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Premier League: QPR 1 Everton 1

3 March 2012 18:29

QPR halted a run of three consecutive home defeats with a 1-1 draw against Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Royston Drenthe's long-range strike on the half-hour mark was as much as Everton deserved following a dominant start to proceedings.

However, once Bobby Zamora drilled his header past Tim Howard five minutes later, Mark Hughes' men made all the running.

Zamora's equaliser was his second goal for his new club and the relief felt among the fans was justified given their recent southerly slide towards the relegation zone.

It was Everton who took just three minutes to fashion the first chance of the game. Tim Cahill was first to a loose ball in the box following a free-kick from wide but his left-footed volley struck the middle of Paddy Kenny's crossbar.

Though the away side controlled possession better in the opening stages, QPR highlighted their threat through a volley of their own. Akos Buzsaky's well-struck but misguided shot from outside the box was helped on by Shaun Derry but his deft touch saw the ball just drift wide.

Both sides traded set-piece chances and Drenthe's deep cross from the right flank was flicked on by Sylvain Distin into the path of John Heitinga. The Dutch defender failed to get a firm touch and his nudge at goal was gathered by Kenny on his line.

QPR's left flank summed up the good and the bad from their first-half performance. While Armand Traore was menaced by Drenthe's trickery, Adel Taarabt found space to cross for the arriving Shaun Wright-Phillips. The diving header was well met but just zipped by Howard's left hand post.

Then, on the half hour, came the opening goal. Marouane Fellaini robbed QPR of possession in midfield and Steven Pienaar collected the ball and shifted it inside to Drenthe.

In the middle of the pitch and 30 yards out, the Dutch winger travelled forward, jinked onto his left foot and smashed a low drive into Kenny's bottom corner.

But QPR still offered a danger to David Moyes' side and as Drenthe was booked for a poor tackle on Taarabt on the byline, Buzsaky trotted over and sent yet another teasing delivery into the six-yard box.

Zamora made the cross his own, finding the space to guide a powerful header beyond Howard and level the game.

The goal came to the relief of thousands of Rangers fans but their side were not to sit on their laurels.

In a frenzy of goalmouth action QPR managed to hit both posts and fail to score. First, Taarabt ran onto a cut-back on the left corner of the box and curled his effort past Howard and onto the far post.

The rebound ensured the chance was still alive though and as Zamora squared his pass to Buzsaky, everyone in attendance was convinced the second home goal would arrive. To great surprise, though, Buzsaky inexplicably contrived to guide his tap-in off the foot of the other post.

The moment of slapstick finishing proved to be costly though, as Rangers failed to conjure a chance as clear-cut again.

Though the break came at a bad time for Hughes' outfit, QPR continued to look the better side after half-time and Derry's back-post volley whistled wide of Howard's post.

David Moyes reacted by throwing on Nikica Jelavic and Leon Osman for Cahill and the impressive Drenthe. But as the Toffees' shape moved to a 4-4-2, QPR began to find more holes.

The game was finely poised and with 20 minutes remaining, there was a sense that the next goal would be the winner and although Jelavic buried a shot past Kenny from an offside position, there wasn't a genuinely clear goalscoring chance created in the final stages.

Taarabt's withdrawal seemed a bizarre move from Hughes, given the Moroccan was the home side's creative fulcrum and indeed, his substitution marked the conclusion to the threat of QPR's play.

With Everton happy to return to Merseyside with a point, Kevin Friend was left to blow for full-time and end a dogged encounter 1-1.

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Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
3 March 2012
Game week
27
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
1 - 1
Full-time
1 - 1
Venue
Loftus Road Stadium (London)
Attendance
18033

Goals

0 - 1
31' R. Drenthe
 (assist by S. Pienaar)
B. Zamora 36'
(assist by A. Buzsaky) 
1 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
12
6
10
18
21
24
34
# Player Bookings
21
7
23
1
6
19
20

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22:18
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