- English Barclays Premier League
- 12 January 2013, 12:45pm
- Loftus Road
- Attendance: 18,018
QPR hauled themselves a point nearer the Premier League dotted line after holding Harry Redknapp's old side Tottenham at bay in a stalemate at Loftus Road.
Although Jermain Defoe hit the post in the first half and Julio Cesar brilliantly saved Emmanuel Adebayor's follow-up, Spurs failed to make incisions in QPR's packed and organised defence. The hosts could even have won the game if Shaun Wright-Phillips had kept his composure at the end of several thrilling runs.
Cesar firstly tipped Defoe's exocet effort on to the post in the fifth minute, before getting up to throw himself in front of Adebayor's low shot from close range. Wright-Phillips then fired wide after his run was briefly held up by Kyle Walker.
Wright-Phillips then outfoxed Walker on the touchline and burst past Michael Dawson, but shot hurriedly wide from the edge of the box when he could have taken the ball on. That was the sum total of chances for the first half. Spurs lost Sandro who stretched for the ball with no opponent near him and sustained a strain which forced him to be replaced by Scott Parker.
The pattern of overwhelming but comfortably resisted Spurs pressure continued in the second half. Defoe's deflected shot was well kept out by Cesar. QPR emerged from their bunker to break forward occasionally, and Wright-Phillips again spurned their only real chance, hesitating at the crucial moment and losing possession having been played into the box by Adel Taarabt.
The point lifts Rangers off the bottom of the table and above Reading, but isn't much help to Tottenham's quest to get back into the Champions League. Scroll down to see how the action unfolded.
FULL TIME: Harry Redknapp set his team up to win a point, and they have earned one. It's the first time Spurs have failed to score away from home since April. No-one can blame the R's for their slightly unadventurous approach. This could be a crucial point in lifting themselves out of trouble. Depending on the result at Villa Park, they could end today just four points from safety. Spurs missed a couple of chances, but ran out of ideas in the second half. QPR had a few sniffs of their own, but didn't force Hugo Lloris into a single save.
90 mins: We will have two minutes of injury time.
87 mins: The pressure is all one-way but there's no penetration or thrust to Spurs' attacking - it's all patient sideways passing. QPR's resistance is looking more and more comfortable, although I doubt it feels like that for their defenders!
85 mins: Out of nowhere, Wright-Phillips bursts into the left-hand side of the Spurs box, but can only produce a fresh-air shot under pressure from a defender.
84 mins: Mackie commits a foul on Dempsey 30 yards from QPR's goal. Bale takes it but it drifts tamely wide as Cesar watches it bounce into the hoardings behind his goal. "0-0 written all over this I am afraid," says Daniel Jennings @ Work, Altrincham. I can only agree.
81 mins: Pass, pass, pass, pass go Spurs. Defend, defend, defend, go QPR. The visitors cannot get in behind that packed rearguard. Something bizarre or pretty spectacular has got to happen if we're to see a goal here.
79 mins: AVB throws on Gylfi Sigurdssonfor Lennon.
77 mins: Lloris puts out his cigar and lays down his newspaper to come rushing out of his area and boot clear, foiling Wright-Phillips' dashing run through the middle.
76 mins: Spurs continue to pass the ball to death, but QPR carry on hurriedly closing down the man in possession, committing very few men forward. The stalemate goes on.
73 mins: Taarabt and Fabio combine daintily down the left to set the full-back free down the left. Only Mackie has made a run in the centre, and Fabio's ball across the six yard line is too far in front of him.
71 mins: Twenty minutes to go and Hugo Lloris still hasn't got his gloves dirty. Jason Williams, a Liverpool fan from Kent (no comment), says: "Tottenham will win 1-0 bale 84 minute winner will break harrys and qprs hearts lol."
70 mins: Mbia is booked for a handball in centre field while jumping for a header with Bale. Not sure it was deliberate, and neither is Mbia hmiself.
69 mins: Adebayor is taken off by Villas-Boas and will head for the Africa Cup of Nations. On comes Clint Dempsey.
67 mins: A very brief glimpse of goal for Adebayor but the ball falls to his left peg. He has a milisecond to shoot but opts against it and gets only a corner. Like Spurs' other 986 corners they've had today, it comes to nowt.
64 mins: Taarabt swerves away from Naughton down QPR's right and slaloms into the box. Having done all the hard work he tries two or three tricks too many and the chance to cross for at least two willing team-mates is snuffed out.
62 mins: Another corner for Spurs but Walker's delivery is too 'flat' and easily dealt with. Can spurs find a way to smash down the QPR portcullis?
60 mins: A bit of news from the QPR dug-out. Steve Cotterill, former boss of Nottingham Forest, is a new recruit to Harry Redknapp's back room staff. So recent, in fact, that QPR neglected to include him on the official rota of permitted bench staff, so he's been banished to the front row of seats behind the bench for the second half!
58 mins: Successive corners for Spurs in front of their travelling fans. The second is headed over the bar by Dawson.
55 mins: QPR relieve the pressure as Mbia, inevitably, marauds into enemy territory. The R's keep it in the corner for a wee while and the home side's defenders are grateful of a breather.
53 mins: Spurs cranking up the pressure. Defoe skips inside Onuoha inside the box and drills a shot goalwards. It's deflected which wrong-foots Cesar, but he sticks out a leg to make a vital save.
51 mins: ...Ooooh! Walker takes the resulting free kick and whips it *this far* over the angle of post and bar. Cesar was motionless. That looked in all the way.
50 mins: Lennon, bursting at full pace, gets a little shove in the back from the pursuing Fabio. Lennon takes a couple of steps until he gets in the box then goes down. Lee Probert isn't fooled and gives a free kick outside the box when the contact occured...
49 mins: The pattern resumes - Spurs enjoying most of the possession but unable to get in behind QPR's solid deep-lying defensive line.
47 mins: Early free kick opportunity for Spurs. Bale whips it over the wall and although it's initially straight at Cesar, it wobbles in the air, causing the ex-Inter 'keeper to spill it. There's no-one there to punish him.
46 mins: Welcome back. Spurs get the second half off and running. No change of personnel for either side.
HALF TIME:A staunch first-half performance from QPR, inhibiting Spurs' many attacking talents very efficiently. It hasn't made for a dazzling spectacle, but Harry Redknapp will be pretty satisfied so far. Just that one early double chance for Spurs as Cesar tipped Defoe's shot on to the post, then foiled Adebayor's follow-up. Wright-Phillips has missed QPR's only two opportunities. Intriguing. Stay tuned.
45 mins: Chance for Wright-Phillips! His delicious drag-back sees him outwit and sprint away from Walker, then duck inside Dawson, but his shot from the edge of the box is hurried, when the coast was clear to skip past Vertonghen too and shoot from a much closer position. A shame, as the run was dazzling.
42 mins: The stalemate continues. QPR are competing ferociously for possession, giving Spurs no time on the ball.
39 mins: A slightly harsh booking for Dembele as he trips Mackie. Didn't look particularly deliberate to me.
37 mins: QPR's game plan is working nicely. Neither of Spurs' dangerous wingers has been afforded much space and space has been closed down effectively when ever the visitors have come forward. Lloris hasn't had a save to make yet, mind.
34 mins: Pretty much nothing of note has happened in either penalty box for over 20 minutes. QPR give the ball away to Bale who hares down the left in his inimitable fashion, but his cross is far too high.
31 mins: Mbia has been influential for QPR thus far, driving forward from midfield with those tree-trunk legs pounding. On this occasion he slightly over-hits a ball out wide to Mackie and Naughton mops up.
28 mins: Its not quite the open, attractive game us neutrals might have hoped for (actually as a Saints fan I'm hoping for a massive away win, but anyway...). Adebayor receives the ball with back to goal and shovels it left to the onrushing Walker, but his drive is miscued and dribbles well wide.
26 mins: Park plays in Taarabt down the inside left channel and he scuttles to the byline. Faced with Dawson, he tries a little shuffley backheel trick and only succeeds in knocking the ball out for a goal kick, right in front of the Spurs fans. Needless to say, they all pass on their commiserations.
24 mins: Sandro hobbles down the tunnel to get his diagnosis. On comes Scott Parker in his place.
23 mins: Sandro looks to be in a spot of bother. Stretching for the ball with no opponent near him, he collapses to the turf. On comes the physio, but it doesn't look like he'll be able to carry on.
21 mins: Mbia bursts on to a tasty throughball from Mackie and seems set to outpace Dawson, who looks like he's running in tar. The defender slides in at the last moment and manages to hook the ball off the Cameroonian's toe.
18 mins: Spurs are beginning to find a rhythm, working the ball around fluently. "Come on QPR Harry needs this over his old club for letting him go best manager spurs ever had," says Simon in Hull.
15 mins: Dawson clatters through the back of Taarabt as the Moroccan performs a typical balletic aerial backheel. No booking from Lee Probert, which is unlike him!
12 mins: Real chance for Wright-Phillips. He's played through by a visionary ball from Taarabt. He's briefly in on goal, but Walker does enough wrestling and tugging to put him off and get a toe on the ball. SWP battles on and manages to get a shot away despite the intervention of Dawson, but it deflects wide.
10 mins: M'Bia robs Dembele in the centre circle and rampages forward, but there's a toal breakdown in communication between he and Taarabt, causing the midfielder to cross the ball into an empty box.
8 mins: Replays show Cesar in fact got a touch to Defoe's piledriver to touch it on to the post. To save the follow-up as well as magnificent from the Brazilian. Mackie tigerishly chases down a lost cause and is unlucky to be whistled for a foul on Naughton.
5 mins: Spurs go close.. twice! Defoe pulls the trigger from just outside the box and cannons against the post as Cesar grapples at thin air. the ball rebounds to Adebayor, who nips inside the last defender and must surely slot it past the 'keeper? No! Cesar gets up off the deck to pull off a brilliant stop.
4 mins: Kev in Cheshire says: "Cant see anything other than an easy spurs win from this game. no great escape for harry this time,QPR in championship for sure." I've got a nasty feeling they're going to get out of it, y'know.
2 mins: Dembele is aghast at hearing the whistle for an apparent foul on QPR's right flank. The resulting free kick into a packed area is very poor indeed and headed away by Bale.
0 mins: The hosts get us under way. It's dry but cold in west London, with a few players going for the nancy boy gloves option. Redknapp and his White Hart Lane successor Villas-Boas have just shared a hug and a brief exchange of pleasantries. Penny for 'Arry's thoughts.
1230: Welcome to Loftus Road where Harry Redknapp faces his old employers having fallen on hard times with his new club Queen's Park Rangers. Today is all about 'Arry, and beneath all his bluster, you suspect that that's exactly how he likes it.
Rangers remain bottom of the table and five points from safety, although Redknapp has engineered two wins since taking over from Mark Hughes, including last week's splendid 1-0 victory at Chelsea. Spurs are up to third on the back of just one defeat in their last 12 games.
Team news: QPR make two changes from their win over Chelsea. Ji-sung Park and Shaun Wright-Phillips come in for injured duo Esteban Granero and Junior Hoilett, who both have hamstring injuries. Tal Ben Haim must wait for his league debut. Andre Villas-Boas makes just one change to his line-up, with Gareth Bale returning at the expense of Gylffi Sigurdsson. Emmanuel Adebayor plays his last game before departing to the Africa Cup of Nations, although fresh reports claim he could be set to withdraw from the Togo squad.
Mike Dale will be your guide through the action in west London. You can send him your predictions, bets, hopes, fears and personal problems by using the 'Text the commentator' boxes on your right.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 12 January 2013, 12:45pm
- Loftus Road
- Attendance: 18,018
Queens Park Rangers produced a disciplined performance to hold Harry Redknapp's former club Tottenham Hotspur to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road.
In a game which only sporadically sprung into life, QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar made smart stops in the early stages of each half to ensure Redknapp's new club moved off the foot of the table for a few hours until Reading's victory over West Brom.
Tottenham could have been in front after just five minutes, but were denied by a tremendous double save from Cesar.
The Brazilian firstly tipped Jermain Defoe's thumping drive onto the post before recovering quickly to get down low to keep out Emmanuel Adebayor's shot from the rebound when the Togo striker should have scored.
QPR responded through Shaun Wright-Phillips, who saw his shot deflected past the upright by Michael Dawson after the winger had been played in by a superb pass from Adel Taarabt.
But chances were scarce for the rest of the opening 45 minutes as Spurs were forced to bring on Scott Parker for the injured Sandro before the half closed with Wright-Phillips shooting wide after he had skipped past Kyle Walker and Dawson.
Spurs started the second half strongly as Gareth Bale's swerving free-kick was parried by Cesar, who could then only watch as Walker's arcing free-kick dipped just over the crossbar.
The visitors continued to carry the main attacking threat and Defoe found a yard of space in the box on 53 minutes only for the England international's shot to clatter off Cesar.
Hugo Lloris had been a virtual spectator in the second half, but the Spurs keeper was out smartly with 13 minutes to go to clear the danger after Taarabt had again tried to slip Wright-Phillips in behind the defence.
Taarabt and Wright-Phillips linked up to good effect again with five minutes to go, only for the former Chelsea winger to stumble in the penalty area as he prepared to shoot.
Spurs tried to exert pressure in the final few minutes, but their passing lacked incision as QPR comfortably held out for a deserved point.