QPR 1 Everton 1
QPR failed to ease their relegation fears as they were again unable to win at home.
They have now won only one of their last 15 games but at least finished with 11 players this time, having had a man sent off in three of their previous four matches.
They looked destined for a fifth loss in seven matches under boss Mark Hughes when Royston Drenthe smashed a low shot past keeper Paddy Kenny and into the bottom corner after Adel Taarabt lost the ball in midfield.
But the Moroccan was QPR’s best player in the first half and redeemed himself by winning the free-kick that gave Bobby Zamora a vital equaliser five minutes later.
Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes met supporters in the local pubs before this game and after two more dropped points from a must-win game at home he may be crying in his beer before long.
Everton took the lead when Taarabt lost possession under pressure from Marouane Fellaini and the ball was squared by Steven Pienaar to Drenthe, whose fierce shot beat Kenny inside the post.
Hughes and Hoops supporters will be comforted by the spirit shown by his players after the goal, and some audacious skill from Taarabt confused Drenthe for the foul that set up QPR’s equaliser.
Akos Buzsaky swung in the free-kick and Zamora stole in at the near post to head home off Tim Howard’s body.
Even the local squirrels are trying to do their bit to help Rangers. One ran on to the pitch to partner Zamora up front before QPR twice hit the post on the stroke of half-time.
Taarabt’s curled effort rebounded off the far upright and fell to Zamora, who teed up unmarked Buzsaky and he fired limply against the other post from three yards out.
Everton substitute Nikica Jelavic had the ball in the net after the hour mark only for it to be ruled out for offside and Taarabt could have had the winner moments later when he beat Jonny Heitinga and fired wide of the far post.