Kranjcar scores a stunning free kick as QPR grab a point late on against Stoke
- Credit: Getty Images
Niko Kranjcar rescued a 2-2 draw for QPR with a superb free kick against Mark Hughes’ Stoke City at Loftus Road.
The visitors took the lead on 11 minutes when Victor Moses floated a cross to the back post where Peter Crouch was waiting to head down for Mame Biram Diouf given time and space to head home his second goal of the season.
QPR playing a 4-4-2 formation looked disjointed with the midfield four of Joey Barton, Leroy Fer, Niko Kranjcar and Jordan Mutch often drifting into the same areas of the pitch which left the Rs open to a number of counter attacks from Mark Hughes’ men.
A hamstring injury saw Barton replaced by Matt Phillips on 34 minutes and just before half time QPR were back level thanks to an own goal from Peter Crouch.
Kranjcar’s corner from the left found Steven Caulker who headed down toward goal and Crouch stuck out a toe to send the ball into the roof of the net.
Harry Redknapp was forced into an early change at the start of the second half when Jordan Mutch was replaced by Karl Henry - a minute later Crouch made ammends for his own goal by putting Stoke back ahead.
Mauricio Isla who looked uncomfortable throughout played his way into trouble and the lively Moses pulled back a cross for Crouch to fire home left footed past Rob Green.
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Stoke had further chances to extend their lead with Rangers struggling to deal with the pace of the Potters on the break.
With twenty minutes remaining Redknapp sent on Wembley hero Bobby Zamora who replaced Eduardo Vargas who started well on his Premier League debut but faded as the game progressed.
Ryan Shawcross was very lucky to escpae a red card for a terrible challenge on Kranjcar - from the resulting free kick Fer was unlucky to see his header turned round the post by Asmir Begovic.
Soon after Kranjcar was again on the end of another shocking challenge - this time from substitute Steve Sidwell.
The Croatian picked himself up and struck a superb curling effort from just outside the penalty area past the dive of Begovic to make it 2-2.
A hard earned point for the Rs but a big overall improvement will be required next Saturday when they travel to Southampton.