Rangers frustrated by 10-man Stoke
Queens Park Rangers 0
Stoke City 0
Queens Park Rangers were held to a goalless draw by a resolute 10-man Stoke City at Loftus Road this afternoon.
Sam Clucas was sent off for Stoke just eight minutes in for stamping on Josh Scowen, but thereafter Rangers failed to break down the Potters. The home side have now won just one of their last 10 league games.
QPR also finished the game one man short after Grant Hall was given his marching orders for a second yellow card on 87 minutes. And it was Stoke who could have snatched it late on, substitute Mame Diouf heading just wide of Joe Lumley’s goal.
Stoke have now managed just 34 goals in 34 games, QPR faring little better with 41 in 33, so it was little surprise that this one ended goalless.
The Rs would have been confident of taking all three points after the Potters were reduced to 10-men early in the game. After an innocuous challenge with Scowen, which resulted in Clucas being penalised for handball, the QPR man fell to the ground. The red mist then descended, with Clucas deciding to stamp on Scowen right in front of referee Gavin Ward.
But going down to 10-men appeared only to make Stoke more resolute, the Potters defending solidly and relying on Benik Afobe up front to hold the ball up on the occasions they managed to break free.
Charlie Adam was clearly the best player on the pitch when he got the chance to get the ball on his left foot. But in truth this was a game of little quality and few chances, between two teams who are too good to go down but, on this showing, not good enough to make any late-season surge up the table.
Most of the chances which did materialse in the first-half fell to QPR. Massimo Luongo shot just wide of the right-hand post, while Luke Freeman saw a couple of shots on the turn easily held by Jack Butland in the Stoke goal, of late subject of speculation of a possible move to Crystal Palace.
The Potters’ best chance of the first-half fell to Charlie Adam, the Scot’s rasping drive flying just wide of Joe Lumley’s goal.
QPR introduced winger Bright Osayi-Samuel at half-time, but his trickery on the left couldn’t undo the Stoke defence either. Rangers’ best chance of the second half fell to Nahki Wells, who saw his right-wing shot well stopped by Butland.
Striker Tomer Hamed then saw a tame header saved by Butland, but QPR hadn’t done enough to win this one. Stoke could have snatched it at the end, with substitute Diouf seeing his header drop inches wide.
QPR: Lumley, Bidwell, Hall (Yellow, 59, Red, 87), Freeman, Cousins, Scowen (Shodipo, 72), Hemed, Luongo, Wszolek (Yellow, 45, Osayi-Samuel, 46), Wells, Leistner
Subs: Ingram, Furlong, Eze, Manning, Osayi-Samuel, Shodipo, Lynch
Stoke: Butland, Allen (Yellow, 30), Ince, Afobe (Diouf, 85), McClean (Yellow, 45), Batth, Martins Indi, Adam (Williams, 71), Shawcross, Clucas (Red, 8), Edwards
Subs: Federici, Bauer, Williams, Diouf, Fletcher, Krkic, Woods
Refereee: Gavin Ward