Much ado about nothing- nothing as QPR and Stoke City slug out forgettable draw
QPR 0 Stoke City 0
Rangers had slightly better of a drab encounter, but had to settle for a point.
In a game that only fitfully spluttered into life, neither side could fashion many chances and a litany of misplaced passes sapped the rhythm and life from this early Tuesday evening contest.
In many ways, it was a repeat of Saturday’s dynamics, when the Hoops were locked in an even embrace until a late goal settled the outcome for the Royals. This time, at least, there was no nasty late sting in the tail.
The spectacle was not quite what the 2,000 fans lucky enough to be here were hoping for, though. They were grateful to get the chance to see their heroes in action a few hours before another government-imposed spectator lockdown, even with the imposition of a bizarre 5.30pm kick-off time.
But for all their enthusiasm, they could not inspire what would have been only a second win in nine Championship games.
Ilias Chair looked full of intent at least. In the first half, he rolled around Stoke skipper James Chester on the right flank and then outpaced the defender before angling a near-perfect ball into the centre for Lyndon Dykes, who was foiled by the merest of touches from defender Nathan Collins.
Yoann Barbet nodded a Chair free-kick just over and there were a couple of speculative efforts from distance from the playmaker which offered a modicum of interest. But it was a case of slim pickings.
There was a big scare for Rangers at the start of the second half when a ball floated over from the left found Josh Tymon, whose low shot clipped off Seny Dieng and the thigh of Todd Kane before bouncing back off the woodwork.
But it was mainly the home side after that, even if we reached the 70th minute before the R’s had a shot on target, when Bright Osayi-Samuel's effort from 12 yards was comfortably stopped by Josef Bursik in the Potters’ goal.
It seemed to wake up QPR’s star player and the winger curled in a cross that was only just out of reach for Dykes at the far post and there was another crack at goal from Chair – this time thwarted by a team-mate as it struck sub Macauley Bonne, who was standing offside.
Rangers finished the contest on the front-foot, but again without looking like scoring, and will need to put that right as they head into the Christmas and New Year programme, which includes visits to Wycombe, Norwich and Luton and a Boxing Day home clash with Swansea.
Stoke were left happier. Under former Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, they are nudging the play-off positions while looking forward to a League Cup quarter-final tie against Spurs next Wednesday.
QPR: Dieng – Kane, Dickie, Barbet, Hamalainen – Cameron, Carroll (Ball 57) – Adomah (Willock 57), Chair, Osayi-Samuel – Dykes (Bonne 77). Subs not used: Kelly, Thomas, Masterson, Bettache, Kelman, De Silva.