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Played
January 29, 2013 2:45 PM EST
Loftus Road Stadium — London
Referee:‬ P. Dowd‎
Attendance:‬ 17894‎
 
Top of the Match
Ryan Nelsen
Ryan Nelsen
QPR
Julio César
Julio César
QPR
Flop of the Match
Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri
Manchester City
Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri
Manchester City

QPR 0-0 Manchester City: Champions slip up in title pursuit

A disallowed Sergio Aguero goal and Pablo Zabaleta's header off the crossbar were as close as the visitors came to claiming a much-needed three points at Loftus Road on Tuesday

By Jay Jaffa

A stubborn defensive performance from QPR held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw in tricky conditions at Loftus Road on Tuesday night.

Pablo Zabaleta's diving header and a disallowed Sergio Aguero goal were as close as Roberto Mancini's side came to breaking the deadlock leaving the Premier League champions to rue a missed opportunity to keep pace with Manchester United.

Playing in the face of a swirling gale, much of QPR's first 45 minutes was spent in its own half as the club soaked up continuous pressure from its illustrious visitors. Though Julio Cesar at times called his own international credentials into question with a pair of ill-judged punches – one of which should have been punished by Joleon Lescott, who volleyed over – the hosts were resolute and tough to break down. This was emblematic of a side that kept Chelsea and Tottenham scoreless in recent clashes.

A thunderous Javi Garcia half-volley from almost 40 yards had Cesar flying to his right, while the Rs had the woodwork to thank on 20 minutes as David Silva's enterprising run and cross picked out Zabaleta, who was left to curse the crossbar for preventing his diving header rippling the net.

Though content to sit back, QPR did pockmark the half with a couple of chances as firstly the brilliant Adel Taarabt found Loic Remy with a quick free kick, but the Frenchman watched his shot deflect past Joe Hart's far post. On 39 minutes, Taarabt was again the instigator, as he broke from a City corner and drove from the halfway line and into Hart's box, beating Gael Clichy with a trademark stepover. The Moroccan's left-foot effort was brilliantly deflected to safety by Hart's elbow though.

Roberto Mancini's side threatened to break the deadlock and looked to have done so as Aguero finished low beyond Cesar, only to be denied by the linesman's flag. Then, on the stroke of halftime Gareth Barry's first-time strike from the edge of the box was tipped expertly behind by a wonderful one-handed save from Cesar to bring an intriguing half to a close.

City continued to dominate play in the early stages of the second half, helped by the introduction of Edin Dzeko for Samir Nasri, but was kept at bay by the QPR backline. At the other end, Taarabt continued to mesmerise as he dribbled from the left flank, inside Javi Garcia and watched agonisingly as his curled effort flew wide of the far post.

The match was finely poised heading into the final half hour but the Premier League champions were again kept at bay by Cesar, who clung on to a powerful Silva volley, before Aguero volleyed high into the away supporters following Zabaleta's deft header across the box.

Remy's pace on the break kept the City defense honest and remained QPR's sole outlet and for a moment it looked to have handed the hosts a penalty, as Remy tumbled over Lescott's outstretched leg. Phil Dowd though, correctly chose to wave play on as replays showed there was minimal, if any, contact.

A late surge from the visitors tested Cesar's reflexes once more but the Brazilian was up to the task, pouncing on Silva's close-range finish to maintain his clean sheet, before Dowd's eyesight was again tested as substitute Scott Sinclair tumbled under Nedum Onuoha's challenge.

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QPR

30
Julio César
Goalkeeper
3.50
3
Armand Traoré
Defender
2.50
6
Clint Hill
Defender
3.00
15
Nedum Onuoha
Defender
2.50
-
Ryan Nelsen
Defender
4.00
35
Fabio Da Silva
Defender
2.50
4
Shaun Derry
Midfielder
2.50
7
Adel Taarabt
Midfielder
3.00
25
Esteban Granero
Midfielder
58′ 89′
2.00
17
Stéphane M'Bia
Midfielder
40′ 92′
2.50
14
Loïc Remy
Striker
92′
2.50

Manchester City

3.00
1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
3.50
5
3.00
6
2.50
22
Gael Clichy
Defender
2.50
7
James Milner
Midfielder
86′
2.00
8
Samir Nasri
Midfielder
59′
3.00
14
Javi García
Midfielder
3.00
18
Gareth Barry
Midfielder
64′
3.50
21
David Silva
Midfielder
3.00
16
2.50
10

Substitutes

1
Robert Green
Goalkeeper
 - 
26
Brian Murphy
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
13
Ji-Sung Park
Midfielder
89′
 - 
32
 - 
25
B. Zamora
Striker
92′
 - 
9
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
30
 - 
13
 - 
33
 - 
44
Karim Rekik
Defender
2.50
17
Jack Rodwell
Midfielder
74′
3.00
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
59′
 - 
21
Scott Sinclair
Midfielder
86′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2