QPR vs. Reading: Final score 1-1, Djibril Cisse salvages point for hosts

Scott Heavey

Well this was mostly unexciting. Queens Park Rangers and Reading battled it out to a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road that didn't really see much in the way of excitement until the final ten minutes of a match that wasn't really what either side wanted. Mark Hughes will be relieved that Djibril Cisse salvaged a point in the second half, but on a draw that both teams needed three, it's difficult to envision either Hughes or Brian McDermott being particularly pleased by the outcome.

Only two events of any note occurred in a first half that was about as dull as promised by an encounter between these two sides. Sixteen minutes, in, the visitors grabbed the lead via a volley from the plurally-named Kaspars Gorkss, who turned in a rebound from a corner with a very well-shaped shot that went straight through Julio Cesar's arms. At the other end of the pitch, Esteban Granero came within an inch of an equalizer when his free kick was brilliantly tipped onto the bar by Royals goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Fortunately, Rangers decided to make things at least mildly interesting in the second half as the hosts desperately scrambled to get on the scoresheet, eventually drawing level through Cisse, who managed to turn a Jose Bosingwa cross into a clear-cut chance after a deft piece of control with his thigh, making no mistake in finishing past a helpless McCarthy.

QPR had a chance to win the match outright when Cisse set up Adel Taarabt on the break, but the Moroccan shot straight at the goalkeeper and saw his low effort deflected just wide of the post. There were opportunities for both sides to turn one point into three during injury time, but Bobby Zamora couldn't squeeze Cisse's cross past McCarthy, and Adam le Fondre's fall in the hosts' box was met with a yellow card for simulation rather than the hoped-for penalty, the match ending in a draw despite the frenetic conclusion.

And a draw isn't really good enough for either side -- they both remain in the relegation zone, and Reading in 17th are four full points clear of safety. QPR are no longer in last place, at least.

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