Warnock promises QPR will entertain this season
Premier League: QPR 1 Aston Villa 1
A last-minute own goal from Richard Dunne rescued a deserved point for 10-man QPR as they fought back from a goal down against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Dunne turned in Adel Taarabt’s cross in the third minute of stoppage-time, after Barry Bannan’s penalty had seemed destined to secure all three points for Alex Mcleish’s battling Villa.
“We’re going to really enjoy ourselves this year. Home and away we’re going to try and win and entertain,” Warnock said.
“I don’t see many dull games this year, if I am honest. That goes for the big boys as well - we’ll have a go at them as well. We’re going to get beaten if we defend anyhow so let’s go and have a go.
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“I think all promoted teams, the one thing they struggle to do is score goals on a regular basis.
“But I can see us home and away causing problems and the goals will come.”
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A point was the least QPR deserved for a hard-working display, and they might have had further joy had they been awarded several seemingly clear-cut penalty decisions.
The match produced several moments of controversy in the second half, with Villa’s Alan Hutton twice appearing to handle the ball in the area but escaping punishment on both occasions, before Traore was sent off for a late lunge on Marc Albrighton.
“All the lads were adamant it was the most obvious handball and when you see it you have to say 100% it was a handball,” he said of the first decision.
“You just had to look at Hutton’s face. How he got away with that I’ll never know, but all credit to the team.
“All the decisions have gone against us and to carry on with 10 men and get a point is fantastic.”
Warnock made one change from the side which won 3-0 at Wolves last weekend, with Fitz Hall replacing the injured Danny Gabbidon in central defence.
QPR had the batter of a first half in which the visitors showed little attacking imagination. Taarabt was a constant danger playing off Jay Bothroyd, he almost rewarded his side’s early dominance by curling a superb 25-yard shot against the outside of Shay Given’s left-hand post.
Rangers were making most of the early running, with their front three of Taarabt, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joey Barton constantly switching positions behind the lively Jay Bothroyd.
But the hosts were struggling to create clear-cut chances. Bothroyd should have done better with a header in a central position from Barton’s right-wing free-kick, but the England international could only glance his header wastefully wide.
Alejandro Fuarlin fired over the crossbar from the edge of the area but, against the run of play, it was Aston Villa who came closest to breaking the deadlock a few minutes before half-time.
Anton Ferdinand fouled Agbonlahor just outside the area, and Barry Bannan curled a beautifully weighted free-kick towards the top corner, only for Paddy Kenny to claw off the goal-line.
Villa started the second half a different side, with Chares N’Zogbia in particular causing problems for the Rangers defence, and 10 minutes into the second half Villa took the lead.
It was a soft-looking decision; Traore penalised for a foul on Agbonlahor at the back post, and Bannan stroking the resulting penalty past Kenny into the bottom corner.
They almost added an immediate second, N’Zogbia firing into the side netting from inside the area, before at the other end Wright-Phillips’ low drive forced Shay Given into a fine save low down.
QPR were then furiously appealing for a penalty of their own, as Derry’s downward header from a corner appeared to strike the arm of Villa’s Alan Hutton, only for the referee to wave play on.
The pressure was now building from the home side, and it paid off in the third minute of stoppage-time when Heidar Helguson broke free inside the area, and his pull-back ricocheted in off Dunne.
QPR: Kenny; Young, Hall, Ferdinand, Traore; Derry, Faurlin, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Bothroyd.
Follow Ian Cooper on Twitter @QPRTimes