Setback for Latics at Loftus Road – Queens Park Rangers 1 Wigan Athletic 0

Loftus Road

Loftus Road, QPR

Wigan suffered a setback in their pursuit of a Championship play-off place when they went down 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

An early goal by Yossi Benayoun, who was later sent off for a second yellow card, was enough to give the Londoners the three points and establish a seven point gap over the Latics.

Wigan wasted a number of good opportunities to score during the game with James McClean in particular having an off day in front of goal.

Uwe Rösler shuffled his starting line up and rested several players from Saturday’s starting line up including current captain Emmerson Boyce. The formation was once again 3-5-2 with the three centre backs Thomas Rogne, Ivan Ramis and Rob Kiernan and wing backs James Perch and Stephen Crainey.

QPR had central defender Richard Dunne returning after his recent suspension.

Both teams’ might have profited from free kicks in the opening few minutes but it was QPR who went ahead following some neat interplay as Clint Hill played in Benayoun to smash home on 15 minutes.

Wigan responded with James Perch almost getting on the score sheet when his right footed shot from the right side of the box was saved low down by the Rangers keeper Robert Green.

Nick Powell’s shot from distance almost deceived Green but the former West Ham and England keeper parried his effort away.

McClean then turned the full back inside out before firing a low shot which Green did well to save low down at his near post.

Thirty seconds later McClean had another chance when his volley from close range was saved by the Rangers keeper low down at the opposite post.

Kranjcar had a rare sortie forward for Rangers on 40 minutes when he should have done better from 18 yards in the centre of the goal, but his shot went tamely to Ali Al Habsi.

The best opportunity of the half then fell to McClean after a defence splitting pass by Powell. The Republic of Ireland winger drove into the 18 yard box but his right footed effort went disappointingly wide of the far post.

Wigan had certainly had the better of the first period but somehow found themselves behind at the interval.

The second period commenced with Wigan maintaining their dominance and forcing a series of corners.

McClean had a left footed shot from the centre of the box saved by Green, Perch stumbled when in front of goal and Powell headed against the cross-bar following a corner, but Latics just couldn’t finish.

On 55 minutes Rangers might have doubled their lead when Bobby Zamora found himself in plenty of space in the Wigan area but he strangely decided to play the ball backwards to Benayoun and the Israeli’s shot was easily saved by Al Habsi.

Wigan continued to have territorial possession but despite the introduction of Jean Beausejour for Crainey, Jordi Gomez for McEachran and Nicky Maynard for Rogne, they couldn’t beat Green.

Benayoun was sent off for a second bookable offence on 91 minutes following a foul on Gomez.

Wigan’s final chance came on 93 minutes when substitute Maynard’s header was bound for the top corner but Green somehow managed to push it away.

Latics unbeaten run had to come to an end sometime, but it was disappointing that it came in a match in which they should have won.

Fortunately for Wigan most of the other teams chasing a play-off place lost on the night, so they remain in fifth place, three points ahead of Reading and five ahead of Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town with a game in hand.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Championship, QPR, Wigan Athletic, Yossi Benayoun and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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