Rangers Secure Hard Earned Draw
Rangers equalled their best ever start to a league campaign following a hard-earned 0-0 draw with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
A fiercely-fought encounter for the duration of the 90 minutes, both sides will come away from this
one knowing that three points could have been theirs, although chances were at a premium.
Paddy Kenny came to the R's rescue in the first half, diving superbly to his right to save David
Cotterill's spot-kick, after Clint Hill was harshly adjudged to have brought down Nathan Dyer in the penalty
The Hoops too could have taken a maximum return had Jamie Mackie netted when through on goal in the second half.
The point meant that Rangers kept their place at the top of the npower Championship, but it's now down to two points following Cardiff's late winner at Coventry.
Neil Warnock made just one change to his side for the trip to the Swansea, sticking with a tried and trusted 4-2-3-1 formation.
Alejandro Faurlin came back into the starting line-up to replace the injured Akos Buzsaky.
Meanwhile, Gavin Mahon took up his place on the QPR substitutes' bench after signing a one-month contract on Monday, as did Fitz Hall following injury.
Kenny was in goal for Rangers, behind a back four of Kyle Walker, Matt Connolly, Kaspars Gorkss and Clint Hill.
Shaun Derry and the much-missed Faurlin took up accustomed defensive midfield roles, supporting the more advanced trio of Mackie, Adel Taarabt and Hogan Ephraim.
Heidar Helguson once again led the R's attack.
There was nothing to separate QPR and the Swans in the opening five minutes, though both sides were executing some fine, free-flowing football in the early stages of the match, without creating any clear openings.
QPR should have been ahead on as early as nine minutes.
Swansea failed to clear their lines after a corner and, after Ephraim's driven centre fell at the feet of
Mackie six yards from goal, he could only fire disappointingly at the side netting.
Rangers, by now, were on top, and on 20 minutes Helguson forced Dorus De Vries into a fine save
from 25-yards out, after letting fly from the left-hand channel.
Taarabt dragged an effort wide of the target from 25 yards on 30 minutes, before Kenny was forced into action for the first time shortly after.
Kyle Walker lost possession midway into the Hoops' half and, when the ball eventually found its way to Stephen Dobbie on the left, he cut in before smashing an effort on target that Kenny tipped away at his near post.
It was the first real time that Kenny was called into action, and minutes later, the R's keeper was
faced with a penalty to save after Hill was harshly deemed by the referee to have felled Dyer in the box.
When Cotterill stepped up to try and fire the Swans into a first-half lead from the spot, Kenny was on hand to tip the ball away to his left to safety.
The R's started proceedings after the interval much like they did in the opening half. Following a fine exchange of passes between Gorkss, Helguson, Faurlin and Walker, the Spurs loanee's driven cross from the right-hand flank somehow flashed across the face of the target without
Soon after, Rangers were again on the attack.
Derry's towering header on midway found Taarabt in the opposing half, before he drove at the Swans defence and unleashed an effort 30 yards that was deflected away for a corner.
The Hoops were menacing -and just past the hour mark, Mackie missed by far the R's best chance to take the lead.
Connolly's clever pass to Taarabt on halfway enabled the gifted playmaker to put Mackie through on goal.
QPR's top scorer bore down on the target -probably taking a touch too many -before smashing an effort straight De Vries, who pushed the ball away for a corner.
Again, Swansea were failing to cause Kenny too many issues in the R's net, though Andrea Orlandi
was unfortunate to see his effort go just over, following a rasping effort from 25-yards out.
Rangers had to be on their guard at all times, however, much like when Ephraim cleared Pratley's close-range prodded effort on the line, after confusion following a corner on the right.
Rangers introduced Tommy Smith, Patrick Agyemang and Leon Clarke in an attempt to secure a late winner.
But try as they might, the spoils were shared in South Wales and Rangers return to West London still unbeaten.
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