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Premier League

  • 3 December 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 17290

QPR 1-1 West Brom: Late Long strike earns Baggies a share of the spoils after first-half Helguson opener

QPR 1-1 West Brom: Late Long strike earns Baggies a share of the spoils after first-half Helguson opener

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The R's striker's opening header looked to have won the game but Odemwingie dubiously beat the offside trap to provide the Irishman with the late equaliser

West Brom secured a 1-1 draw against QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday, thanks to Shane Long's second-half equaliser.

Neil Warnock's side enjoyed the majority of possession and had the opportunity to pull out of sight of the visitors midway through the second half, but the hosts were unable to build on Heidar Helguson's opening header and were duly punished for squandering their chances.

But while the QPR boss will be buoyed by his side's ability to create, he will feel aggrieved after the decision to rule Shaun Wright-Phillips's stunning volley for offside proved to be the wrong call with the benefit of a replay.

Further woes for Warnock were to come as another crucial call benefitted the visitors. Peter Odemwingie could have easily been flagged offside as he raced onto James Morrison's through ball before providing the assist for Long to equalise.

QPR’s inconsistent form has largely been down to their poor defensive record but West Brom were greeted with a side intent on attacking, and with Shaun Derry, the rugged defensive anchor, sacrificed, the onus was on Joey Barton and Alejandro Faurlin to orchestrate midfield in both departments.

The duo largely succeeded in the opening half, and combined they quashed the threat of Morrison who was the furthest forward in midfield for the visitors, whilst providing plenty of opportunities for the lively Wright-Phillips and Helguson to get forward.

The opening chance went to the hosts, as Jamie Mackie twisted and turned Nicky Shorey before cutting the ball back to Wright-Phillips, whose first-time shot flew wide of Ben Foster’s goal.

                Hoops held | Wright-Phillips could not help QPR to victory at Loftus Road

West Brom’s line-up forced Long into isolation and with both Danny Gabbidon and Anton Ferdinand intent on eradicating early-season defensive blunders, the striker struggled to fashion chances for himself. Similarly, the presence of Barton and Faurlin in midfield prevented frequent advances from Morrison and Youssuf Mulumbu.

For all their forward-thinking, QPR’s attacking philosophy was rewarded in the 19th minute as Helguson netted his sixth of the season.

Shorey, the latest culprit of West Brom’s nonchalant approach to defending in recent weeks, squandered possession at the edge of his own area and while Mackie was unable to dribble past the left-back, Barton took control and his cross to the back post was met by the in-form Icelandic striker who headed firmly into the top corner.

Any retaliation from West Brom was not forthcoming as QPR pressed for the second. Wright-Phillips saw his arrowed shot past Foster into the top corner wrongly ruled out for offside, while Helguson had the opportunity to put the winger in with a one-on-one chance in the final minute of the first-half, but his ball was cut out vitally by Jonas Olsson.

QPR’s attacking verve carried into the early stages of the second half and with West Brom still unable to maintain strict organisation in defence, Barton was allowed a one-on-one with Foster but the midfielder spurned the opportunity, hitting the ball high and wide of the post.

The hosts had another chance to double their lead as a scramble in the box saw Helguson square his pass back to Wright-Phillips but the ball was at an awkward height and the winger failed to get his effort on target.

West Brom looked out of ideas until Odemwingie's introduction midway through the second-half. The Nigerian's impact was crucial, however, as he dubiously sprung the offside trap to race clear on the left before providing a deflected ball across the box for Long to equalise.

QPR failed to recover and despite securing the majority of possession and creating enough clear-cut chances to be able to come away with a victory, Warnock's charges only have a point to show for their efforts and still only one win at Loftus Road this season.

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