Oct 21 2012 By Paul Warburton
QPR 1-1 Everton
THE wait for a first QPR win goes on.
One more without three points – and the next match is Arsenal away – and Rs will have broken a 20-year record for starts to the season without a victory.
They were well worth all three in this one, but even when it was 10 versus 11 after Steven Pienaar was dismissed for a second yellow, neither luck nor guile could see them snatch a winner.
Rangers deserved their slice of luck that saw them take a two-minute lead.
Junior Hoilett (pic) made it all his own work after he robbed a dawdling Phil Neville on the edge of the QPR area, and ran the length of the pitch before firing right-footed to catch the heel of Leighton Baines and watch the ball loop over a despairing Tim Howard.
Hoilett was almost in for number two when the Everton keeper slipped on the slick surface just before a regulation kick-out. The ball was cleared, but panic ensued before Bobby Zamora was a toe-poke from converting a low cross.
Seamus Coleman’s free-kick on 17 minutes needed Julio Cesar to make a smart fist out down to his left to parry away.
But closer still, was Ryan Nelsen whose header from a free-kick at the other end was not that wide.
In truth, it needed Cesar’s hapless back to send the ball back over the goalline for the leveller after it came off the post from Distin’s header. But the defending that allowed the Everton defender rise unchallenged was little short of criminal.
A rattled Rangers were nearly behind a minute later when Phil Jagielka was also granted freedom to batter the bar with a header from Baines’ corner.
The same player had his head in the right place again on 53 minutes as Park Si-Jung thought he had put Rs ahead only to crash his effort off Jaglielka’s face and out of danger.
On the hour, Pienaar rashly tapped Jose Bosingwa’s heels from behind, and having already been booked after he took both Hoilett’s legs from under him – the Everton winger had to go.
But even then, the Toffees were a brilliant save from taking the lead.
Whoever persuaded Cesar to throw in his lot with Rangers deserves a bonus. The Brazilian stopped a point-blank header that came to Jagielka from Distin’s head back across goal. The culprit for the slack marking on Distin was Zamora – as it had been for Everton’s goal.
Unsurprisingly, the out of touch striker quickly made way for Djibril Cissé.
Hoilett’s quick feet saw him sidestep two before Howard got down to his right to parry the ball to his right, that Park off balance could only fire the rebound into the stand.
The dazzling winger then made the Everton keeper go the other way to bring a top drawer save from a curling 20-yard fizzer.
David Moyes' 200th Premier League away match saw the Everton boss claim a point – but the agonising wait for two more and a Rangers win could be two weeks away at least.
Team: Julio Cesar, Traore (Onuoha 72), Nelsen, Bosingwa, Diakite, Park Ji-sung, Taarabt, Granero, M'bia, Hoilett , Zamora (Cissé 71)
Subs not used: Green, Ferdinand, Wright-Phillips, Faurlin, Mackie