Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Cisse helps QPR sneak point

QPR's Djibril Cisse celebrates scoring his side's equaliser against Reading
QPR's Djibril Cisse celebrates scoring his side's equaliser against Reading

QPR and Reading both remain without a win in the Barclays Premier League this season after cancelling each other out in a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.

The visitors began the brighter and took the lead in the 16th minute, former QPR defender Kaspars Gorkss volleying in after Rangers were all at sea defending a corner. But the hosts ramped up the pressure at the start of the second half and equalised in the 66th minute through Djibril Cisse.

And QPR would have won it but for a brilliant save from Alex McCarthy to deny Adel Taarabt, the second stunning stop of the afternoon from the Reading keeper. Rangers remain five points from safety - although they did climb off the bottom for 24 hours at least - with Reading only a point ahead.

Brian McDermott's side were looking to bounce back from their remarkable 7-5 Capital One Cup defeat by Arsenal and they began with much more urgency than the hosts. Jobi McAnuff's dangerous cross had be to cleared from in front of the near post by Anton Ferdinand, before Noel Hunt saw his shot deflected just wide.

Cisse was back in the QPR side and the Frenchman had Rangers' first decent effort in the 12th minute with a shot just over the angle of post and bar. Reading possessed much the greater threat, though, and they took a deserved lead in the 16th minute from a Nicky Shorey corner.

Sean Morrison headed against the bar and Gorkss volleyed in his first Premier League goal, with Julio Cesar getting a hand to the ball but only helping it into the net. The hosts were hardly creating any clear-cut chances, with Cisse screwing a shot wide and Taarabt firing over and then twice shooting straight at McCarthy.

QPR did go much closer in the 38th minute after Morrison had fouled Jamie Mackie on the edge of the box but for a stunning save from McCarthy, who pushed Esteban Granero's free-kick onto the bar, with Jose Bosingwa firing the rebound just over.

Reading seemed content to sit on their lead in the second half and QPR began to pile on the pressure, with Junior Hoilett and Cisse both seeing shots blocked. They eventually got their reward as Cisse took one touch to control a cross from Bosingwa and beat Morrison before finding the bottom corner.

Taarabt then continued his personal duel with McCarthy but again the keeper was equal to the 25-yard shot, diving to his right to push it away. Reading saw substitute Jimmy Kebe fire just wide after a great run and Jason Roberts had a shot blocked by Ferdinand.

Taarabt thought he had found a winner for QPR when he was played clean through by Cisse in the 83rd minute, but McCarthy stuck out a hand and a foot to divert the shot behind. There was a frenetic five minutes of injury time featuring scares for both sides and a booking for diving for Reading substitute Adam Le Fondre, but no more goals.

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