On the Cross verdict: QPR 0 Saints 3

Last updated : 03 September 2007 By Chris C

Injury enforced the two changes with Vignal and Makin coming in for Powell and Skacel. In truth the defence was hardly tested, bar a period in the second half when Saints lost concentration and QPR came back into the game.

In realty, QPR did little to test a new back line, with Thomas in excellent form and Makin sweeping up well behind him. QPR tried to exploit Wright's lack of pace by floating in diagonal balls behind him, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

In midfield Saints were simply different class, with Safri oozing quality on the ball and Viafara aggressively breaking up their attacks. On the flanks Dyer and Surman just had too much for QPR as Saints passed our way through.

Up front with better movement and cooler heads Saints could have scored many more with Rasiak guilty of wasting two one-on-ones by over elaborating.

On the Cross verdict

Today was of course all about the death of Ray Jones, with both sets of supporters showing their appreciation for his life, tragically cut short.

It is difficult to know if QPR were still in shock, but they were very poor. Disorganised, rushed on the ball and with enough space in between their central defenders to drive a bus through, Saints should and could have had more than three.

As it is, Saints put in a professional performance, making the game effectively safe before half time and then conserving energy in the second, as well as giving the new signings a run out. Football-wise a perfect away day for Saints.

One major plus was the quality on display from Jason Euell who looked every inch the Premiership player with some lovely touches and awareness. With more match fitness under his belt, he looks full of goals from midfield.

A truer test of Saints' resurgence will be a difficult away trip to Watford next up. Saints have to demonstrate our ability to match the more physical sides in the league. We got away with it against Stoke, but it will take more than Thomas to stand up to Watford. Another strong defender on loan remains a priority.

Man of the match: Safri oozed quality everytime he got the ball, cutting out any danger with simple, accurate passing and kick starting the attacks with sweeping wide passes. Such a cultured player, he also got stuck in when necessary. Looking one of the bargains of the season.

Cameo of the day: Given a half hour runout by Burley on the left of midfield, Jason Euell looks a quality signing. Showing excellent movement, awareness and touch, he created a number of chances with his direct play and could have scored with a little more luck. Short of match fitness, he will only get better.

Lemons of the day: A truly shocking afternoon's defending from the young QPR central defensive partnership who played like strangers throughout and left a massive gap between themselves you could have driven a bus through. Clearly individually they have plenty of potential, but Hansen would have had a field day!