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17:00 28th December 2014


QPR signed off a memorable 2014 by extending their recent unbeaten home record to six games with a goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Leroy Fer and Steven Caulker came closest to a breakthrough during a London derby deprived of quality, whilst Rangers had the woodwork to thank for denying Jason Puncheon in the first half.

A point apiece at Loftus Road keeps Harry Redknapp’s men outside the Premier League drop zone, heading into the New Year two points above the bottom three.

Redknapp, celebrating his 100th game in charge for the club, made six changes from Boxing Day.

Clint Hill – lining up against his previous club – and Richard Dunne returned in defence, while Junior Hoilett, Joey Barton and Fer came into midfield. Elsewhere, Bobby Zamora replaced Eduardo Vargas to partner Charlie Austin in attack.

Meanwhile, Keith Millen was in caretaker charge for the visitors following Saturday’s sacking of former R’s boss Neil Warnock.

Chances were few and far between during a typically fraught opening as both sides battled for early supremacy.

Unsurprisingly it was Austin, fresh from registering his 12th goal of the campaign at Arsenal, who fashioned the first shot – stinging Julian Speroni’s hands with a 25-yard volley on the quarter-hour mark.

Moments later Yannick Bolasie tried his luck from long-range but his shot soared safely into Rob Green’s arms.

Green had the woodwork to thank for keeping the scores level from Palace’s next attack. Puncheon’s first-timed effort looked to be curling inside the far corner but rebounded back off the post.

Wilfried Zaha would have the final half-chance of an opening 45 minutes starved of quality, scuffing harmlessly wide after latching onto a long ball.

Rangers looked to set the pace from the re-start, going close to a breakthrough inside three minutes. After Barton’s cross fell to Fer, the midfielder sent a shot sailing just wide of Speroni’s left-hand post.

The same man came even closer approaching the hour-mark. This time Fer took aim from 30 yards, forcing Speroni into a fine, one-handed save to tip over the Dutchman’s explosive volley.

Fer was withdrawn moments later as Vargas was introduced, swapping places with Hoilett on the right flank.

Puncheon was next to threaten an opener. The midfielder cut inside from the right before calling Green into action, who got just enough purchase on his save to palm the former Rangers man’s shot over.

At the other end, Caulker came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock. The defender’s header from Barton’s corner was goal-bound before James McArthur hooked the ball to safety from underneath his own crossbar.

Zamora made way in the R’s second substitution, as Matty Phillips arrived for the final 15 minutes.

The change couldn’t culminate in late drama, however, as Hoilett sliced wide with two minutes remaining whilst Green kept out Puncheon in stoppage time to preserve a share of the spoils.

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