English Premiership

QPR, Aston Villa share spoils

2012-12-01 20:16
Harry Redknapp (AFP)

London - Harry Redknapp's home debut as Queens Park Rangers manager ended in frustration after heroics from visiting goalkeeper Brad Guzan saw Aston Villa claim a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Villa went ahead through Australian midfielder Brett Holman and although Jamie Mackie levelled for QPR, who had Stephane Mbia stretchered off, Guzan kept the home side's attackers at bay in the second period.

QPR are still seeking a first win of the campaign and remain bottom of the Premier League table, seven points from safety, while Villa move up one place to 16th.

It took Villa just eight minutes to put a dampener on Redknapp's Loftus Road bow, as Holman found the net with a left-foot shot from 20 yards that beat a rather flimsy attempt at a save from QPR goalkeeper Rob Green.

Mbia headed wide from an Adel Taarabt corner before the hosts drew level in the 18th minute, Mackie flicking an excellent header inside the left-hand post from Samba Diakite's deep right-wing cross.

Christian Benteke thought he had restored Villa's lead two minutes later but the burly Belgian's header from Matt Lowton's centre was ruled out for offside.

Shaun Wright-Phillips then came close to putting the hosts ahead twice in the space of four minutes.

In the 29th minute he could only shoot straight at Guzan after being sent clean through by Esteban Granero, and he then struck the base of the right-hand post with a lusty half-volley from an angle on the right.

It was at that juncture that Mbia sustained a troubling injury that saw seven minutes of injury time added at the end of the first half.

The Cameroon international collapsed to the turf following a collision with Gabriel Agbonlahor and after receiving lengthy treatment from medical staff, he was stretchered off and taken to hospital for precautionary scans.

QPR redoubled their efforts after the interval, with Guzan thwarting Wright-Phillips, producing a one-handed save to push away a hooked effort from Ryan Nelsen, and then denying substitute Park Ji-sung.

The American saved his best for the 80th minute, springing high to his left to acrobatically claw a header from Taarabt onto the crossbar, to the disbelief of the watching Redknapp.

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