Hoolahan blows chance at QPR
QPR maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a tense scoreless draw against Norwich.
By Adrian Del Monte
Last Updated: 16/10/10 5:28pm
QPR maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a tense scoreless draw against third-placed Norwich.
It was the first time that City failed to score on the road under Paul Lambert, however they should have taken the lead midway through the first half when they were awarded a penalty.
Wes Hoolahan missed the opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders, as his weak effort missed the target.
Rangers had yet to concede a league goal at home this season and, unfortunately for the neutral, it was their record which held out.
"I can't see it being a goalless draw," Rangers boss Neil Warnock had said beforehand.
Kaspars Gorkss was denied by a goal-line clearance from Andrew Crofts near the end to ensure it was just that as the hosts saw their lead at the top cut to four points.
Norwich and QPR came third and fifth respectively in the inaugural Premier League season in 1993, but both have plumbed the depths of League One since.
However, it was just like old times in west London with both teams pushing for promotion back to the top flight and Loftus Road a sell-out for the first time in five years.
City, kicking off in third, had the best chance of a frantic opening when Grant Holt's toe-poke was kept out by the arm of Paddy Kenny.
But Rangers, prompted as usual by Moroccan trickster Adel Taarabt, began to look menacing with Heidar Helguson heading over, Gorkss shooting narrowly wide and John Ruddy saving from Taarabt.
City were handed their golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 28th minute after Clint Hill and Holt fell in a heap in the penalty area and referee Andy Penn pointed to the spot.
But Kenny's goal continued to lead a charmed life as Hoolahan dragged his weak effort horribly wide.
Holt was proving a nuisance in both areas, blocking a goalbound Helguson effort at one end before the break and forcing Kenny to beat away his angled drive after the restart.
Loftus Road held its breath on the hour mark when Helguson's header fell invitingly for Taarabt on the edge of the area, but the former Tottenham midfielder's aim was wayward this time.
Moments later Taarabt tried his luck from 30 yards and almost found the net via a deflection off new Scotland cap Jamie Mackie who diverted the ball just over.
And with 10 minutes remaining Gorkss' header was looping into the Canaries' net until Crofts flung out a boot as the leaders were forced to settle for a point.