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Diakite's trail of comedic terror - History
Thursday, 11th Jan 2024 09:32 by Clive Whittingham

Ahead of Sunday’s visit from Watford we look back across 118 different meetings between the two sides, and the madcap antics of Samba Diakite who played (sort of) for both clubs.


Samba Diakite >>> QPR 2012-2016 >>> Watford (loan) 2014

Mark Hughes was a dreadful QPR manager. Of this there is no doubt or argument. He came in for the supremely popular, promotion winning Neil Warnock, spent a small fortune ripping apart his team and dressing room, and helped transform Rangers from a club that most football fans at least had a soft spot for into everything that was wrong with the sport — a club spending far beyond its ways and means, on big names and egos here purely for the outlandish wages, phoning in one horrendous performance after another. Together with his technical director Mike Rigg and “special friend” Kia Joorabchian - and all under the oversight of owner Tony Fernandes who could, as we always say, at any time, have said no - they helped cripple the club for a generation to come. The root cause of the suffering we still endure now started here and was continued under Harry Redknapp.

It’s easy to say, with the benefit of hindsight, that Mark Hughes was never going to work as QPR manager. As a player he’d spent most of the late 1980s and early 1990s exchanging elbows with a genuine club legend, Alan McDonald, before further sullying his record with a spell at Stamford Bridge. He brought Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwiecki with him, and while you could perhaps forgive the latter for getting himself lobbed from the halfway line by Michael Robinson, these were also Chelsea people, Lynn. His aloofness was never going to play well at a club that loves a big character in the dugout either, but it is worth saying that on paper and at that time you could make a good case for his appointment.

Hughes had, without question or doubt, done a very good job at Blackburn Rovers, a club of similar size and Premier League ambition to our own. He took them on lengthy cup runs, a European campaign, and most importantly of all very, very shrewd forays into the transfer market — Benni McCarthy, David Bentley, Ryan Nelsen and Roque Santa Cruz picked up for less than £5m collectively. He had, by common consensus, been sacked harshly at Manchester City amidst complicated boardroom wrangling and Middle Eastern takeovers. His final forlorn, frustrated wave to the crowd on the pitch at the City of Manchester Stadium brought near universal hand ringing about how the club was behaving and how unfair this was on Hughes. He pitched up at Fulham, again a club of similar size and Premier League ambition to our own. There were big shoes to fill — Roy Hodgson had taken them to a Europa League final — and there was heavy criticism of his management and football in the first half of his first season, but the team rallied and finished eighth, sneaking into Europe via the FairPlay league. Hughes actually resigned there, heavily linked with the Aston Villa job but actually believing he was a shoo in to take over at Chelsea.

That was a good CV, he was a clear and obvious choice, and while Fernandes is, quite rightly, hauled over the coals for his crass “he interviewed us” comment, it did feel like that and there was little dissent at the time. Fernandes had been swayed into sacking Warnock by Twitter, by Joey Barton, by an agent who was supposed to be doing a deal to bring Chelsea’s Brazilian centre back Alex to the club but instead started pitching Hughes, but let the mood at MK Dons away in the FA Cup not be forgotten. There was a growing sense the dressing room was lost, that Warnock was a Championship manager out of his depth, that a change was increasingly inevitable and correct. There was anger in that away end that afternoon, and afterwards. Not from all, but from many, including, to our shame and regret, this website.

One of the big selling points of Hughes was this idea that at Blackburn he’d been able to assemble a team capable of top half Premier League finishes, runs to cup finals and European competitions, by doing exactly the sort of clever scouting and shrewd recruiting QPR needed. As well as the names mentioned above, Congo international Chris Samba had grown into a highly sought-after £8m Premier League centre back having been bought for £450,000 from Hertha Berlin. And so when Hughes very quickly returned from Europe with another French-speaking African on a dime in the form of Samba Diakite, everybody sat back very pleased with themselves. This was exactly what QPR should be doing, exactly how we should be scouting and recruiting, exactly why Hughes was brought here. A YouTube video of him gliding through midfields in the French Ligue 1 for Nancy quickly surfaced. There’s always a YouTube video. Watch this lad fly.

It's worth pointing out, at this point, I feel, that Samba Diakite had played 15 games for Nancy in the first half of the 2011/12 season. He received a yellow card on the opening day against Lille, and was also booked in games against Toulouse, Nice, PSG, Caen. He then went to the African Nations Cup with Mali where he played five times and was booked against Guinea, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. He would play nine times for QPR post January, receiving seven yellow cards. Anybody who was there for the first of those appearances, and the first two of those cards, will never forget it.

QPR had won Hughes’ first home league game in charge, and drawn 2-2 at Villa having led two nil, but a Bobby Zamora red card led a 2-1 home loss against relegation rivals Wolves, and they’d been fairly abject in defeat at Blackburn. A home game with Fulham was not only important for Hughes, and a local derby, it was a big chance for the new look team, lavishly furnished by a January trolley dash, to get a much needed win. Diakite made his debut in an uncompromising midfield with Joey Barton, and he fouled. He fouled, and he fouled, and he fouled. Afterwards Hughes would say he was “new to the league” and “a little bit unfortunate with the second one” and “a bit over enthusiastic”, but let’s get real here, if he’d stayed on longer than the thirty third minute there’s a strong chance Bryan Ruiz might have been killed. Eleven fouls in 33 minutes, it was a failure of management not to substitute an obvious fifth QPR red card of the season at Loftus Road waiting to happen. Referee Phil Dowd, not noted for tolerance, issued a string of ‘final warnings’, at one stage desperately pleading with Diakite with exaggerated hand gestures that he must stop knee capping opponents or he really would have to be sent off at some point. Pavel Pogrebnyak gave Martin Jol’s side a 1-0 win.

But Diakite would start winning hearts and minds in Shepherd’s Bush. He returned for the controversial 2-1 away defeat at Bolton, where he was booked, and after a nightmare start to the home match with Liverpool ended up as our star man in a 3-2 comeback win. Shorts, naturally, rolled up to the crotch the whole time, for reasons never quite established.

That sparked a remarkable run of results in W12 that would seal Premier League survival, with consecutive wins against Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Swansea and Stoke getting Rangers over the line. It was against Arsenal where Diakite excelled the most, running a Malian wrecking ball through a typically powderpuff visiting midfield, and striding confidently onto Jamie Mackie’s hard working approach to find top bins for his first goal for the club which lifted the roof off the place. A real I was there moment, except, sadly, I wasn’t. Pesky work conference.

By the end of the season QPR were a Premier League team, money was being spent, and in Diakite there was genuine, heartfelt belief that a star had been born. The LoftforWords ceremonial millstone was awarded the mad Malian as our tip for the Player of the Year in 2012/13. But things, for QPR, and for Diakite, were not all as they seemed. He was booked, again, in an opening day 5-0 home loss to Swansea which served as a stark wake up call. He played, a week later, in a 1-1 draw at Norwich, but the Daily Mail had run a pre-match “scoop” that the player was largely absent from the club and suffering with depression which, like most Daily Mail “scoops”, was a half-cocked story, blown up from a faint slither of information, with the gaps filled in with guesswork — like Jurassic Park’s recipe for creating baby dinosaurs. In actual fact, if they’d done some proper journalism on the thing, the real story was absolutely incredible. Diakite had told the club an African witchdoctor’s curse had been placed on him, and could only be lifted by the payment of a sizeable sum of money for a “cure”. In Marc Bircham's 2020 podcast round he seemed to suggest that this had, indeed, been paid, at not inconsiderable expense. He eventually returned a month later for a Monday Night Football at home to West Ham, arriving as a fifty sixth minute substitute and being sent off 19 minutes later by Mark Clattenburg for two yellow cards after a string of attempted murders. Not since the Ripper stalked Whitechapel had London seen anything quite like it.

When Hughes was replaced by Harry Redknapp, Diakite’s prospects initially looked good. Redknapp immediately paired him in a madcap midfield with Stephane Mbia for a backs-to-the-wall midweek 0-0 at Sunderland because “nobody wants to play against those two”. Too bloody right. When that tactic fell into a spectacular hole in a Christmas game at home to Liverpool - 3-0 down after 25 minutes - Diakite was hooked early rarely to return. He played in the ANC again for Mali, and appeared very briefly as a late substitute in a 2-0 loss at Everton, but that was that.

There followed a strange period of time where Diakite, like so many fallouts from the ruinous Hughes and Redknapp reigns, was at QPR, and earning amazing money, without being involved, even in training. He understood neither the concept, nor the introductions, of Soccer AM’s CrossBar Challenge, and had to be coached through it by Nedum Onuoha.

You would, on occasions, stand next to him in the queue in the Uxbridge Road Nando’s. He’s fondly remembered, because of the Arsenal game, and the general batshitness of it all, but it is worth remembering that he, like Luke Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Armand Traore and others, sat idly by, unused, sucking enormous salaries, while not even first team training. Not his fault, club gave him the deal, but it is odd how his comic capers still have him remembered quite positively at QPR, while others in near identical positions are pilloried.

A loan move to Watford materialised in January 2014 and… did not go well. His only previous football that season had been 56 minutes of QPR’s home League Cup loss to Swindon Town and after a brief two minutes against Brighton his full Watford debut came at home to Middlesbrough. He lasted 56 minutes before being sent off for one of the worst tackles you’ll ever see. Watford board members contacted QPR counterparts from the director’s box, during the game, crying foul, saying they’d been missold a pup, and demanding a break in the deal to return him to Loftus Road immediately. He would make four further appearances, all as a very, very late substitute. He later spent some of 2014 in the Saudi Arabian league with Ittihad, we have precious little information to go on about his time there and, frankly, I suspect that might be for the best.

There isn’t another professional appearance on Diakite’s Soccerbase record until 2017 when he played for Red Star Paris against Metz in the French Cup, and was yellow carded in a 1-0 defeat. Wikipedia has him making 33 appearances there before joining Tadhamon in Kuwait in 2020. Nedum Onuoha said in his recent LFW Patreon interview that Diakite will often send him SnapChats of him driving past Loftus Road.

Take care, sweet prince.

Others >>> Heidar Helguson, QPR 2008-2012, Watford (loan) 2009-2010, 1999-2005 >>> Fitz Hall, Watford 2012-2014, QPR 2008-2012 >>> Andros Townsend, QPR (loan) 2013, Watford (loan) 2011 >>> Tommy Smith, QPR 2010-2012, Watford 1995-2003 >>> Tamas Priskin, QPR (loan) 2010, Watford 2006-2009 >>> Danny Shittu, QPR 2011-2012, 2001-2006, Watford 2006-2008 >>> Gavin Mahon, QPR 2008-2011, Watford 2002-2008 >>> Clarke Carlisle, Watford 2005-2007, QPR 2000-2004 >>> Lee Cook, 2009-2012, 2004-2007, (loan) 2002-2003, Watford 1999-2004 >>> Richard Johnson QPR 2004-2005, Watford 1991-2003 >>> Paul Furlong, QPR 2002-2007, (loan) 2000, Watford 1992-1994 >>> Kenny Jackett, QPR (coach) 2001-2004, Watford (player) 1980-1990, (manager) 1996-1997 >>> Steve Palmer, QPR 2001-2004, Watford 1995-2001 >>> Chris Day, QPR 2001-2005, Watford 1997-2001 >>> Alex Bonnot, QPR 2001-2002, Watford 1999-2001 >>> Michel Ngonge, QPR 2000-2001, Watford 1998-2000 >>> Dominic Foley, QPR (loan) 2002, (loan) 2001, Watford 1999-2003, (loan) 1998 >>> Jermaine Darlington, Watford 2004-2005, QPR 1999-2001 >>> Darren Ward Watford (loan) 2008, 1995-2000, QPR (loan) 1999-2000 >>> Steve Morrow, QPR 1997-2001, Watford (loan) 1991 >>> Devon White, Watford 1996-1997, QPR 1993-1994 >>> Gary Penrice, QPR 1991-1995, Watford 1989-1991 >>> Dennis Bailey, QPR 1991-1995, Watford (loan) 1994 >>> Mark Falco, QPR 1988-1991, Watford 1986-1987 >>> David Bardsley, QPR 1989-1998, Watford 1983-1987 >>> Kenny Sansom, Watford 1994, QPR 1989-1991 >>> Warren Neill, Watford 1996, QPR 1980-1988 >>> Gary Chivers, Watford 1987-1988, QPR 1984-1987 >>> Glenn Roeder, (manager) 1993-1996, 1989-1992, QPR 1978-1983 >>> Tony Currie, QPR 1979-1982, Watford 1967 >>> Terry Mancini, QPR 1971-1974, Watford 1961-1966 >>> Keith Pritchett, Watford 1976-1982, QPR 1974-1975 >>> Ian Morgan, Watford 1973-1974, QPR 1964-1973 >>> Mike Keen, Watford (manager) 1973-1977, (player) 1972-1975, QPR 1959-1969

Recent Meetings:

Watford 4 QPR 0, Saturday August 5, 2023, Championship

All our worst fears about the state of QPR, garnered through a traumatic prior 18 months and troublingly poor pre-season, came true in nightmarish form on the opening day of the season at Watford. Rangers had been due to start at home, where Watford were one of the few teams they’d beaten over the prior year, but not having the new pitch ready meant the game was switched. Watford scored directly from the kick off, despite not having the kick off – QPR managing to give away the ball, a free kick and a goal to Dele-Bashriu within the first 30 seconds. The performance, and defending, only got more biblical from there, with Louza scoring a second and running amok, Martins scoring a third and Bayo a fourth all before half time. Had Valerian Ismael not called the dogs off this could conceivably have gone to double figures. Afterwards Gareth Ainsworth said we might have just played the champions.

Watford: Bachmann 5; Ngakia 8, Porteus 6, Hoedt 6, Morris 6 (Andres 45, 6); Louza 9 (Kone 66, 6), Sierralta 7 (Livermore 66, 6), Dele-Bashiru 7 (Chakvetadze 66, 7); Sema 7, Bayo 7, Martins 8 (Kayembe 82, -)

Subs not used: Healey, Pollock, Asprilla, Hamer

Goals: Dele-Bashiru 1 (assisted Louza), Louza 20 (assisted Ngakia), Martins 38 (assisted Sema), Bayo 43 (assisted Sierralta)

Bookings: Morris 45+1 (foul)

QPR: Begovic 5; Kakay 2, Fox 3, Gubbins 2, Paal 2; Dozzell 2 (Dixon-Bonner 90+7, -), Field 3; Smyth 4 (Duke-McKenna 45, 6), Kelman 2 (Armstrong 45, 6), Chair 3 (Willock 90+7, -); Dykes 3

Subs not used: Archer, Larkerche, Adomah, Richards

Bookings: Armstrong 67 (foul), Field 76 (foul)

QPR 1 Watford 0, Saturday March 11, 2023, Championship

For the first time in 13 games, the first time in ten home matches, and only the second time in 21 fixtures, QPR registered a victory when Watford came to W12 in March. A gutsy, grimy, blood-and-thunder, desperately needed 1-0 at a febrile Loftus Road was a first victory for Gareth Ainsworth as boss and boosted the R’s flagging hopes of avoiding Championship relegation. Tim Iroegbunam burst forward from midfield beyond the visiting defence to slide in a first half opener that turned out to be the only goal of the game. The second half was brutal from the hosts, but with Watford moving onto a third manager of the season during the week the visitors just didn’t look to have the heart to go with their opposition.

QPR: Dieng 6; Dickie 6, Dunne 6, Field 7; Drewe 7 (Amos 84, -), Dozzell 6 (Armstrong 84, -), Iroegbunam 6 (Johansen 71, 6), Kakay 7; Lowe 6, Dykes 7 (Adomah 57, 6), Martin 7

Subs not used: Archer, Richards, Gubbins

Goals: Iroegbunam 15 (unassisted)

Bookings: Lowe 44 (grown up stuff), Iroegbunam 61 (foul)

Watford: Bachmann 6; Porteous 6 (Asprilla 76, 6), Cathcart 6, Hoedt 5; Gaspar 4, Louza 5, Choudhury 5, Sema 5; Sarr 5 (Assombalonga 76 3), Davis 5, Pedro 6

Subs not used: Ngakia, Kona, Araujo, Hamer, Kabasele

Bookings: Choudhury 45+1 (head loss), Hoedt 90+6 (head loss)

Watford 2 QPR 3, Saturday August 27, 2022, Championship

Mick Beale’s QPR briefly hit top form through August and September, starting with a thrilling win against Watford at Vicarage Road. Ilias Chair’s opener was perhaps fortunate, changing direction completely via a violent deflection and although Ken Sema’s equaliser could easily have been disallowed for handball by a referee other than our old favourite Keith Stroud it did feel rather par for the course. But QPR hit back with a gloriously worked second goal: Ethan laird doing that overlap and threaten on the attack thing that was entirely absent through the second half of his season to cut a ball back for Chris Willock to smash home. Watford were to equalise again, Rob Dickie this time feeling aggrieved a foul was not given his way in the build up, but once more Rangers attacked with vim and vigour through their full backs, this time Kenneth Paal setting Albert Adomah up for a winner via Stefan Johansen. Watford thought they had a late equaliser, but a shot from range through a crowd of players was disallowed for offside on a day of marginal refereeing calls.

Watford: Bachmann 7; Gaspar 5 (Bayo 82, -), Sierralta 5, Kabasele 5, Kamara 6; Kayembe 5, Choudhury 6; Sarr 7, Pedro 8, Sema 7; Manaj 4 (Asprilla 31, 6)

Subs not used: Cathcart, Gosling, Hamer, Hause, Hungbo (show-off)

Goals: Sema 27 (assisted Pedro), Pedro 50 (assisted Sarr)

Bookings: Pedro 40 (foul), Kayembe 45+4 (foul), Kamara 85 (foul), Kabasele 90 (foul)

QPR: Dieng 6; Laird 8, Dickie 5, Dunne 6, Paal 7; Field 7, Dozzell 7, Johansen 8 (Masterson 88, -); Chair 8 (Armstrong 80, 7), Willock 8 (Kakay 88, -), Dykes 7 (Adomah 61, 7)

Subs not used: Archer, Bonne, Shodipo

Goals: Chair 18 (assisted Johansen), Willock 34 (assisted Laird), Adomah 70 (assisted Paal)

Bookings: Johansen 44 (foul), Dieng 81 (time wasting), Dozzell 86 (foul)

Watford 1 QPR 2, Monday February 1, 2021, Championship

QPR’s early 2021 revival continued with an impressive last minute win away to promotion contenders Watford. Rangers had only won four games in the whole first half of the season but began showing signs of life after the January loans of Charlie Austin, Stefan Johansen, Sam Field and Jordy De Wijs. It didn’t look like being enough to win behind closed doors at Vicarage Road against a side that would end up second in the table and promoted, when Troy Deeney slammed home a penalty straight after half time in typically emphatic fashion. But QPR played pretty well all night in this live Sky game, and equalised through Charlie Austin’s header with 20 minutes left for play. Albert Adomah first touch to set himself up for a first goal for the club to win the game in the final minute of normal time was mesmeric, and you couldn’t help but get wistful about what it might have been like to be behind the goal when he did it. This was the last time Watford dropped points at home in the Championship.

Watford: Bachmann 6; Navarro 5, Troost-Ekong 6, Sierralta 6, Ngakia 5 (Wilmot 83, -); Sarr 5, Cleverley 6, Chalobah 5 (Sinckernagel 83, -), Hughes 5 (Sema 67, 7); Deeney 5, Pedro 5 (Gray 67, 5)

Subs not used: Cathcart, Elliot, Dalby, Barrett, Hungbo (alright mate don’t show off)

Goals: Deeney 52 (penalty, won Sarr)

Bookings: Sierralta 54 (deliberate handball), Navarro 90+3 (foul)

QPR: Dieng 7; Dickie 7, Cameron 5, Barbet 7; Kane 7, Ball 6, Johansen 7 (Willock 67, 7), Chair 6 (Adomah 82, -), Wallace 5; Bonne 5 (Thomas 89, -), Austin 6 (Kelman 82, -)

Subs not used: Lumley, Kakay, Hämäläinen, Bettache

Goals: Austin 73 (assisted Willock), Adomah 90 (assisted Kane)

Bookings: Wallace 33 (foul)

QPR 1 Watford 1, Saturday November 21, 2020, Championship

Thinks looked bleak for QPR in the early stages of the first meeting that season when a familiar failing at an opposition corner — Conor Masterson this time guilty of an air swing at a clearance — allowed Ben Wilmot to slot in a third minute opener. But Rangers slowly worked their way back into the game, dominated the second half, equalised through a well taken Ilias Chair goal, and would have won but for a decent penalty shout by Macauley Bonne waved away, and an even more blatant one on Yoann Barbet also refused. Lyndon Dykes compounded matters by somehow missing a sitter in injury time off a beautiful cross from man of the match Tom Carroll, and the R’s had to settle for a draw.

QPR: Dieng 7; Kane 7, Masterson 5, Barbet 6, Wallace 5 (Hämäläinen 46, 7); Carroll 7, Cameron 6; Osayi-Samuel 7 (Adomah 69, 6), Ball 6 (Willock 56, 7), Chair 7; Bonne 5 (Dykes 56, 6)

Subs not used: Kakay, Bettache, Kelman, Kelly, Alfa

Goals: Chair 77 (assisted Dykes)

Bookings: Dykes 90+1 (deliberate handball)

Watford: Foster 7; Wilmot 6, Troost-Ekong 6, Cathcart 6; Femenia 6, Sarr 6, Capoue 5, Chalobah 6, Sema 5; Pedro 5 (Quina 46, 6), Gray 5 (Deeney 46, 7)

Subs not used: Ngakia, Garner, Murray, Bachmann, Sierralta, Navarro, Crichlow

Goals: Wilmot 3 (assisted Sema)

Bookings: Sema 59 (foul), Cathcart 85 (foul)

QPR 0 Watford 1, Friday February 15, 2019, FA Cup Fifth Round

An all-too-rare FA Cup Fifth Round appearance for QPR didn’t have the fairy-tale ending they so craved when Premier League Watford last came into town in February 2019. Rangers had beaten Leeds and Portsmouth in the prior rounds, but Steve McClaren’s technique of picking the same starting 11 game after game was starting to take its toll on the squad and they came into the game on a five match losing run. Nevertheless, Mass Luongo and Nahki Wells could both easily have scored in the first half, the former with a volley that beat Foster but missed the far corner, the latter with an improvised effort the keeper saved well. You know it’s not your night when Etienne Capoue makes the most of a series of mishits from a corner in first half stoppage time to open the scoring. The usual clutch of dodgy McClaren subs in the second half did little to rescue the cause, but Toni Leistner missed an absolute sitter at the death which would have forced extra time.

QPR: Lumley 6; Furlong 6, Leistner 7, Hall 6 (Osayi-Samuel 84, -); Wszolek 6 (Eze 76, 5), Bidwell 6; Luongo 6, Cousins 7, Freeman 7; Smith 6, Wells 5 (Hemed 71, 5)

Subs not used: Ingram, Scowen, Manning, Kakay

Bookings: Luongo 73 (foul)

Watford: Gomes 8; Janmaat 6, Kabasele 5, Holebas 5, Britos 6; Cleverley 7 (Quina 84, -), Highes 6, Capoue 6, Sema 6 (Mariappa 74, 6); Gray 6 (Doucoure 74, 7), Deeney 6

Subs not used: Deulofeu, Penaranda, Navarro, Dahlberg

Goals: Capoue 45+1 (assisted Cleverley)

Bookings:, Mariappa 76 (foul), Doucoure 86 (foul), Janmaat 90+1 (foul)

QPR 2 Watford 1, Monday April 21, 2014, Championship

QPR secured a home win against the run of play in the last minute on Easter Monday 2014. A poor second half of the season had let automatic promotion slip away from Rangers, but the first three months had been so good they were also safely in the play-offs long before the end of the season. The back end of the regular campaign meandered along with inconsistent performances, results and team selections and a routine draw with Watford looked on the cards when Joey Barton took time out from booting every one of our set pieces at the nearest defender to actually score with a second half free kick and equalise Ranegie’s opener. But when the R’s counter attacked from a Watford corner in the last minute of normal time Charlie Austin was on hand with a fabulous 20-yarder, round a clutch of defenders and Almunia in goal, into the far corner and home with the win.

QPR: Green 7; Simpson 6 (Hoilett 72, 7), Dunne 5, Onuoha 7, Hill 6, Traore 6; Carroll 6, Barton 6, Morrison 6; Austin 6 (Henry 90+1, -), Doyle 5 (Zamora 72, 7)

Subs not used: Keane, Suk-Young, Hughes, Murphy

Goals: Barton 76 (free kick won Morrison), Austin 90 (assisted Zamora)

Bookings: Austin 85 (foul)

Watford: Almunia 6; Angella 6, Cassetti 6, Ekstrand 6; Riera 6, Abdi 6, Tozser 7, McGugan 8 (Battocchio 63, 5), Pudil 6; Deeney 7, Ranegie 6

Subs not used: Merkel, Doyley, Murray, Faraoni, Bond, Hoban

Goals: Ranegie 51 (assisted Deeney)

Bookings: Riera 51 (foul), Ranegie 57 (foul), Abdi 59 (foul)

Watford 0 QPR 0, Sunday December 29, 2013, Championship

With Charlie Austin struggling with injury, Harry Redknapp was in full pre-transfer window mode when these sides met at Vicarage Road over Christmas 2013. Redknapp stopped short of his classic two goalkeepers on the bench trick, but did field a team in a 4-6-0 formation with no strikers on the field at all and duly saw out the most predictable 0-0 draw in the history of the sport. A week later, the credit card came out again to allow Austin to be temporarily replaced by Kevin Doyle and Mobido Maiga and Will Keane having already added Yossi Benayoun as a free agent earlier in December. QPR’s accounts for the end of the year showed a wage bill approaching £80m, a flagrant breach of the FFP rules for which the club will be making payments on a £20m fine for the next nine years.

Watford: Almunia 6; Doyley 6, Cassetti 6, Ekstrand 7; Bellerin 6, Angella 6, Thorne 6, Murray 6 (Battocchio 87, -), McGugan 6; Deeney 6, Fabbrini 6 (Acuña 75, 5)

Subs not used: McEachran, Iriney, Bond, O’Nien

Bookings: Angella 38 (foul), Acuña 80 (foul)

QPR: Green 6; Simpson 6, Dunne 6, Onuoha 7, Assou-Ekotto 7; Phillips 6, Benayoun 6 (O’Neil 73, 6), Carroll 5 (Johnson 71, 6), Barton 6, Kranjcar 6, Hoilett 5 (Traore 79, 6)

Subs not used: Henry, Zamora, Murphy, Sendels-White

Bookings: Phillips 61 (foul), Barton 65 (foul)

Watford 0 QPR 2, Saturday April 30, 2011, Championship

Few Rangers fans will ever forget QPR’s visit to Watford in the league at the end of the 2010/11 season. A 2-0 win sealed Rangers’ Championship title with a week to spare, although of course the whole thing wasn’t finally ratified until the eleventh hour of the final day because of the FA hearing into the Ale Faurlin transfer. On the pitch QPR were disjointed and nervous for much of the match at Vicarage Road but Tommy Smith turned the game against his former club — first crossing for Adel Taarabt to score from close range, and then steering home a stylish second himself in the final minute.

Watford: Loach 6, Hodson 6, Taylor 7 (Bennett 54, 5), Mariappa 7, Doyley 6, Eustace 7, Cowie 6, Deeney 7, Buckley 6 (Murray 78, 6), Graham 6, Sordell 6 (Whichelow 73, 6)

Subs Not Used: Gilmartin, Mingoia, Drinkwater, Assombalonga

QPR: Cerny 6, Orr 7, Hall 6 (Shittu 23, 8), Gorkss 7, Connolly 7, Derry 7, Faurlin 7, Taarabt 7 (Ramage 90, -), Routledge 7 (Buzsaky 75, 8), Smith 7, Helguson 7

Subs Not Used: Agyemang, Hulse, Ephraim, Moen

Goals: Taarabt 77 (assisted Smith), Smith 90 (assisted Faurlin)

QPR 1 Watford 3, Friday December 10, 2010, Championship

QPR had been sweeping all before them prior to the first meeting of these two sides that season — top of the table by seven clear points and unbeaten in the first 19 matches of the season, a club record. The BBC popped down the road to see what all the fuss was about and inadvertently stumbled on a humbling that was not in the script. Watford, with Danny Graham in fine fettle up front, were magnificent on the night and surged into a three goal lead midway through the second half. QPR had several reasons to feel aggrieved — John Eustace should have been penalised in his own penalty box within four minutes and two of the Watford goals were clearly offside — but they weren’t good enough to take anything from the game despite a late goal through Tommy Smith and Watford deserved their win. Graham made the most of a deflection on Andrew Taylor’s cross to nip in and volley home the first midway through the first half, and then within four minutes after the linesman had incorrectly allowed Graham to play on Kenny made a leg save and Watford worked the ball back into the area through Mutch whose cross flew in off the slightest flick from Martin Taylor. Any hope of a second half comeback was extinguished when Graham, again at least a yard offside, stormed through to fire in a second for him and third for the Hornets.

QPR: Kenny 7, Walker 6, Gorkss 4, Connolly 5, Hill 6, Derry 5, Faurlin 4 (Orr 59, 6), Mackie 6, Taarabt 4 (Clarke 59, 5), Smith 6, Helguson 5 (Hulse 70, 6)

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hall, Rowlands, Ephraim

Booked: Walker (mistaken identity), Hulse (elbowing)

Goals: Smith 89 (assisted Mackie)

Watford: Loach 8, Doyley 7, Mariappa 6, M Taylor 7, A Taylor 7, Buckley 7 (Deeney 80, -), Eustace 7, McGinn 7 (Sordell 75, 6), Cowie 7, Mutch 8, Graham 9

Subs Not Used: Gilmartin, Hodson, Jenkins, Bennett, Massey

Booked: Buckley (foul), Andrew Taylor (foul)

Goals: Graham 26 (assisted A Taylor), Mutch 30 (unassisted), Graham 48 (assisted McGinn)

Watford 3 QPR 1, Monday December 7, 2009, Championship

Such was the dramatic nature of the post-match events at Vicarage Road when these sides met the previous season the game itself actually gets overlooked. Coming into the match just 48 hours after a 5-1 home defeat by Middlesbrough the R’s took the lead when Ale Faurlin fed a cute ball through to Patrick Agyemang who hammered it home from the edge of the area. It was clear all was not well within the camp though when Agyemang made a point of refusing to celebrate after scoring and sure enough before half time the Hornets drew level when Lloyd Doyley scored his first goal in three quarters of a million appearances with a spectacular diving header. The impressive Man Utd loanee Tom Cleverley set up Cowie for an eye catching second ten minutes after the break and then rounded the scoring off himself deep into injury time with Rangers pushing forwards looking for an equaliser. After the match the inquest in the visiting dressing room became heated and Akos Buzsaky was allegedly headbutted by manager Jim Magilton, and later found wandering around at the side of the pitch still in his full kit. The manager was sacked and replaced, disastrously, by Paul Hart. QPR were in the play-off places at the start of play but by the end of February had worked their way through two more managers and sunk to twentieth.

Watford: Loach 6, Hodson 6, Mariappa 7, Cathcart 6 (DeMerit 46, 7), Doyley 8, Cowie 8, Cleverley 8, Eustace 7, Harley 7 (Severin 82 -), Ellington 5 (Henderson 57, 6), Graham 5

Subs not used: Lee, Bennett, Sadler, Bryan

Goals: Doyley 43 (assisted Cowie), Cowie 56 (assisted Cleverley), Cleverley 90+4 (assisted Henderson)

QPR: Cerny 5, Ramage 6, Hall 5, Stewart 6, Borrowdale 6, Routledge 4 (Simpson 72, 5), Watson 4, Leigertwood 5 (Buzsaky 76, 4), Faurlin 7, Agyemang 6, Vine 3 (Taarabt 59, 4)

Subs not used: Taylor, Gorkss, Williams, Pellicori

Goals: Agyemang 33 (assisted Faurlin)

Bookings: Stewart (foul), Hall (foul), Borrowdale (foul)

Previous Results:

Head to Head >>> QPR wins 52 >>> Draws 32 >>> Watford wins 34

2022/23 QPR 1 Watford 0 (Iroegbunam)

2022/23 Watford 2 QPR 3 (Chair, Willock, Adomah)

2020/21 Watford 1 QPR 2 (Austin, Adomah)

2020/21 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Chair)

2018/19 QPR 0 Watford 1**

2013/14 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Barton, Austin)

2013/14 Watford 0 QPR 0

2010/11 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Taarabt, Smith)

2010/11 QPR 1 Watford 3 (Smith)

2009/10 QPR 1 Watford 0 (Buzsaky)

2009/10 Watford 3 QPR 1 (Agyemang)

2008/09 QPR 0 Watford 0

2008/09 Watford 3 QPR 0

2007/08 Watford 2 QPR 4 (Rowlands 2, Stewart, Buzsaky)

2007/08 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Moore)

2005/06 QPR 1 Watford 2 (Nygaard)

2005/06 Watford 3 QPR 1 (Shittu)

2004/05 QPR 3 Watford 1 (Gallen 2, Furlong)

2004/05 Watford 3 QPR 0

2000/01 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Ngonge)

2000/01 Watford 3 QPR 1 (Connolly)

1998/99 QPR 1 Watford 2 (Peacock)

1998/99 Watford 2 QPR 1 (Slade)

1988/89 Watford 1 QPR 1*** (Coney)

1987/88 Watford 0 QPR 1 (McDonald)

1987/88 QPR 0 Watford 0

1986/87 Watford 0 QPR 3 (Bannister 3)

1986/87 QPR 3 Watford 2 (Allen, Fereday, Bannister)

1985/86 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Fenwick pen, Robinson)

1985/86 Watford 0 QPR 1* (Byrne)

1985/86 Watford 2 QPR 0

1984/85 QPR 2 Watford 0 (Fillery 2)

1984/85 Watford 1 QPR 1 (Bannister)

1983/84 Watford 1 QPR 0

1983/84 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Stainrod)

1981/82 QPR 0 Watford 0

1981/82 Watford 4 QPR 0

1981/82 Watford 4 QPR 1* (Stainrod)

1980/81 QPR 0 Watford 0

1980/81 Watford 1 QPR 1 (King)

1979/80 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Currie)

1979/80 QPR 1 Watford 2** (Hazell)

1979/80 Watford 1 QPR 2 (Allen, Roeder)

1971/72 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Evans, Salvage)

1971/72 QPR 3 Watford 0 (Marsh 2, McCulloch)

1970/71 Watford 1 QPR 2 (Marsh 2)

1970/71 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Venables)

1969/70 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Clarke, Hazell)

1969/70 Watford 0 QPR 1 (Bridges)

1966/67 QPR 4 Watford 1 (Marsh 2, Sibley, Lazarus)

1966/67 Watford 1 QPR 0

1965/66 Watford 1 QPR 2 (Keen, R Morgan)

1965/66 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Langley)

1964/65 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Leary, I Morgan)

1964/65 QPR 2 Watford 2 (Bedford, Leary)

1963/64 Watford 3 QPR 1 (Graham)

1963/64 QPR 1 Watford 0 (Bedford)

1962/63 QPR 2 Watford 2 (Barber, Collins)

1962/63 Watford 2 QPR 5 (Bedford 2, Lazarus 2, Malcolm)

1961/62 QPR 1 Watford 2 (McCelland)

1961/62 Watford 3 QPR 2 (McCelland, Towers)

1960/61 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Evans, Longbottom)

1960/61 Watford 0 QPR 3 (Lazarus, Woods, Clark)

1957/58 Watford 0 QPR 0

1957/58 QPR 3 Watford 0 (Ingham, Longbottom, Petchey)

1956/57 Watford 2 QPR 4 (Temby, Cameron, Balogun, Shipwright og)

1956/57 QPR 3 Watford 1 (Hellawell, Balogun, Brown og)

1955/56 QPR 3 Watford 2 (Kerrins, Cameron, Angell)

1955/56 Watford 0 QPR 1 (Angell)

1954/55 Watford 1 QPR 1 (Cameron)

1954/55 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Cameron, Clark)

1953/54 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Cameron, Angell)

1953/54 QPR 0 Watford 4

1952/53 Watford 1 QPR 1 (Shepherd)

1952/53 QPR 2 Watford 2 (Stewart, Smith)

1947/48 QPR 5 Watford 1 (Boxshall 2, Pattison, Hatton, McEwen)

1947/48 Watford 0 QPR 1 (Jones og)

1946/47 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Mallett 2)

1946/47 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Mallett 2)

1938/39 QPR 1 Watford 0 (Mallett)

1938/39 Watford 4 QPR 1 (Pearson)

1937/38 Watford 3 QPR 1 (Bott)

1937/38 QPR 2 Watford 0 (Bott, Cheetham)

1936/37 QPR 0 Watford 2

1936/37 Watford 2 QPR 1 (McMahon)

1935/36 Watford 2 QPR 1 (Lowe)

1935/36 QPR 3 Watford 1 (Cheetham 2, Ballantyne)

1934/35 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Blackman, Blake)

1934/35 Watford 2 QPR 0

1933/34 QPR 0 Watford 0

1933/34 Watford 0 QPR 0

1932/33 Watford 2 QPR 2 (Howe, Rounce)

1932/33 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Brown, Marcroft)

1931/32 Watford 2 QPR 2 (Howe, Blackman)

1931/32 QPR 4 Watford 4 (Goddard 4)

1930/31 Watford 0 QPR 4 (Wiles, Daniels, Coward, Rounce)

1930/31 QPR 2 Watford 3 (Daniels, Goddard)

1929/30 Watford 1 QPR 1 (Beresford og)

1929/30 QPR 0 Watford 0

1928/29 Watford 4 QPR 1 (Rogers)

1928/29 QPR 3 Watford 2 (Goddard, McNab, Coward)

1927/28 Watford 3 QPR 3 (Lofthouse 2, Goddard)

1927/28 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Swan, Goddard)

1926/27 Watford 1 QPR 2 (Charlesworth, Lofthouse)

1926/27 QPR 2 Watford 4 (Young, Mustard)

1925/26 Watford 3 QPR 1 (Young)

1925/26 QPR 2 Watford 0 (Whitehurst, Middleton)

1924/25 Watford 1 QPR 0

1924/25 QPR 0 Watford 0

1923/24 QPR 2 Watford 1 (Birch, Marsden)

1923/24 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Birch, Davis)

1922/23 Watford 0 QPR 3 (Chandler 2, Davis)

1922/23 QPR 1 Watford 2 (Birch)

1921/22 QPR 1 Watford 1 (Birch)

1921/22 Watford 2 QPR 2 (Gregory, Birch)

1920/21 Watford 0 QPR 2 (Birch 2)

1920/21 QPR 1 Watford 2 (Birch)

* - League Cup

** - FA Cup

***- Simod Cup, won on penalties

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