QPR held after striker Cisse scores on debut
Premier League: Aston Villa 2 QPR 2
Djibril Cisse took just 12 minutes to open his QPR account – but Rangers had to settle for a point after surrendering a two-goal lead at Villa Park.
The �4m signing from Lazio gave Mark Hughes’ men the lead before Villa’s Stephen Warnock put through his own net, but the home side totally dominated the second half and denied the Rs their first away win since mid-October.
Rangers went ahead when Shaun Wright-Phillips’ volley struck Stephen Ireland and spun into the path of Cisse, who lashed it first time beyond Shay Given into the far corner.
Cisse’s strike gave the visitors a hefty injection of confidence and the Frenchman attempted an ambitious volley when Barton crossed to the far post, but could not get enough purchase to double his tally.
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Ciaran Clark was the only Villa player to pose any goal threat, but his volley and then a looping header were easily gathered by Paddy Kenny and the Holte End rapidly became restless – especially when their side conceded a calamitous second goal on 29 minutes.
New QPR left-back Taye Taiwo whipped in a deep cross and his opposite number Warnock, under no apparent pressure, headed the ball past the bemused Given.
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That suggested fortune was very much on the visitors’ side – something that was apparently confirmed when Robbie Keane’s drive off his own team-mate Stiliyan Petrov and bounced off the crossbar.
Kenny smothered Richard Dunne’s header on the line, while Darren Bent flashed a header wide of the post as Villa began to push for a foothold in the game.
And they gained it in the last minute of the first half when Alan Hutton slid in a low cross and Bent got in front of Nedum Onuoha to convert his 100th Premier League goal.
Predictably, Villa applied the pressure at the start of the second period and Kenny did just enough to parry skidding efforts from both Petrov and Keane.
The home side felt they should have been awarded a penalty – and they seemed to have a strong case – when Shaun Derry’s raised arm blocked Clark’s effort, but referee Neil Swarbrick disagreed.
Rangers, with Cisse now operating as a lone striker, found themselves pushed deeper, and the equaliser arrived 11 minutes from time as Petrov floated a cross for Charles N’Zogbia to unleash a sumptuous left-foot volley.
Villa might have taken all the points late on, but Bent’s effort was cleared off the line by Ferdinand and Kenny foiled N’Zogbia again, pushing his attempt around the post.
QPR: Kenny; Young, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo; Mackie, Barton, Derry, Wright-Phillips; Hulse (Smith 54), Cisse (Macheda 81).