Adel double denies Cardiff
Bluebirds miss out on second spot against leaders
Last Updated: April 23, 2011 3:10pm
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.
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.
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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