Queens Park Rangers forced to settle for a point against 10-man Everton
Last Updated: October 21, 2012 10:45pm
Queens Park Rangers are still waiting for their first Premier League win of the season after being held 1-1 by 10-man Everton.
Under-fire Hoops boss Mark Hughes saw his side take the lead early on but the Toffees equalised before the break and the home side could not find a winner despite Steven Pienaar's red card.
The majority of the Loftus Road crowd could hardly have hoped for a better start when they took the lead inside three minutes through recalled winger Junior Hoilett.
The Canadian embarked on a purposeful run from inside his own half before seeing his ambitious shot deflect off Leighton Baines and past the wrong-footed Tim Howard.
The Premier League's bottom club had looked by far the brighter side in the opening half hour but sloppy marking from a set-piece saw them surrender the lead.
Bobby Zamora allowed Sylvain Distin to elude him inside the area and when his header ricocheted off the foot of the post the ball bounced off the back of goalkeeper Julio Cesar and into the net.
David Moyes was convinced his team had earned the chance to go ahead moments later when Nikica Jelavic went down under a challenge but referee Jonathan Moss waved away the appeals.
The Everton boss was even more aggrieved after the interval when Moss sent off Pienaar following two yellow cards - the second of which was particularly questionable.
But it was Hughes who was left with cause to bemoan the officials when Moss refused to point to the spot despite Seamus Coleman appearing to trip Hoilett inside the area.
And although QPR pushed hard for a winner, it was not forthcoming and they remain at the foot of the table with just three points from their first eight games.
The build-up to the match was dominated with speculation as to which players would boycott wearing t-shirts in the warm-up supporting the anti-racism 'Kick it Out' campaign.
Anton Ferdinand and team-mates Shaun Wright-Phillips and Hoilett opted not to wear the shirt, following the stance taken by Ferdinand's brother Rio prior to Manchester United's game against Stoke on Saturday and by Reading striker Jason Roberts.
Hughes would have been fully focused on the game however, knowing a decent start from his side was a must having conceded early goals in their previous two outings. He was not to be disappointed.
Everton pressed in the opening couple of minutes but after having a second early corner cleared captain Phil Neville lost possession to Hoilett.
The former Blackburn winger burst into the Everton half before striking an effort that beat Howard after taking a heavy deflection off Baines.
Hoilett came close to adding a second in the eighth minute as he closed down Howard, who slipped as he looked to clear the ball. The United States international just got enough on the ball and the resulting cross eluded the on-rushing Bobby Zamora.
The first real chance for the visitors came after 17 minutes as Jelavic curled a free-kick towards goal that was pushed away comfortably by Cesar.
It was QPR who then came close from a set-piece of their own but Ryan Nelsen could only direct a header from Esteban Granero's free-kick wide of Howard's goal.
Everton's equalised in fortuitous circumstances at a time when they were struggling to create clear-cut opportunities.
Pienaar whipped in a deep free-kick that Distin headed onto the post with the rebound hitting a prone Cesar and nestling into the corner.
The Toffees took some momentum from their stroke of luck and could have had a penalty seconds after the re-start but referee Moss waved away Jelavic's appeals after he went down following a Stephane Mbia challenge.
Phil Jagielka then struck the crossbar with the resulting corner as QPR started to show the defensive fragility which has plagued them during the early parts of the season.
After the initial shock of conceding the equaliser QPR finished the first half the strongest but could not test Howard before the interval.
QPR captain Park Ji-sung came close in the opening exchanges of the second half but he could not poke Samba Diakite's cross home due to the close attention of Jagielka.
Moyes was quick to introduce Steven Naismith from the bench in place of the largely ineffectual Victor Anichebe, who also decided not to wear the 'Kick It Out' shirt before the match, as he looked to get more support for lone striker Jelavic.
Although spaces began to appear on the pitch there was a distinct lack of creativity, with both sides guilty of conceding possession too cheaply.
Everton were reduced to 10 men with just over an hour gone when Pienaar received his second booking inside nine minutes, although he appeared to make minimal contact on Jose Bosingwa who looked to be heading to ground regardless.
Despite losing Pienaar, Everton were the side pushing for a winning goal.
Kevin Mirallas saw his effort headed behind by Mbia and Jagielka's header from the resulting corner was brilliantly kept out by Cesar before Hughes introduced Djibril Cisse, with Zamora the man to make way.
Nedum Onuoha was also brought on as QPR finally started to look like a team with a numerical advantage.
Following a string of corners the visitors had Howard to thank for keeping out Hoilett at full stretch, with Granero firing the rebound high and wide.
Referee Moss was unmoved as Coleman appeared to upend Hoilett in the penalty area as the home side took complete control.
Hoilett was again foiled by Howard moments later as the former Manchester United goalkeeper flew to his right to tip a curling effort around the post.
Adel Taarabt also bent a free-kick just wide as Everton started to struggle with the continued pressure from their hosts.
Moyes took off Jelavic to replace him with the defensive-minded John Heitinga whilst Hughes was forced to replace the injured Nelsen with Ferdinand.
The break in play for the substitutions seemed to take some of the sting out of QPR's onslaught on Howard's goal but Cisse came close to grabbing an 89th-minute winner when he fired wide.
|Queens Park Rangers||Team Statistics||Everton|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||7|
|55.3||1st Half Poss.||44.7|
|58.4||2nd Half Poss.||41.6|
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|19||West Bromwich Albion||0||0|
|20||West Ham United||0||0|
QPR v Everton
Tim Howard feels Everton will miss Steven Pienaar against Liverpool but have players to replace the midfielder.
Junior Hoilett felt QPR were 'very unlucky' not to claim a first Premier League win of the season against Everton.
Adam Bate looks at how Mark Hughes deployed Park Ji-sung to stop Leighton Baines.