QPR 1 Swansea City 1
By Ben Kosky PAULO Sousa specialised in draws during his brief tenure at Loftus Road, so it was hardly surprising to see his current team involved in another. Some of the hallmarks of Sousa s spell with Rangers are preserved in Swansea – organisation, one
By Ben Kosky
PAULO Sousa specialised in draws during his brief tenure at Loftus Road, so it was hardly surprising to see his current team involved in another.
Some of the hallmarks of Sousa's spell with Rangers are preserved in Swansea - organisation, one man up front and ball players flooding the midfield - but it seems to be working more effectively second time around.
The Swansea boss clearly enjoyed his return to west London, remarking: "You can see the respect and love the players have for me and also the fans - it was a big recognition for the work I did here. The friendship never stops."
That's good to hear - and for Neil Warnock, quickly forging his own bond with the QPR players and fans - the point probably represented a fair reward, even if his side did create more clear chances as the contest wore on.
Warnock's substitutions all proved significant, with Lee Cook providing a good flow of balls into the box and Rowan Vine setting up the equaliser for Antonio German - a player handed his QPR debut by Sousa.
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Rangers certainly posed a greater attacking threat after German replaced the hapless Tamas Priskin, whose lumbering presence in the starting 11 remains a mystery to most.
Swansea looked more likely to break the deadlock in the first half, with Nathan Dyer unlucky to see the ball strike a post after he burst onto Shefki Kuqi's flick-on and tucked the finish past Carl Ikeme.
The pacy Dyer scampered through again soon afterwards and, with Ikeme slow to react, Matt Hill's lunging challenge diverted the ball past the goalkeeper, but fortunately wide of the post.
Kuqi gave the Rangers defence some awkward moments and almost set up the opener just before half-time when he evaded Kaspars Gorkss and squared for Guillem Bauza, who should have tested Ikeme more severely.
At the other end, Akos Buzsaky - starting for the first time since Warnock took over - looked keen to impress and took aim at goal when Adel Taarabt supplied the opening, but could only supply a comfortable catch to Dorus de Vries.
Swansea started the second period well, winning a string of corners and a free-kick that David Cotterill curled into Ikeme's hands - and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 57 minutes.
Bauza's through pass seemed to carry too much weight, but it hit the retreating Hill on the back of the head and the ball rebounded neatly for Dyer to dispatch past Ikeme.
Warnock shuffled the pack immediately and Rangers responded well, with Vine using the channels to good effect and Matt Connolly glancing Cook's free-kick just wide of the far post.
And they levelled with 14 minutes left as Taarabt swung over a deep corner, De Vries fumbled and Vine played the ball back in for German to prod his second senior goal over the line.
The Rs dominated the remainder of the game and thought they might have won it when Connolly headed home after Taarabt's free-kick spun off the Swansea wall, but the linesman's flag cut their celebrations short.