It was great to see QPR punish Sheffield United on Saturday. We all knew that after the early cup exit the next team to face Neil Warnock’s blue and white army would suffer, it was just how much.
I would say three goals in fifteen minutes is a pretty good reply, and what would have looked a very scary prospect for the home fans of Sheffield United.
Neil Warnock was given a rapturous reception at Bramall Lane and even took time out to sign autographs for the opposing fans. What a nice touch that the fans still love their old manager so much and that he acknowledged that knowing he was there to get an important win.
Early on in the game there was a penalty shout from the Blades' first real attempt on goal, it was declined and rightly so as, although Jamie Ward was knocked, the QPR defender didn’t take his eye off the ball so would have been harshly penalised.
Whereas the Sheffield United front players were crying foul at the incident the Hoops played on, neatly passing the ball through the midfield. Then Taarabt, who was awesome all through the game, thread a beautiful pass to the left that split the defence diagonally. Sheffield seemed to be playing quite high up not anticipating a pin point pass like this.
Ephraim ran down the wing to meet the pass perfectly giving him what seemed an age before engaging a one on one with the keeper .
Simonsen dived the right way but Ephraim coolly slotted the ball underneath him for the first goal on 11 minutes.
Ephraim then got himself out wide to lob in a great ball to the far post. Nobody in defence saw Mackie sneaking in round the back as he powerfully headed the ball into the net on 20 minutes.
By this time the Sheffield fans knew something was up, QPR went in for the kill when the keeper spilled a cross/shot by Ephraim and Taarabt stole the ball away. The keeper up ended the charging winger and he slid away the ensuing penalty calmly.
Ephraim looked very lively but needs to calm down sometimes in his challenges and eagerness to get the ball, he virtually took the Blades apart again and again singlehandedly down the left hand side without answer in the first half.
Although the Blades had a spirited response in the second half, with a very realistic shout for a penalty towards the end and one excellent save from Paddy Kenny, the Hoops had done enough to prove a point.
Unfortunately Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell paid for the defeat with his job, the fans where shouting for his resignation virtually after the first half ended.
How he managed to get such a good response out of his players for the second half when he must have known his card was marked is truly amazing. Football is a fickle game and someone has to take the blame for failure.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.