By Sophie Bowen
QPR were denied their second home win of the season after Baggies top scorer Shane Long rescued a point for Roy Hodgson’s men Saturday. Rangers got an unexpected goal after 20 minutes when in-form striker Heidar Helguson nodded home a goal for the R’s. But West Brom fought back to claim a point.
Albion began the brightest. James Morrison tried his luck with a low drive at goal that had Radek Cerny at full stretch, but the midfielder’s shot flashed just wide.
At the other end, Jamie Mackie saw off two challenges down the right before cutting the ball back to the edge of the area where Shaun Wright-Phillips was waiting; but his shot went just wide of the target.
QPR were on the attack once more. Alejandro Faurlin’s pass found Armand Traore on the left, whose subsequent ball into Joey Barton saw the R’s skipper fire an effort straight at keeper Ben Foster.
The R’s breakthrough finally came with 20 minutes gone. Fan favorite Mackie burst into the box and executed a teasing lob in the direction of Helguson, who made no mistake when he guided his header into the top right-hand corner.
Minutes later, Rangers thought they’d added a second. This time, Faurlin found Wright-Phillips, who danced past his marker to fire a stunning effort into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Fans celebrations were cut short after the effort was pulled back for offside, however replays proved that decision was incorrect.
The goal clearly gave the home side a lift as they were given the perfect opportunity to double their lead before the break.
Helguson’s ball into the box was deflected up into the path of an unmarked Wright-Phillips. With Foster some way of his line , he could only nod an effort wide. However minutes later the R’s missed arguably a greater chance to pull further clear of Albion.
Barton’s challenge with his marker saw the ball deflect into the path of Helguson, who put the skipper through on goal. Barton advanced toward the goal before attempting to guide the ball over an advancing Ben Foster, but his effort went agonizingly wide of the right-hand post.
After the break, Albion came out fighting and nearly got their just rewards. Gareth McAuley rose highest to meet James Morrison’s in-swinging free-kick, but his header went wide of the target.
The Baggies nearly handed Rangers their second goal on a plate as the ball bounced around the penalty area. But Wright-Phillips, Mackie and Helguson all couldn’t find the space to get a shot away.
Jay Bothroyd found Traore down the left before the full-back rounded Foster, who strayed to the edge of the box. But rather than finishing, Traore squared to Wright-Phillips but he couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity to find an open goal.
As the half wore on both teams looked up for the challenge and play switched from end to end. West Brom levelled ten minutes later on the counter attack. Morrison’s driving run saw the Baggies midfield man skip past challenges from both Akos Buzsacky and Faurlin, before he fed Peter Odemwingie.
The Albion striker looked up before firing a low ball. It deflected into the path Shane Long, who couldn’t miss from three yards to earn his side a point.
After the game, Rangers Manager Neil Warnock could not help but feel his side were undone by a poor refereeing decision once again. He said, “The linesman was in a great position and I can’t understand why he didn’t see it.
“We’ve missed out again because of a major decision. It was a superb volley and if it had been 2-0 I don’t think there would have been a way back for West Brom. You rely on the right decisions being made, and it makes it even more frustrating to then concede a goal – especially after creating so many chances.”
However Warnock knows the game and will pick his team up for their trip to Anfeild next week.
“It’s so disappointing it feels like we lost the game, but that’s the Premier League. I can’t fault the players really. I’ve got no complaints other than the fact we missed some chances and conceded that goal. What I said to Ale Faulin afterwards stays between me and him. But you can’t blame him – I thought him and Joey Barton were absolutely outstanding.”
Written by Sophie Bowen/qpr4me
Image courtesy of eurosports.com