Doyle back on song as Cisse rage costs QPR
QPR 1 Wolves 2
After 30 minutes of this game the Wolves dressing-doom door was in danger of again being darkened by an outraged owner. Tuesday's 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool had provoked the club's chairman, Steve Morgan, into furiously berating the players for a performance he considered unacceptable.
But that dressing down did not stimulate the reaction he desired, as Wolves were a goal down and being outplayed by a QPR side invigorated by new blood. That goal was scored by debutant Bobby Zamora following his £6m move from Fulham, the striker poking into the net from 10 yards after neat interplay between Shaun Wright-Phillips and Djibril Cisse.
With Wolves striker Steven Fletcher toiling in grim isolation, the visitors offered no attacking threat until the 24th-minute injury to Emmanuel Frimpong. The introduction of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake for the Arsenal loanee prompted a shift to 4-4-2 and a bout of territorial pressure from the visitors, who, nevertheless, could not manage a shot on target in the first half.
That was despite having a numerical advantage after Cisse was sent off for grabbing Roger Johnson by the throat after the defender caught him with a late tackle. "We were disappointed with the initial challenge and Djibril, with his history (of bad injuries from tackles), reacted to that," said Mark Hughes. "He raised his hand and we know you can't do that so unfortunately the referee had to send him off."
Mick McCarthy acknowledged that Cisse's dismissal helped turn the tide: "I don't consider myself an unlucky person but we haven't had much of the good stuff recently but we got some here, as one man's mistake helped us."
McCarthy went for broke at half-time by replacing full-back Richard Stearman with Kevin Doyle. The Irish striker has been out of form recently but he made an immediate impact, setting up the equaliser at the start of the second half, Matthew Jarvis collecting his cross before smartly curling into the far corner.
Wolves began to dominate but QPR appeared to have weathered the storm. In the 71st minute, however, they were punished for sluggishness, as Jamie O'Hara sent in a pass that found its way to Doyle via Ebanks-Blake. Doyle turned away from Nedum Onuoha and fired a low shot past Paddy Kenny from 10 yards. "Doyler was excellent and I'm really pleased for him because he's been having a tough time of late," said McCarthy.
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