

    GOAL!!!

  • 74'

    City now passing and probing in midfield, but QPR continue to hold their shape well.

  • 73'

    City looking very flat indeed. Lots of potential game changers on the bench, however.

  • 72'

    The QPR fans cheer with every complete pass.

  • 71'

    There's the answer...Balotelli getting ready to make an appearance. Now, if anyone knows a thing or two about fireworks...

  • 70'

    One wonders what that does to Mancini's plans, having withdrawn Aguero.

  • 69'

    QPR now the side with the impetus, then.

  • 68'

    City protested for offside but it's rightly dismissed. 2-2.

  • 67'

    With City beginning to look flat, QPR take advantage with a low cross from Traore bouncing up for Helguson to head in an equaliser.

  • 67'

    GOAL!! 2-2!

  • 67'

    Aguero has been lively, but not at his best - although he's had no need. Silva or Johnson likely to play off of Dzeko, now.

  • 67'

    Aguero off, Johnson on.

  • 66'

    QPR with a lovely passing move - their best of the game - but City crowd the penalty box which slows it down. The eventual shot flies over the bar.

  • 66'

    Deflected shot collected again by the alert Hart.

  • 65'

    QPR now enjoying a spell of possession but City aren't putting any pressure on them until the final third. The continue to sit deep, with three central midfielders in front of the four man defence, and invite long balls.

  • 64'

    Foul given. Free-kick to QPR after Faurlin is felled. Barton to take.

  • 63'

    QPR, with Wright-Phillips, trying to create an attack.

  • 63'

    Another deep cross from QPR gets nowhere. Ball's out for a City throw.

  • 62'

    Hart now collects a low ball across the box.

  • 61'

    QPR in possession but struggling for ideas.

  • 60'

    Now Aguero! Curls the ball just wide. City effortlessly upping their game, little QPR can currently do.

  • 60'

    Dzeko now going close! A very good save from Paddy Kenny but surely a third isn't far away.

  • 59'

    QPR currently resorted to long, diagonal balls but it's getting them nowhere. City playing very cleverly, at the moment.

  • 58'

    QPR suddenly look disenchanted following their start, although Warnock's body language remains the same.

  • 56'

    Luke Young, again bringing into question why he ever got England caps (you've a lot to answer for, Sven) with City's main gains coming down the left.

  • 55'

    Aguero caught offside. But good play again.

  • 55'

    Aguero now curling the ball over! A good effort though. City with much more one-touch football and movement which QPR are struggling to defend against.

  • 55'

    Tempo is much better now, from City.

  • 54'

    Dzeko bends a shot just wide!

  • 54'

    As they are clearly looking to do. Goals make such a difference to confidence - City transformed and instantly looking more adventurous.

  • 53'

    Hard, at this point, not to envisage City going on to dominate the game and soce at least another.

  • 51'

    A superb goal from David Silva who produces a great touch, following a low cross from Dzeko, to find some space in the penalty box before firing in low past Kenny. Truly extinguishing QPR's bonfire.

  • 51'

    GOAL!! 2-1 to City!

  • 50'

    Richards falls easily under pressure from Traore. No free-kick.

  • 50'

    Chip towards Dzeko is fruitless, however, QPR back in possession.

  • 50'

    City now stroking the ball around in the manner that's perhaps now expected of them.

  • 50'

    City's pressure earns QPR a throw-in deep inside their own half.

  • 49'

    Kolarov takes the throw-in.

  •  

    Check out Edin Dzeko's equaliser for Man City at QPR right now on the ESPN Goals App, it's FREE. UK only. http://es.pn/p9aTa4

  • 47'

    Kenny launches a free-kick into the City box but the resultant shot from Barton flies miles over the bar.

  • 46'

    Fortunately for City, he signed a new contract in the summer.

  • 46'

    Hart fastly improving, it has to be said, to becoming one of the world's top goalkeepers.

  • 46'

    Barton producing a superb save from Hart after an impressive shot!

  • 46'

    Long ball forward headed straight clear by Savic.

  • 46'

    Bothroyd and Faurlin under way for QPR.

  •  

    The teams are back out, then, and ready to kick-off...

  •  

    It'd be a great surprise if Balotelli doesn't appear at some stage, either. He's been superb lately, as has Johnson, although it's no surprise the latter is on the bench.

  •  

    What changes will Mancini have made, if any?

  •  

    The second-half is imminent...

  •  

    Kevin Keegan, an ex-manager of Manchester City, criticising the defending of Richards and Lescott and the organisation at the back.

  •  

    3 on target for QPR, 2 for City

  •  

    Half-time stats: Both sides with 9 attempts on goal...

  •  

    A bonus for them, of course, is the potency in their sparklers like Aguero and Silva, and of course others from the bench who can make such a difference.

  •  

    Given the quality of some of their defending, their defence could certainly do with a rocket up their arse.

  •  

    One wonders if, by the look on Mancini's face in the first-half, there'll be fireworks in City's dressing room at half-time.

  • 45'

    Certainly a shock for City, however, who trailed for the first time this evening.

  • 45'

    A wide open game and one that could easily go either way, but it'd be a surprise if City didn't now up their game and begin to dominate.

  • 45'

    Half-time! Scores remain 1-1

  • 45'

    Man City in possession in midfield.

  • 45'

    Man City may have just equalised, but you can see QPR's opener on the ESPN Goals App, it's FREE. UK only. http://es.pn/p9aTa4

  • 45'

    1 minute of stoppage time to be played...

  • 45'

    QPR now hoping for the half-time whistle as Aguero hits the post!!

  • 44'

    City instantly probing and looking for a second. Important for them that they maintain their momentum but equally important for QPR that they don't let their heads drop.

  • 43'

    GOAL! Perhaps cruel on QPR, but Milner plays Dzeko in who keeps possession and allows Ferdinand to slide before firing in low past Kenny. 1-1!

  • 43'

    Another cross, clearly looking for Bothroyd, is this time headed clear by Richards.

  • 40'

    Curled over from Kolarov to a loud response from QPR's fans but it went closer than their reaction suggests. Goal-kick.

  • 40'

    Aguero fouled by Young. Free-kick in a dangerous position. Lescott, meanwhile, is changing his boots.

  • 39'

    Another great cross is met by a header from Bothroyd. Hart is beaten but it clips the outside of the post. City lucky.

  • 39'

    Bothroyd so close again!

  • 39'

    The problem QPR have, of course, is the quality on City's bench, and the quality out on pitch which means one lapse could be costly.

  • 38'

    Throw-in to QPR. A brief stalemate with QPR happy for City to have possession in defence but City currently lacking imagination.

  • 36'

    Silva produces a good save from Kenny but the balls out for a goal-kick. Mancini's not looking happy, but why would he be? City looking sluggish.

  • 35'

    Throw-in to City.

  • 35'

    QPR again on the attack.

  • 34'

    Mackie's shot parried to Helguson but Hart reacts quickly enough to stop the rebound. World-class goalkeeping.

  • 34'

    A great double save from Hart!!

  • 34'

    Aguero again crowded out by QPR's defence after a through-ball from Silva.

  • 33'

    Compliments certainly have to be played to Neil Warnock who has what appears to be a very committed side working together, and with players like Ferdinand, Traore, Barton and W-Phillips who've all had their commitment and temperament questioned elsewhere.

  • 32'

    Well defended by Ferdinand! Toure plays in Aguero who is quickly dispossessed.

  • 31'

    QPR now doing well to keep Man City confined to their own half.

  • 30'

    Milner's cross headed clear.

  • 29'

    Committed defending from QPR who are immediately under pressure. Accusations of handball at Aguero but Dzeko's shot is blocked.

  • 29'

    A fairly routine goal but it's been coming.

  • 28'

    Jay Bothroyd heads in Barton's superb free-kick! 1-0 to QPR!

  • 27'

    GOAL

  • 27'

    Free-kick to QPR from wide on the right. A good position from which to cross.

  • 26'

    QPR playing some nice football and trying to find an opening but it's difficult in a crowded midfield. Faurlin fouled.

  • 26'

    Barton hits the ball out. Poor pass.

  • 24'

    And he's still not happy! Sends his players to get warmed up. Tevez isn't there so it's not in question.

  • 24'

    Mancini looks furious. Don't go banging your head in the dugout again, Roberto...

  • 24'

    So close for QPR! Barton's corner headed just wide with Anton Ferdinand just failing to convert!

  • 23'

    Barton's curling free-kick is headed out. Corner.

  • 22'

    ...which is of course what no-one wants to see. More Aguero, Silva, Johnson and Nasri. Less Barry and Lescott.

  • 22'

    City, if the early signs are anything to go by, are certainly happy to take Roberto Mancini's advice about being more 'boring' if they intend to win the league...

  • 22'

    Attack thwarted. Good challenge.

  • 21'

    QPR's free-kick. Kenny takes and sends it long but it's header clear by City's defence who look to build an attack.

  • 21'

    QPR also happy for City to keep the ball there.

  • 20'

    ...Lescott hoping to catch Capello's eye? Will have to do a lot more than that.

  • 20'

    Savic, Toure and Lescott swapping possession again. A clear pattern developing early in the game.

  • 20'

    QPR also pressing high up the pitch and making it difficult for City to clear the ball when they please.

  • 18'

    The 5 man midfield crowds QPR's whenever they begin to work their way into the final third.

  • 17'

    Interestingly, Kolarov and Richards appear to join the midfield, with Toure dropping back into defence, and adopting a 3-5-2 when they please.

  • 17'

    Goal-kick to City, Hart plays it out to Savic. City again keeping the ball in defence.

  • 17'

    QPR again spreading play in midfield, but City's midfield seem happy for them to have possession there.

  • 17'

    Barton easily muscled off of the ball by Toure.

  • 16'

    Watch all 13 of today's Premier League goals now by downloading ESPN Goals App, it's FREE. Unlucky for some, UK only. http://es.pn/p9aTa4

  • 15'

    Hart with a long ball over the top to Aguero, joined by Silva, but the ball is intercepted and sent clear. QPR now looking to attack.

  • 15'

    Wasted by City. Complete waste. Ball now back in defence with Kolarov.

  • 13'

    Aguero, lively as always. wins a corner for his side.

  • 12'

    Poor from Dzeko. Passes the ball straight back out.

  • 12'

    Throw-in to City.

  • 12'

    QPR now spreading the play nicely. Early link-ups between Traorw and Faurlin proving successful and could be a sign of things to come.

  • 11'

    Boos from QPR fans but that won't bother City.

  • 11'

    And continue to do so...

  • 11'

    Joe Hart collects Luke Young's long ball. City now playing the ball around patiently.

  • 10'

    Traore now breaking clear. The low cross is met by Lescott, however. More hunger from a QPR forward could have created great danger, there.

  • 10'

    Richards heads clear again. QPR recover possession in defence.

  • 10'

    QPR appeal for a foul on Faurlin but City take the chance to break before a poor pass from Barry sends the ball straight out. No doubt exactly what Capello was hoping for.

  • 9'

    Barton's corner eventually headed clear by Toure.

  • 9'

    Traore's cross headed out. Early corner for QPR. Well defended from Milner.

  • 9'

    Silva, as is typical of him, looking to create space and an opportunity for City.

  • 8'

    Poor from Richards. Heads straight out for a QPR throw-in.

  • 8'

    And another...

  • 8'

    Throw-in to City.

  • 7'

    QPR's tenacity on display now, solid tackling on the edge of the box to win the ball from Dzeko.

  • 7'

    QPR, remember, started in similar fashion against Chelsea and won then...

  • 6'

    Free-kick to QPR. Kenny launches it forward and Wright-Phillips threatens before being tackled. Gabbidon, at the other end, disposseses Sergio Aguero.

  • 6'

    Curled in but headed straight out. Luke Young knocks a long ball back into the box before Helguson fires over. Decent effort, but wide. A positive start for QPR.

  • 5'

    Barton to take.

  • 3'

    Richards clearance met by Jamie Mackie. QPR win the free-kick after a foul by Toure.

  • 2'

    Wright-Phillips, playing against his former side, in possession.

  • 2'

    Savic almost caught in possession before being aided by Yaya Toure. Now a throw-in to QPR.

  • 1'

    Goal-kick taken by Kenny.

  • 1'

    City threatening instantly. Gareth Barry is gifted some space which encourages him to shoot from distance. Not on target, but the intent was there.

  • 1'

    Milner and Silva kick for City-off.

  •  

    Fabio Capello is in the stands to overlook any English players (like he'll pick anyone different, anyway...)

  •  

    Silence is over. Kick-off is imminent.

  •  

    The teams meet at the centre-circle for the minute's silence.

  •  

    It's encouraging to see poppies on kits... FIFA have reportedly threatened to fine England should they wear them against Spain which is a disgrace. I'd encourage England to wear them regardless and to take whatever punishment may come.

  •  

    Interesting too that Savic starts again for City. Lescott's an obvious weakness in the City back four, so perhaps Savic could seriously pressure him for his starting spot once Kompany returns. Kolo Toure, who recently admitted his interest in a move to Paris-Saint Germain, is on the bench.

  •  

    Manchester City are obviously the firm favourites, but QPR manager Neil Warnock is a good man-manager and capable of inspiring his players, so it'll be interesting to see what their approach is.

  •  

    The teams are in the tunnel and coming out onto the pitch...

  •  

    QPR: Kenny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Mackie, Barton Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd, Helguson

  •  

    Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Savic, Lescott, Kolarov, Barry Toure Yaya, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko

  •  

    So, on to team news...

  •  

    It's already been a compelling day and, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all winning, the onus is truly on City to maintain their form against QPR.

  •  

    Hi, Declan Warrington (@decwarrington) here. I'll be providing you with a minute-by-minute commentary of tonight's game between Manchester City and QPR.

  •  

    QPR team: Kenny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Faurlin, Mackie, Traore, Barton, Young, Helguson, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand. Subs: Murphy, Orr, Hill, Derry, Smith, Andrade, Puncheon.

  •  

    Chelsea team: Hart, Richards, Kolarov, Lescott, Savic, Yaya, Barry, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Clichy, Kolo, A. Johnson, Nasri, Balotelli.

  •  

    ESPNsoccernet will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of the Premier League game between QPR and Manchester City, which kicks-off 1730 GMT.