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Cardiff City Stadium (ATT 26,058) 23rd April 2011 - Kick off 12:45 Ref: L Mason

Cardiff Cardiff City vs Queens Park Rangers QPR

Cardiff 2

J Bothroyd (6)
C Bellamy (35)



A Taarabt (10, 71)

Adel double denies Cardiff

Bluebirds miss out on second spot against leaders

Last Updated: 23/04/11 3:10pm

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Cardiff City missed the chance to regain second spot in the Championship after being held to a 2-2 draw by leaders QPR at the Cardiff City Stadium.

A win for the Bluebirds would have seen Dave Jones' side leapfrog Norwich, but Adel Taarabt's sublime brace ensured the Rs claimed a point from their trip to South Wales.

Jay Bothroyd's thunderous strike fired the home side in front, but it failed to last as Taarabt's delightful curling shot looped over Stephen Bywater's head to level matters.

Craig Bellamy capitalised on a mistake from Matthew Connolly to restore Cardiff's lead, however, Taarabt had the final say as he equalised again in the 71st minute after getting the better of Kevin McNaughton.

The stalemate keeps Cardiff a point behind second-placed Norwich while a point on Easter Monday could be enough for QPR to secure their Premier League return.

Both sides were unchanged from their last outing and it was Bellamy who set up the first clear opening for Peter Whittingham after just three minutes, but the 10-goal midfielder failed to connect properly with his shot and Paddy Kenny saved well.

Opening goal

But it mattered little as Bothroyd soon broke the deadlock in stunning fashion.

The former Arsenal trainee picked up the ball on the right touchline and skipped inside a challenge before curling a delightful left-footed effort from 18 yards into the top corner off the crossbar.

But anything Bothroyd could do, Taarabt could match. The Moroccan saw a corner returned to him on the left but an acute angle mattered little as he planted a stunning curling shot beyond the reach of Bywater and into the far corner.

Despite the pace of the opening stages slowing slightly, half chances continued to flow at either end.

And the majority of the 26,058 inside the Cardiff City Stadium were brought to their feet again in the 35th minute.

Bothroyd was allowed time to send over an inswinging cross from the right which Connolly failed to deal with, even using his hand in the process, and the ball squirmed through to Bellamy to swivel and smash past Kenny into the top corner.

Diving save

Bywater preserved City's lead going into the break, producing a great diving save after Shaun Derry's shot took two deflections.

Whittingham wasted his second good chance of the afternoon shortly after the restart.

Unsurprisingly, the pace of the second half failed to match that of the first and that was reflected in the lack of clear-cut opportunities created.

But Taarabt made sure he did not waste the one which did come his way in the 71st minute, shrugging off the attentions of McNaughton to bring down Wayne Routledge's chipped forward pass and beat Bywater from just inside the area.

Bellamy was denied by Kenny but it was Helguson who passed up the best chance of victory, somehow shooting wide from close range late on.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23