Monday 23 October 2017

QPR continue winless run

Harry Redknapp's QPR recorded a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa
Harry Redknapp's QPR recorded a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa

Queens Park Rangers equalled the Premier League's longest ever winless start to a season as they could only draw 1-1 against Aston Villa in Harry Redknapp's first home match at the helm.

The west Londoners have now failed to a collect victory from any of their opening 15 matches - an abysmal start that is only matched by the Swindon side of 1993/94. The Rs boss had never previously lost a Premier League home debut as a manager, but that record looked under threat as Brett Holman fired Villa ahead from distance early on.

Jamie Mackie's superb header dragged QPR level after 18 minutes but an entertaining first half also saw a nasty injury sustained by Stephane Mbia. The Cameroonian went to hospital for a precautionary check-up, with fellow midfielder Samba Diakite also forced off injured in the second half.

QPR came into the match eight points adrift of safety and their defensive frailties were quickly exposed as Christian Benteke wriggled free in the box, only to be denied by a last-ditch Clint Hill challenge.

They found themselves behind after just eight minutes, with Holman striking a fierce 25-yard drive that Robert Green, making his first start since September 1, was unable to keep out. It was the worst possible start for the nervy home side, who saw Mbia head wide and then Diakite lash over as they attempted to make immediate amends.

QPR did manage to equalise 10 minutes after going behind as Mackie met a Diakite cross with a superb looping header that beat Brad Guzan. Benteke thought he had put Villa back in front in the 20th minute but was denied by the offside flag.

Shaun Wright-Phillips was put through one-on-one with Guzan but failed to find a way past the American. The recalled winger came closer again in the 32nd minute, as a half volley beat Guzan at his near post but hit the woodwork.

Mbia was then involved in an off-the-ball incident with Gabby Agbonlahor, which forced the Cameroonian off on a stretcher after lengthy treatment.

QPR looked an improved side in the second half as Wright-Phillips, Ryan Nelsen and Diakite all got away shots in quick succession. Guzan kept out the latter pair and was again alert to deny substitute Park Ji-Sung when put through on the left.

Hill almost hit the crossbar with an 80th-minute header from an Adel Taarabt corner. Paul Lambert's side defended resolutely and came close to a winner as well through substitute Karim El Ahmadi.

Press Association

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