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17:00 12th December 2015


RANGERS made it seven games without defeat at home, as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s first fixture in charge ended in a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Burnley.

A contest of flowing football and crunching tackles in equal measure, both sides were positive in their play but just lacked that cutting edge in front of the target.

The R’s so nearly registered a last-gasp winner when Grant Hall met a Matt Phillips corner in second-half injury time – but Burnley’s Scott Arfield came to the visitors’ rescue to head the ball off the goal-line.

Hasselbaink made one change to the QPR starting line-up, following the 1-0 success over Reading under interim boss Neil Warnock last time out.

Karl Henry replaced Michael Petrasso, who didn’t make the 18-man squad altogether. Top scorer Charlie Austin began on the bench against his old side.

For the visitors, former Rangers skipper Joey Barton was named among the Burnley starters in W12.

It was Barton who fashioned the first effort on target with less than two minutes played. His free-kick from range was collected by R’s goalkeeper Rob Green at the second attempt.

Three minutes later, it was Rangers’ turn to attack. Phillips let fly with a shot from 25 yards that fizzed just over the crossbar.

QPR charged forward once more in the ninth minute. This time, James Perch had an effort blocked away after the ball fell to the full-back on the edge of the Burnley box.

Another R’s attempt arrived in the 14th minute. Ale Faurlin’s weighted corner from the left was met by Leroy Fer, but his header was easily collected by Tom Heaton in the visiting goal.

This had been a positive start indeed from Rangers.

Hasselbaink’s new side appeared to be playing with purpose and after another well-worked move in the 23rd minute, Perch blasted over from distance.

Clarets custodian Heaton was called into action in the 32nd minute. Rangers broke with pace and after Fer slid Phillips through on goal, the latter’s subsequent shot was blocked away for a corner.

The first half turned into a bit of a scrap towards its conclusion, with some strong wind playing its part. It remained goalless up until the break.

The beginning to the second period was equally as tight.

Fer headed wide for the R’s in the 58th minute, but you wondered how long it would be until Hasselbaink called on the services of leading marksman Austin.

The striker was introduced in the 61st minute, and replaced Junior Hoilett. 

Burnley displayed a little bit more intensity after the half-time interval and Arfield threatened with a shot in the 62nd minute that was deflected behind for a corner.

At the other end, fine skill from Phillips sparked a move that eventually saw Austin free Henry in the box. However, he could only fire tamely at Heaton when, in truth, he should have posed more of a question.

It looked increasingly as though one goal if any would settle this contest as time wore on.

Rangers made another substitution in the 74th minute, with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas introduced at the expense of Henry.

Burnley’s Sam Vokes went close with a looping header in the 77th minute, following a hanging cross from the right.

This fixture was firmly on a knife edge going into the last 10 minutes.

Sub Emmanuel-Thomas saw an in-swinging cross from the right almost drop into the far bottom corner six minutes from time, but the ball bounced just wide of the post.

Meanwhile, a minute from the end, Burnley’s Vokes flicked wide with his head.

Rangers almost won it at the death when Phillips’ left-flank corner was headed towards goal by Hall – but Arfield was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
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