Queens Park Rangers vs. Aston Villa  1 - 1


Premier League: QPR 1 Aston Villa 1

1 December 2012 18:09

Harry Redknapp has earned a point from his first home match in charge of Queens Park Rangers, drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Both sides started well in front of an passionate crowd at Loftus Road.

It was the visitors who struck first through a fantastic strike from Brett Holman, before the hosts grabbed an equaliser courtesy of a Jamie Mackie header.

The closing stages of the first half were marred by an injury to Stephanie Mbia, who was stretchered off with a suspected neck injury and taken straight to hospital as a precaution.

The home side were unlucky not to snatch a winner during the second period, as they continued to dominate possession and create chances throughout.

There was just one change to the QPR line-up from the side that drew with Sunderland on Tuesday, as Shaun Wright-Phillips stepped in to replace Djibril Cisse, allowing Mackie to function as a lone striker with Adel Taarabt in support.

Robert Green came into goal for Julio Cesar, who is suffering from a groin injury.

For the visitors, Chris Herd and Eric Lichaj replaced Andreas Weimann and Enda Stevens. Christian Benteke continued up front, as out-of-favour striker Darren Bent was once again left on the substitutes' bench.

After a strong start from QPR, it was Aston Villa who struck inside the opening ten minutes.

Ashley Westwood found Holman just outside the penalty area and the Australian took a touch before smashing a stinging half-volley towards goal, which Green could only touch into his own net.

But it was fantastic link-up between Gabriel Agbonlahor and Benteke which led to the chance, with the latter showing good strength to fend off the defensive pairing of Clint Hill and Ryan Nelsen earlier in the move.

The home side then began to find their way back into the game, quickly netting an equaliser.

Jose Bosingwa raced down the right before finding Samba Diakite on the edge of the area. The Malian produced an excellent cross toward the far post, and Mackie rose highest to nod past Brad Guzan.

Almost immediately after the re-start Villa had the ball in the net through Benteke, but Howard Webb correctly ruled that the Belgian was offside.

Wright-Phillips then went close twice in quick succession, with both opportunities coming from passes over the top of the Villa defence.

Guzan did well to rush out and narrow the angle for the first, forcing the winger to shoot straight at him. But the 31-year-old did better with the second, taking the chance early and smashing the ball against the post.

QPR started the second half much like the first, creating two fantastic chances within the first 15 minutes, but neither Wright-Phillips nor Park managed to find the back of the net.

The home side continued to pepper the visitors' goal through the half and were unfortunate not to snatch a winner in the closing stages.


Redknapp plays down Cole link

30 November 2012 16:32

Harry Redknapp says he has not made any enquiries about bringing Joe Cole to Queens Park Rangers from Liverpool.

Cole worked under Redknapp at West Ham United, and the new QPR manager has said he still has belief in the 56-cap England international, despite his disappointing spell at Anfield.

Redknapp took over QPR in October following the sacking on Mark Hughes, and is widely expected to reinforce the squad during the January transfer window.

"I like Joe, I had him as an 11-year-old," Redknapp told reporters.

"The talent is there and I think there's still a top player in there. I haven't made any enquiries yet - I haven't made any enquiries for anyone."

QPR have also been linked with Marseille striker Loic Remy, who was reportedly close to joining Tottenham during Redknapp's reign at White Hart Lane.

"I was interested in Remy but that was then," he said.

"It's a different situation now. He would be expensive. It depends on where we are in January.

"I've never discussed players with anyone. Here we are, we need to win matches now. January is way off."

QPR's next match is at home to fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday.


Premier League preview: QPR v Aston Villa

29 November 2012 12:19

Two struggling sides will meet in the Premier League on Saturday when rock-bottom QPR host Aston Villa at Loftus Road.

Newly appointed manager Harry Redknapp was pleased with what he saw in a goalless draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday but the fact remains his side are winless from 14 Premier League games.

The former Tottenham boss has worked wonders in the past but his task at QPR, who sit eight points adrift of safety will be the most difficult of his managerial career.

Luckily for Redknapp there is plenty of quality in the squad with captain Par Ji-Sung returning against Sunderland for his first game in over a month and Adel Taarabt a constant spark in the heart of midfield.

Rangers will likely be without shot-stopper Julio Cesar, who has been in sensational form, but are lucky sacked manager Mark Hughes purchased two quality keepers in the off-season, as inexplicable as it was at the time.

Cesar came off at half-time with a groin injury and was replaced by Robert Green who will start against Sunderland if the Brazilian fails to prove his fitness.

Aston Villa are starting to string together some positive results and were good value for their 1-0 win over Reading but remain only a point above the drop zone.

Manager Paul Lambert has somewhat of a dilemma on his hands having left England international Darren Bent out of the matchday squad for the Reading clash.

Rumours have since surfaced suggesting Villa will be liable to fork out a further instalment on the 24-million-pound deal agreed with Sunderland in 2011 if Bent plays three more games of the required 50 to trigger the clause.

Lambert has insisted Bent is battling an ankle injury but he continues to start impressive Belgian signing Christian Benteke ahead of him, suggesting the conundrum may well persist until the January transfer window opens.

Villa may have to do without defender Ron Vlaar (calf/shin) after he was injured against Reading, while Charles N'Zogbia, Chris Herd, Richard Dunne and Stiliyan Petrov all remain sidelined.

QPR strikers Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson are both out with long-term injuries until next year.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25