To the game, and with the sunshine blazing across West London AM announced his team. Without the injured Darren Bent in the starting line up AM decided to put Gabby upfront on his own with Bannan and Ireland coming in to the midfield.
The first half was an abysmal half of football from the Villa players and the fans that made the journey to London must have wondered why they had spent there hard earned wage on this drivel. Not one player could play more than one pass at a time in any passage of play and we didnt manage a shot on target until the 41st minute.
However if a neutral had come in at that point the stats made it look like QPR were immense. That however I did not feel was the case apart from one moment of magic from Tarabbt when he took a 35 yard shot and launched it against the far post however it appeared Given did have it covered. Other than that one opportunity, they did not really create much and what they did create lacked the class upfront to take their chances.
And so, we rolled onto the 41st minute and a foul on the edge of QPR area. Up stepped the Scottish Xavi, Barry Bannan, and took the free kick and curled it up and over the wall. It if it wasn't for a fantastic save by Kenny, Villa would of been going into the break, a goal to the good. However it ended 0-0 and I honestly can not remember a half that bad from Villa since the disastrous Monday night game away at Liverpool last season. An improvement was definitely needed in the second half.
And that certainly happened.
A Villa team that showed glimpses of skill and vast improvements on the performances of the first half. Every time we went forward we looked dangerous and then eventually after an hour Stephen Warnock put in a cross which Agbonlahor launched himself to at the far post however was obstructed by Traore. A Yellow card was shown to the defender and once the fans realised that a penalty had been given up stepped Barry Bannan with the ball held firmly to his chest, It was a proper Roy of the Rovers walk up. And not one Villa fan expected him to miss. He placed the ball down and looked so comfortable and then just placed it to the keepers left hand side tucked perfectly just inside the post. You know the type of penalty. When the keeper goes the right way but no matter how far he goes he will never reach that perfectly placed shot.
The last 30 minutes of the game it was back to backs against the wall stuff. But we looked so comfortable. AM made some substitutions replacing my MOTM Bannan to a crowd applause and a once again disappointing CNz for Weimann and Albrighton.
It was great to see Weimann coming on he has so much potential but was such a shame he did not get to play with Bannan these two could easily be the future of Villa. If we can keep hold of them that is. Bannan has the potential to be a world class player. And i would not be surprised if Arsenal start sniffing around him.
And these sort of things were what us fans were thinking about as we hit stoppage time. After 2 penalty appeals turned down from Michael Oliver from Hutton handballs. We were told that somehow there would be 5 MINUTES of stoppage time. and then in the 93rd minute. A Helguson cross was put into his own net by SKYs MOTM Richard Dunne.
To be honest. a point was probably a fair result overall today and at the beginning of the day we would of taken the point. But we were left a little distraught that we went from 3 to 1 point so deep into stoppage time, as long as that does not become a recurring theme this season like last season when we threw away so many points from leading positions then its not so bad.
Also its always good to hear Warnock on one of his rants post match but the authorities should crack down on him and what he says.
And to all those negative fans. a draw at loftus road is not a bad result. The same way that a draw at Craven Cottage was not a bad result as Man City proved last week, Up next Wigan at home. In my opinion this is a must win game though.