QPR still waiting for first home victory

QPR 1 Blackburn 1

QPR are still awaiting their first home win of the season after being held to a draw at Loftus Road.

Heidar Helguson’s 100th goal in English football gave Rangers the lead in the first half, chipping over a host of bodies after his initial near-post header was blocked.

But Christopher Samba equalised before half-time with a towering header from Martin Olsson’s corner.

Adel Taarabt was left on the bench and as a second-half substitute he was unable to find the home side a winner.

With two impending London derbies at home to Chelsea and away to Tottenham coming up, Rangers desperately wanted to make this their first home win since returning to the top flight.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has been under increasing pressure from Rovers supporters after four points from seven matches left them second-bottom of the league, and their poor form would have given R’s boss Neil Warnock added optimism.

Warnock confined Taarabt to the bench for the first time this season after a fortnight of speculation surrounding his future resulting from him reportedly storming out of Craven Cottage at half-time in a 6-0 drubbing by Fulham.

Helguson was given his first start of the season, and the decision was given extra justification when he gave Rangers the lead on the quarter-hour mark.

Alejandro Faurlin sent a driven corner towards the near post and Helguson was first to steal in and head towards goal, but his effort was accidentally blocked by Joey Barton. The ball fell back to the 34-year-old and his intended cross sailed over keeper Paul Robinson into the far corner.

Faurlin’s set-pieces were a menace, and Barton almost put Rangers two-up moments later after a corner was cleared onto his right boot, but his shot was deflected wide.

As much of a threat as QPR’s attacking corners were, they were unable to defend against Samba when he leapt to head past an outstretched Paddy Kenny to equalise.

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Rovers’ Junior Hoillet were both unable to put their respective teams ahead just before the break, and Taarabt was included just after the hour mark to try to breathe new life into the home side.

But he failed to incite any real danger. On the ball he was wasteful and off the pace, and when he was put through one-on-one with Robinson with 20 minutes to go, he dragged his shot well wide of the right-hand post.

Olsson almost stole the points for Blackburn in added time, when a break put him through one-on-one with Kenny. But the keeper was equal to a fierce effort and Blackburn’s second draw away from home now puts them bottom of the table.