For match photos, scroll to photostream above left. For match stats click on the statistics tab. Manager reaction below.
Queens Park Rangers failed to overcome Aston Villa in Harry Redknapp's first home match at the helm as the two sides shared a 1-1 draw. The new QPR manager had never lost a Barclays Premier League home debut as a manager, but that record looked under threat after just eight minutes when Brett Holman fired Villa ahead from distance. Jamie Mackie's superb header dragged QPR level after 18 minutes but an entertaining first half was overshadowed by a nasty injury sustained by Stephane Mbia. The Cameroonian went to hospital for a precautionary check-up, with fellow midfielder Samba Diakite also forced off injured in a second half in which neither side were able to find a winner.
QPR came into this afternoon's match eight points adrift of the safety and their defence was quickly exposed as Christian Benteke wriggled free in the box, only to be denied by a last-ditch Clint Hill challenge. The effort appeared to put QPR on edge and only eight minutes in they found themselves behind, with Holman striking a fierce 25-yard drive that Robert Green, making his first start since September 1, was unable to keep out in front of the 1,632 visiting fans.
Mbia headed wide and Diakite lashed over as QPR attempted to make immediate amends. QPR eked out a leveller 10 minutes after going behind, though, as Mackie met a Diakite cross with a superb looping header that beat Brad Guzan. Benteke thought he had put Villa back in front in the 20th minute but was denied by the offside flag, before play returned to the other end.
Shaun Wright-Phillips was put through one-on-one with Guzan by Esteban Granero's exquisite pass, although he failed to find a way past the American. The recalled winger came closer again in the 32nd minute, outpacing Nathan Baker down the right and firing a half volley that beat Guzan at his near post but hit the woodwork.
The match was entertaining but took a nasty turn moments later when Mbia collided accidentally with Gabriel Agbonlahor, which forced the former off on a stretcher after lengthy treatment. Shaun Derry came on in his place and helped QPR weather the storm for the remainder of the first half, with a right-footed Agbonlahor effort the closest Villa came.
Park Ji Sung replaced Granero when the team re-emerged for a second half that took 10 minutes to warm up. When it did, QPR were on top, with Wright-Phillips, Ryan Nelsen and Diakite all getting away shots in quick succession. Guzan kept out the latter pair and was again alert to deny Park when put through on the left, before Diakite limped off and was replaced by Junior Hoilett.
The tempo began to slow as frustration creeped in and, after a tame Nelsen header went wide, Hill almost hit the crossbar with an 80th-minute header from an Adel Taarabt corner. Armand Traore tested Guzan as QPR pushed for a winner, but Paul Lambert's side defended resolutely and came close to a winner themselves through substitute Karim El Ahmadi.
The draw meant that QPR equalled the Barclays Premier League's longest winless start to a season. The West London side have failed to a collect victory from any of their opening 15 matches, a start that is only matched by the Swindon side of 1993/94.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp: "We need a win, we need to get win on the board somehow. We had people out there like Clint Hill and Ryan Nelsen today. Ryan came here and probably felt he was going to be fourth-choice centre-half and he is playing every week and is captain.
"They gave everything and Shaun Derry came on for us when I lost Stephane Mbia and did a great job. They tried for their life today and I couldn't fault their effort. It was a bit like the game the other night when we drew at Sunderland.
"I was pleased with the performance and there was only one team that was going to win. I don't know really what they did after they scored. Villa started well and I thought we're in trouble here when we went one down, but we came back, got the equaliser and there was only one team creating chances after that and it was us.
"The woodwork saved them on a couple of occasions and they kept the ball in the end, passing the ball around in what were not dangerous areas. They were never a threat I didn't feel the longer the game went on."
"It's not too bad, he [Mbia] has just got a bit of a neck injury. It shouldn't be too bad. He has gone to hospital for a scan just to make sure he is OK, but they don't feel there is any problem there. Diakite has just got a little kick on the calf. Not too much wrong with him really."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "It was a really tough game for us because of obviously Harry coming in. QPR, with where they are in the league, are fighting for every point and new manager syndrome normally kicks in.
"But I've got nothing but praise for the team, they were excellent. They defended strongly when they had to and we were also a threat. The onus is always on the home team and for an hour or so we were very good. The first half especially we were excellent and I couldn't be more happy with the team and their progress.
"[Guzan] has brilliant the whole season, Brad. I am fortunate enough that football club has two fantastic goalkeepers in him and Shay Given."
|08 Dec 2012||v Wigan (A)|
|15 Dec 2012||v Fulham (H)|
|22 Dec 2012||v Newcastle (A)|
|26 Dec 2012||v West Brom (H)|
|30 Dec 2012||v Liverpool (H)|
|02 Jan 2013||v Chelsea (A)|