Blades blunted by Rangers
QPR battled from a goal down to claim a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United as Neil Warnock hurt his former club.
Last Updated: 13/03/10 6:15pm
QPR battled from a goal down to claim a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United as Neil Warnock came back to hurt his former club.
Veteran striker Richard Cresswell opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, although they failed to hold on.
Within four minutes of the restart the talented Adel Taarabt equalised what proved to be the end of the scoring at Bramall Lane.
The Blades are now just three points behind sixth-placed Cardiff while The Rs are well clear of third-from-bottom Scunthorpe.
Blades goalkeeper Mark Bunn did well to smother at the feet of Taarabt in the ninth minute when the visitors carved out the game's opening chance.
Henri Camara then fired a return pass first time just over the crossbar at the other end after combining well with Mark Yeates down the left.
Rangers were denied by the woodwork in the 19th minute as Hogan Ephraim's angled left-footed shot from 12 yards beat Bunn and came back off the upright.
But otherwise the first half was a disjointed affair, outstanding only for the number of misplaced passes by both sides, particularly the Blades, who were clearly low on confidence.
Bunn came to their rescue again in the 42nd minute when diving low to deny another skidding shot from Ephraim, who had raced clear on to Jay Simpson's incisive pass.
But then a rare thing happened. United winger Yeates got by his marker down the left a minute before the break, swung over a super cross and Cresswell steered a fine header into the top corner with visiting goalkeeper Carl Ikeme only able to help the ball into the net.
Rangers midfielder Taarabt then cashed in on some shoddy defending by Marcel Seip to haul the visitors level.
The Blades central defender lost the ball under his feet and Taarabt pinched the ball off him and ran 20 yards unopposed before sliding the ball under Bunn from just inside the penalty area.
Bunn then tipped over the Moroccan's free-kick soon after as QPR took the game to their hosts.
Darius Henderson, back from suspension, replaced United midfielder James Harper in the 68th minute and spurned a glorious chance to snatch victory for the home side two minutes from full-time.
Cresswell raced clear down the left and curled a fine ball across the face of goal, but Henderson, back from a three-game ban, appeared to freeze as the ball bounced in front of him at the far post.