Crystal Palace 0 QPR 0
PUBLISHED: 12:15 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 16:09 23 July 2010
By Ben Kosky HEIDAR Helguson could have been the immediate star of the show as he stepped onto the stage – but the Icelander fluffed his lines. Helguson, making his QPR debut after one of the strangest on-off loan sagas ever, screwed wide in front of an o
By Ben Kosky
HEIDAR Helguson could have been the immediate star of the show as he stepped onto the stage - but the Icelander fluffed his lines.
Helguson, making his QPR debut after one of the strangest on-off loan sagas ever, screwed wide in front of an open goal with virtually his first touch of the ball.
That ensured that Rangers' interminable goal drought away from home in the Championship would extend to more than 11 and a half hours of football - the latter one and a half including not a single shot on target.
It was surprising that a match overseen by the Rs' bête noire, Rob Styles, produced so little in the way of incident, bookings or controversy - although it's a pity Styles declined to reach for his pocket in the case of Daniel Parejo.
The Real Madrid loanee's persistent habit of taking a tumble is almost as embarrassing as his ineffective performances when he does remain upright - and it's plain for all to see that his place in the side stems from patronage, not footballing merit.
With QPR coach Paulo Sousa preferring a narrow diamond-shaped midfield, Palace enjoyed a natural width advantage but were unable to convert that into scoring opportunities.
Radek Cerny dived to save an angled effort from Craig Beattie, while Ben Watson scrambled a chance wide and Sean Scannell, breaking down the right, should have produced better than a tame cross straight at the Rs goalkeeper.
At times, Rangers were penned inside their own half, but a classy display from Kaspars Gorkss, who made some vital blocks and clearing headers, kept the home side at bay.
Patrick Agyemang represented QPR's only real attacking threat and he set up Parejo for an ambitious volley that dribbled wide before a burst of his own that prompted Julian Speroni off his line to smother the ball.
Palace went close just before half-time as Damien Delaney's header dropped to the feet of Paul Ifill, whose half-volley was pushed behind by Cerny - but the best chance of the match came just two minutes after the restart.
Mikele Leigertwood and Agyemang combined to tee up Helguson on the edge of the penalty area but, with Speroni stranded, the new man's finish was something of a disaster.
Dexter Blackstock hooked a volley onto the roof of Speroni's goal and Helguson's header hit the side netting but, although they edged possession, that was about as close as Rangers got.
At the other end, Scannell glanced a header wide and the Eagles might have won it in injury time when Cerny parried John Oster's daisy-cutter, but the keeper managed to scoop the loose ball away before Shefki Kuqi could pounce.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Stewart, GORKSS*, Delaney; Ephraim, Mahon, Leigertwood; Parejo (Helguson 45); Blackstock (Rowlands 56), Agyemang (Di Carmine 90). Subs not used: Cole, Borrowdale.