Southampton 0 QPR 0

By Ben Kosky IN recent years, reaching the 50-point mark has been viewed as a significant milestone for QPR. This time it passed by virtually unnoticed. That may be because, whatever line the club now attempt to spin, ambitions this season stretched a lit

By Ben Kosky

IN recent years, reaching the 50-point mark has been viewed as a significant milestone for QPR. This time it passed by virtually unnoticed.

That may be because, whatever line the club now attempt to spin, ambitions this season stretched a little higher than avoiding relegation. Or it could just be because Saturday's game was dire.

Rangers - reverting to their system of one up front - rarely looked like winning it, mainly because Wayne Routledge was largely anonymous on one wing and Liam Miller was curiously deployed out of position on the other.


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But all credit to the Rs defence because, apart from an early slip from Damion Stewart, relegation-threatened Southampton never really placed Radek Cerny's goal in jeopardy either.

The experienced Jason Euell should have taken advantage of that Stewart error, chesting down a long ball and bearing down on goal, but the QPR keeper forced him wide.

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Two other opportunities fell Euell's way in the first half, but a timely Kaspars Gorkss challenge foiled him once and the other, a shot on the turn, brought a save that was easier than Cerny made it look.

Rangers' best opening came midway through the first period when Gorkss nodded back a Jordi Lopez corner and Dexter Blackstock was unable to maintain the habit of scoring against his old club, heading wide from close range.

Blackstock's only real involvement aside from that was an unsuccessful second-half penalty claim when he went flying in collision with Saints defender Jan-Paul Saeijs.

Otherwise, the match was a catalogue of untidy midfield scraps and poor Southampton finishing - Euell shanking horribly off target and Adam Lallana scuffing wide with just Cerny to beat.

But the Saints got little change out of Matthew Connolly, filling in with composure at left-back and it was on the opposite side of the penalty area that Andrew Surman almost netted a late winner with a drive that Stewart headed off the line.

Yet Rangers might have snatched the points with virtually the last kick as substitute Adel Taarabt - who had already struck the side netting - brought the best save of the afternoon from Kelvin Davis.

QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Stewart, Gorkss, CONNOLLY*; Lopez (Mahon 87); Routledge, Ephraim (Taarabt 79), Leigertwood, Miller (German 71); Blackstock. Subs not used: Hall, Alberti.

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