In what was our sixth consecutive league match in London we managed to get three points and keep the third place. All our rivals for a Champions League spot won their games, something that has happened very, very rarely this term, so this victory was imperative. Here are the key points from the game.
1.We managed to lift our game in the second half.
It’s safe to say that our first-half display was well below par. We couldn’t cope with the physical approach applied by our opponents and allowed by the referee while our sloppy passing didn’t help at all. However, we managed to remain focused and strong enough to respond in the second half with a much stronger performance. It’s good to know that we can keep our nerve in games like this because it’s what we’ll need a lot in the remaining ten league games.
2.Olivier Giroud scored again.
The Big Handsome Frenchman didn’t become a tragic figure against The R’s again. His opener was a huge blow for the hosts who were there for the taking from that moment on. It was a clever finish from not the best of angles and the Frenchman had enough composure to give us the lead. It was his tenth league goal this term and third league match in a row in which he has scored.
3.Alexis Sánchez is a real champion.
The Chilean had been without a goal for six matches – the last he had scored was against Stoke City – but his unbelievable passion for football suggested that he was going to break the negative streak against QPR. He was involved in our opener as well – he found Gibbs with a lovely pass just before the Englishman sent a cross for Giroud – and the second goal had to be scored by him. Only a player of his mental strength could pick himself back up after fluffing his lines during a perfect goal-scoring opportunity and only a player of his technique and goal-scoring instinct could find a way to put the ball into the net through the narrowest possible angle. Some might add that Alexis is back in time but, truth be told, he wasn’t leaving the house in the first place.
4.Kieran Gibbs added final product but made a costly defensive error.
The English full-back has been criticized for his tendency to bomb down the flank without actually creating or scoring goals. Tonight both of our full-backs did their best to stretch the opponents on the narrow pitch of Loftus Road and Gibbs was very effective providing two assists. Hopefully more of that will come from Kieran in the future!
Now, Ospina and Koscielny aren’t completely without fault for Charlie Austin’s consolation goal but it was Gibbs who ran away from the ball in an attempt to deny Austin the option to pass the ball wide leaving too much space for QPR’s leading goal-scorer. That situation underlined that, in terms of defending, Nacho Monreal looks the more reliable option than Gibbs.
5.Francis Coquelin can’t be stopped even with a broken nose.
The Frenchman gave another battling performance and was everywhere. He has become an indispensable member of the team. Who knows, an international call-up might become a reality for Le Coq.
6.Tomas Rosicky should make his own energetic drink labelled “35 going on 25″.
The Czech veteran didn’t have the best first half but in the second he revamped our midfield. It’s unbelievable that he is 35 as he looks much younger so the Czech should think about producing his own energetic drink. If there is a player that should be one of the first names on the team-sheet for the game at the Old Trafford next Monday, it’s Tomas.
7.Gabriel’s injury is a blow.
We will have to go through our next few games without Gabriel as the Brazilian’s hamstring injury means at least three weeks on the sidelines.
8.The German duo responded in a great manner.
Per Mertesacker was crucified after Monaco and Mesut Özil has been brutally insulted even after the game against Everton in which he picked two assists. Last night, both of them showed their true quality and how lucky we are to have two world champions in our team.
9.It has been the longest winning sequence this season.
Our victory against QPR means we have won four league matches in a row. It’s been the longest winning streak this season and long may it continue! West Ham at home and Newcastle away look like a pair of winnable fixtures before a huge match at the Emirates against Liverpool.
10.QPR don’t look good enough for the Premier League.
The R’s don’t look like a team capable of keeping their Premier League status. They are now in the relegation zone after Aston Villa won The West Midlands Derby against West Brom and – aside from Charlie Austin’s goal-scoring abilities – they don’t look worthy of Premiership status.
The next game is against Manchester United in the FA Cup. At Old Trafford. A victory over them is a long over-due and maybe it’s the right time to pull another 2:0 victory in FA Cup at Old Trafford and book our place in a Wembley semifinal!