QPR 0-0 Burnley: Rs struggle to break down resilient Clarets in Hasselbaink’s opener
PUBLISHED: 16:55 12 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:39 12 December 2015
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink knew coming into this job was a risk, and after seeing the Rs struggle to break down a well organised Burnley side on Saturday, it will only have highlighted that point further.
Rangers huffed and puffed but to no avail as they recorded a creditable point over Sean Dyche’s promotion chasing hopefuls.
Hasselbaink made one change to the side which got the better of Reading last Thursday, with Karl Henry recalled to the starting XI at the expense of Michael Petrasso.
The hosts started brightly with Matt Phillips’s rasping effort going just over Tom Heaton’s goal on five minutes, before James Perch’s goal-bound strike was blocked by Michael Keane just minutes later.
Rangers continued to dominate with Leroy Fer’s header from Alejandro Faurlin’s corner forcing Heaton into action again.
Junior Hoilett then went agonisingly close into making the breakthrough as the ball broke to him in the area, with his right-footed effort hitting the side netting as Hasselbaink’s men continued to impress.
After a rare Burnley attack, Dyche’s side had Heaton to thank again after neat link up play between Fer and Phillips, saw the latter firing a powerful left footed area towards the far corner, only for the former QPR loanee to tip it over the bar. That proved to be the final attack of the first half, as both teams headed into the break goalless.
It was Burnley who started the second half the period with Andre Gray calling Green into action on 55 minutes, with the Rs No 1 thwarting the former Brentford striker as he bore down on goal, clutching the ball gratefully into his arms.
The 60-minute mark saw the introduction of former Clarets striker Charlie Austin at the expense of Hoilett, with a huge roar erupting from the faithful as the 26-year-old entered the fray.
Austin made an immmediate impact, teeing up Karl Henry inside the penalty area on 67 minutes, but his tame effort was delfected into the path of Heaton.
After a strong display in midfield Henry was replaced by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas with 16 minutes remaining as the Rs searched for a winner.
Up the other end Sam Vokes had a great opportunity to give Burnley the lead with 13 minutes remaining, glancing a header just over Green’s far corner.
Emmanuel-Thomas looked lively after teasing cross into the box
Deep into stoppage time the Rs carved out one final opportunity with Austin’s long-range effort deflected out for a corner, and Grant Hall’s header looked certain to be heading goalwards, only for the ball to be cleared off the line, with both sides forced to settle for a share of the spoils.