QPR were unable to find a way past Blackburn Rovers this afternoon at Loftus Road as the two sides played out a goalless draw.
Matty Phillips and Charlie Austin went closest to finding a breakthrough in the second half but were denied by a reaction save from Rovers keeper Simon Eastwood and then the post in their efforts as the R’s were forced to settle for a point.
That was enough to ensure that they remained second in the Championship table as a win for Burnley and a defeat for Leicester City seeing those two swap third for first spot.
Rangers made just one change to the side that beat Bournemouth midweek. Goalscorer Matty Phillips returned to the starting line-up in favour of Gary O’Neil who dropped to the bench.
Blackburn pushed QPR high up the pitch and that resulted in an uneventful opening quarter of an hour. The pressure led to the visitors going close to an opener soon after when Ben Marshall’s cross from the left picked out Jason Lowe at the back post but luckily for Rangers captain Clint Hill was on hand to head over the bar off the line for a corner.
The match continued to lack real opportunities with Assou-Ekotto blazing high and wide over the bar and Joey Barton’s free-kick, after Adam Henley had fouled Junior Hoiett, comfortably finding the hands of Rovers keeper Simon Eastwood.
Rovers continued to enjoy the better of the chances in the first 45, none more so than when Chris Taylor directed Tommy Spurr’s left-wing cross over R’s stopper Robert Green’s bar on the edge of six-yard box three minutes before the interval.
Phillips did offer some hope of a goal seconds later when Danny Simpson picked him out with a miscued cross just inside the box but the shot was blocked yards from goal before his Scotland international teammate Jordan Rhodes headed wide seconds before the referee signalled for half-time.
QPR started the second half with purpose, winning a free-kick from the left flank after Lowe was late with his challenge on Andrew Johnson. Barton once again took on set-piece duties but his curling shot towards the corner of the net was well held by custodian Eastwood.
The R’s turned a defensive mistake into the best opportunity of the match after Hill gave the ball away inside his own box. Barton did excellent to win it back, sending Johnson surging down the left. His industrious running saw the forward hold off the challenge of Spurr before rolling the ball towards the near post – Austin dummied – and Phillips pounced inside the six-yard box but his finish smashed into the face of keeper Eastwood preventing QPR from taking the lead.
The save was somewhat fortuitous but Redknapp’s side continued to press for an opener and they thought they had it in the 72nd minute when Austin’s header from Assou-Ekotto’s dangerous cross cannoned back against the post. It found its way back to substitute Gary O’Neil but the aforementioned Austin couldn’t get out of the way in time and blocked his goal bound volley.
That was the last real chance for either side as despite enjoying large periods of possession Rangers were unable to capitalise against their Lancashire opponents as they were forced to settle for a draw.