Harry Redknapp’s side put in a strong defensive display to frustrate the visitors with Julio Cesar making a world-class double save to deny Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor
By Tom J Doyle
Harry Redknapp‘s dogged QPR held his former club Tottenham to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road to frustrate Andre Villas-Boas’ high-flying side and earn a vital point to boost the Hoops’ hopes of surviving in the Premier League.
The hosts were determined and organised at the back yet lacked a clear cutting edge up front, as they have so often this season, while Spurs pressed for a winner but failed to find a way through a resilient defence.
The derby started quietly but sprang into life after five minutes as Julio Cesar made a world-class double stop to deny first Jermain Defoe and then Emmanuel Adebayor.
Defoe was allowed to find time and space to hit a vicious effort from 20 yards which the Brazilian brilliantly tipped onto the post, and Adebayor’s follow-up was expertly stopped by the 33-year-old when the striker should have scored.
|MATCH FACTS | QPR 0-0 Spurs
Not to be outdone in the early stages, Shaun Wright-Phillips also had an excellent chance to put the hosts ahead after 11 minutes after a delightful through-ball from Adel Taarabt.
The Moroccan found the winger’s clever run in behind the Spurs back line, and as Wright-Phillips set to finish, only a crucial deflection from Michael Dawson prevented the former Chelsea winger finding the near corner of Hugo Lloris’ net.
Except for those efforts, the opening exchanges were cautious with little in the way of genuine excitement at either end.
Villas-Boas was forced into an early substitution with Sandro being replaced by Scott Parker after appearing to damage his knee hooking a half-volley forwards, with the midfielder in obvious discomfort.
Wright-Phillips fashioned a chance on 45 minutes after great work from the left wing but fired wastefully wide with Taarabt a better option in the middle as the first half drew to a disappointing close.
Spurs flew out of the blocks from the restart – Defoe earned a free kick a minute in after a clumsy foul from Nelsen, and Bale tested Cesar with a dipping effort to signal Spurs’ intentions.
Lennon won a contentious free kick on the left-hand side of the area moments afterwards, which Kyle Walker put inches over the bar with Cesar motionless.
A minute later Defoe again worked space and was denied an opener by the legs of Cesar, and the hosts failed to create anything of note with Jamie Mackie isolated up front.
Defoe’s clever flick on 67 minutes released Adebayor but although the tall forward found himself space, he delayed his effort and the chance was wasted, with Villas-Boas reacting by substituting him a minute later.
Taarabt unleashed Wright-Phillips in a rare break for the hosts with 13 minutes remaining, but Lloris was alert to the danger and rushed out to clear the ball.
The diminutive QPR winger should have perhaps won the game with six minutes remaining but scuffed the turf instead of shooting, but Redknapp will welcome a much-needed point against his former team.