QPR 0 West Brom 2
PUBLISHED: 20:01 05 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 August 2010
By Ben Kosky TO nobody s great surprise, Zinedine Zidane didn t show up - but QPR s 10 men certainly did, albeit in defeat by the champions. Rangers PR partners were certainly on top form, allowing the ridiculous rumour that Zidane would be appointed as
By Ben Kosky
TO nobody's great surprise, Zinedine Zidane didn't show up - but QPR's 10 men certainly did, albeit in defeat by the champions.
Rangers' PR partners were certainly on top form, allowing the ridiculous rumour that Zidane would be appointed as manager to circulate and attract more interest for Sunday's unveiling of the new club crest.
And the players looked just as committed, if less crafty, as they gamely battled to keep West Brom at bay after the first-half dismissal of skipper Martin Rowlands.
Referee Paul Taylor showed Rowlands a straight red card for a clumsy, rather than malicious tackle on Albion's Jonathan Greening, prompting an unusually scathing attack on the official from Rs boss Luigi de Canio.
"The referee demonstrated that he was not up to the situation. I'm not only referring to the red card, but his behaviour throughout the game," said de Canio.
"I felt quite offended by the way he conducted the game. It offended all the fans who turned out, it offended my players on the pitch and above all his mediocrity was very convincing.
"But well done to West Brom - they demonstrated today, as throughout the season, that they were the best team in the Championship."
Maybe so, but QPR looked more than a match for Tony Mowbray's title-winners in the opening half-hour, with Gareth Ainsworth and Hogan Ephraim causing problems on either flank.
Ainsworth's cross found Dexter Blackstock, whose header was just kept from crossing the line by Dean Kiely, while Angelo Balanta latched onto a misplaced Albion pass but fired wide.
For the visitors, Roman Bednar bundled a chance over and Lee Camp did well to palm Chris Brunt's effort behind after Damien Delaney had been caught upfield on the counter-attack.
Although the Loftus Road crowd were stunned by Rowlands' exit eight minutes before half-time, the players responded with determination and Delaney cut inside to force a diving stop from Kiely.
But Albion sent on Kim Do-Heon at half-time and he broke the deadlock eight minutes later, setting Zoltan Gera free to draw Camp out and set up an easy header for the South Korean international.
From then on, the Baggies began to press home the numerical advantage and Brunt sent Robert Koren through, but Camp raced out to foil him.
Koren returned the favour for Brunt, who rattled the crossbar and the Rs goalkeeper did well to parry Kim's powerful follow-up before producing another save from Koren soon afterwards.
The second goal seemed inevitable and it came with 13 minutes left when the referee gave a dubious-looking free-kick against Delaney just outside the box.
It was gratefully accepted by Brunt, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net - and the referee might as well have blown the final whistle there and then as a tired and depleted Rangers finally ran out of steam.
QPR: Camp; Mancienne, Rehman, Connolly, Delaney; AINSWORTH*, Rowlands, Mahon, Ephraim (Rose 80); Blackstock, Balanta (Leigertwood 39). Subs not used: Cole, Barker, Lee.