Bothroyd helps keep QPR revival on track
WestBrom 0 QPR 1:Queens Park Rangers’ revival under Harry Redknapp gathered momentum courtesy of an unlikely matchwinner, as Jay Bothroyd marked only his second appearance of the season for the club with a goal 15 minutes from time.
Bothroyd, who spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Sheffield Wednesday before recently returning to Loftus Road, headed home to secure a fourth-round tie at home to Milton Keynes Dons.
Anchored to the foot of the Premier League table and five points adrift of safety, QPR have other priorities but Redknapp will have welcomed the boost this win provided.
Confirmation of sorts that QPR had beaten Newcastle United to the signing of the Marseille striker Loic Remy arrived less than an hour before kick-off and via a rather unlikely source. In between warming up and preparing for the game, Stephane Mbia, the QPR substitute, found time to tweet, “IT’S OFFICIAL WELCOME REMY!!!”
Whether Remy’s signing ends Redknapp’s pursuit of Peter Odemewingie remains to be seen. The forward started on the bench along with another QPR target, Jonas Olsson.
Albion have made it clear they have no desire to lose either player, although the Remy deal suggests Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner, is prepared to offer financial sweeteners to make a relegation battle in west London feel much more appealing.
Goran Popov delivered a cross from deep on the left that Romelu Lukaku, towering above the QPR defence, met with a powerful header that Robert Green repelled with a fine one-handed save.
Lukaku’s presence had caused QPR problems earlier when Tal Ben Haim impeded the Belgium striker off the ball. Albion appealed for a penalty but Martin Atkinson awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Graham Dorrans’ poorly executed effort struck the wall.
Albion played in fits and starts while QPR’s threat could be described as sporadic at best in the opening 45 minutes.
Bothroyd, making his first start of the season, struck an angled drive, in the 31st minute, that Boaz Myhill beat to safety.
Albion were not a great deal better. Thomas represented their best outlet but too often the winger’s decision-making let him down.
Lukaku was keen to pull the trigger whenever a sight of goal opened up.
QPR were starting to look more dangerous in the lead up to the goal, which arrived when Bothroyd nodded Alejandro Faurlin’s corner past Myhill. Albion delivered an immediate response but Green produced the first of two fine saves to keep out efforts from Markus Rosenberg and also tipped over a Dorrans shot in the 89th minute.
WEST BROM: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Tamas (El Ghanassy 81), Popov, Dorrans, Morrison (Reid 90), Thorne, Thomas (Odemwingie 71), Lukaku, Rosenberg. Subs not used: Foster, Olsson, Ridgewell, Dawson. Booked: Thomas, Rosenberg
QPR:Green, Onuoha, Hill, Ferdinand, Ben Haim, Mackie (Taarabt 90), Park, Derry, Faurlin, Bothroyd (Mbia 80), Cisse (Wright-Phillips 46). Booked: Ben Haim Subs not used: Murphy, Ephraim, Ehmer, Hulse.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)