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QPR 1 Chievo Verona 2

PUBLISHED: 13:40 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:19 24 August 2010

By Ben Kosky LOFTUS Road may look smarter, but the team s fortunes appear much the same as the last time they played here three months ago. On that occasion, Rangers gave a spirited performance against Championship winners West Brom, but weren t quite goo

By Ben Kosky

LOFTUS Road may look smarter,

but the team's fortunes appear much

the same as the last time they played

here three months ago.

On that occasion, Rangers gave a spirited

performance against Championship winners

West Brom, but weren't quite good

enough to match them - and it was

a similar story against their

equivalents from Italy on

Saturday.

Chievo, who won Serie B last

season, looked just that bit

more slick and clever than

Iain Dowie's side - although

there were several plus

points for both the new

boss and the crowd to

note.

Top of that list would

be an assured,

commanding display

from new signing

Kaspars Gorkss,

which meant there were

few opportunities to

judge another summer arrival,

goalkeeper Radek Cerny.

Argentinian midfielder Emmanuel

Ledesma looks crafty on the ball and the

quality of his delivery will give headaches

to several Championship defences, while

Gavin Mahon and Mikele Leigertwood

were bursting with energy in the centre of

the park.

Unfortunately, Rangers have failed to

address one of their most glaring

problems from the tail end of last season

- signing another experienced

goalscorer to give them more potency

in the penalty area.

Starting with a 4-5-1 formation, all

the Rs could muster in terms of shots at goal in the

first half were Ledesma's 25-yarder that fizzed wide

and a corner that Damien Delaney chested in, only

for referee Howard Webb to rule the goal out for

handball.

Not that there were too many chances at the

other end - Cerny dived to keep out Erjan

Bogdani's header and then Antimo Iunco's

effort was scrambled off the line by Peter

Ramage.

But Chievo made the breakthrough on the

half-hour mark as Michele Marcolini flicked a

clever pass over the head of Fitz Hall and

Bogdani stole into the gap to nudge the ball

past Cerny.

Unexpectedly, it was Hall who

almost earned the Rs parity at the start

of the second period, cracking a

volley just wide from distance,

while Dexter Blackstock's effort

deflected into the hands of

Lorenzo Squizzi.

Chievo substitute Diego

Farias caused Rangers

problems and won a corner

just after the hour, which

enabled Simone Bentivoglio to

capitalise on poor marking and hammer home

a second goal from the edge of the box.

With 20 minutes remaining, Webb awarded

QPR a lifeline with a questionable penalty for a

push on ex-Chievo player Matteo Alberti, but

Squizzi dived to save Blackstock's weak spotkick.

The official ordered a retake, though - and

Blackstock looked almost sheepish as he stepped

up to tuck away his second effort.

Rangers pressed for an equaliser, but Hall

headed wide from Ledesma's corner and that was

as close as they came to avoiding defeat - not

that results matter in the slightest until Barnsley

come to town this weekend.

QPR: Cerny (Camp 86); Ramage, Hall, Gorkss

(Stewart 79), Delaney; Agyemang,

Leigertwood (Ainsworth 79), Mahon (Bolder

75), Ledesma (Rose 83); Balanta (Alberti

58), Blackstock (Di Carmine 72).


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