Jan 29 2013 By Yann Tear
QPR 0-0 Manchester City
JULIO CESAR'S reflexes helped Rangers to another precious point as they again managed to frustrate one of the Premier League big guns.
The year has begun superbly for Harry Redknapp's men and they again confounded expectations to add Man City to the list of teams they were meant to lose to – Chelsea and Spurs having also dropped unexpected points.
But there was logic to the outcome, with Rangers massing in defence and putting bodies on the line in a manner that will have pleased the boss and raised spirits further. They have become hard to beat.
There were a few hearts-in-mouth moments, inevitably. None more so than in the final minutes when Nedum Onuoha appeared to bring down Scott Sinclair in the box.
But if that was lucky, the save from Cesar (pictured) to keep out Silva's effort from six yards out was inspired and telling, as was Ryan Nelsen's block to thwart the same player. He will be missed when he heads to Toronto next week.
Although Rangers had not got the better of Man City in three meetings since reaching the Premier League, they had managed to discomfort them in each of those games and once more found a way of making life difficult for Roberto Mancini's men.
And so did the fans. One fan in the Ellerslie Road Stand hurtled a ball at Gareth Barry from a couple of yards and the clearly rattled City player engaged in a slanging match with the spectator.
Home fans also raised the decibels in outrage when Esteban Granero picked up a yellow card for a foul on Silva and there were howls of derision directed at ref Phil Dowd when Loic Remy tumbled over Joleon Lescott on the edge of the area, and nothing was given.
It all added to the away side's stress levels.
Rangers spent the first half mostly entrenched in their own half – waiting patiently to spring Remy on the break, as the champions weaved their Argentinian-inspired patterns.
And although City went very closest to breaking the deadlock, there was still encouragement to be had in the game plan.
Remy, making his home debut, spun onto a quickly-taken free-kick from Granero and clipped the heels of Javi Garcia with a first time shot that might otherwise have found the target.
Adel Taarabt went even closer just before the break when he scampered from half way following a City corner, and rounded a back-peddling Gael Clichy to give himself an opening. Only Joe Hart's outstretched arm denied the Moroccan a goal.
But with Silva probing diligently for the space that would offer Carlos Tevez or Sergio Aguero chances, Rangers were bound to be exposed.
Pablo Zabaleta crashed a header against the bar after Aguero and Silva had combined down the left and Garcia chanced his arm from 40 yards with a wind-assisted swerver that had Cesar scampering frantically to his right.
The keeper also had to be alert to keep out a Barry pile-driver – another chance created by a square ball from the string-pulling Silva.
But alert he remained until the end, as did his team-mates.
Line up: Cesar; Onuoha, Nelsen, Hill, Traore; Fabio, Mbia, Derry, Granero (Park 89), Mbia (Faurin 90), Taarabt; Remy (Zamora 90). Subs not used: Green, Murphy, Ben Haim, Faurlin, Bothroyd.