QPR 1 vs EVERTON 1
EVERTON manager David Moyes criticised the decision of referee Jon Moss to send off Steven Pienaar after his side fought back from a goal down to earn a draw at troubled Queens Park Rangers.
The home side failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage to secure their first Premier League win of the season so the pressure on the bottom-placed team’s manager Mark Hughes consequently remains. Junior Hoilett’s early opening goal had suggested an invaluable three points was finally to arrive but an own goal from Julio Cesar gave Everton the point with which the Scottish manager was effectively content.
“It’s very, very harsh to give someone a red card for that,” said Moyes. “Incredible. We had one like that in our last match against Jelavic, it was very similar, in the box against Wigan, and we didn’t get it. I think it was the wrong decision, definitely.
“It was going to make it difficult for us to win when it went to 10 but I thought we still tried to counter attack at the right moments. It was a big game for Queens Park Rangers as you can see, and we knew what we had to deal with.”
The home team began with an intensity and purpose that has this season been missing and with it they took an encouraging second-minute lead.
Hoilett, one of the few of their myriad summer signings that represented good transfer market value and one whose best years almost certainly lie ahead, appeared to have wasted an excellent opportunity when choosing not to pass to Adel Taarabt who had joined him in a chance counter attack.
A moment arrived that appeared to provide the perfect chance to send the Moroccan through to a one-on-one with Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard but he instead remained in possession until the last opportunity to do so had gone. A collective groan from the home fans could be heard all around and the shot that duly followed promised every bit as little, but it instead took a significant and fortunate deflection off of Leighton Baines’s heel and looped beyond the consequently out of position Howard.
It gave QPR real confidence that that elusive first victory could be set to come and what followed, at times, were passages of promising football produced mainly by Taarabt and Esteban Granero that fleetingly suggested Hughes possessed players with the necessary calibre and understanding to inspire them away from the bottom of the league.
The home side continued to threaten almost consistently until Everton, perhaps feeling the absence of the in-form Marouane Fellaini, settled somewhat and equalised against the run of play. Baines delivered an inswinging cross from a free-kick with his cultured left foot and when the unmarked Sylvain Distin’s header hit the post it bounced back and onto the head of the grounded Cesar and then agonisingly in to the net.
It truly was an instant when the cliche about teams at the bottom of the table rang entirely true: QPR appeared to be bereft of all luck, and with that followed the loss of the confidence that they had shown.
Within a matter of minutes Everton’s Phil Jagielka headed a corner against the bar after equally poor defending as that shown for Cesar’s own goal left the defender entirely free, but the away side’s growing confidence and threat was to be undermined by Pienaar’s indiscipline.
The South African was already on a yellow card when warned for a challenge on Park Ji-Sung but within minutes he collided with Jose Bosingwa and the perhaps harsh second yellow that followed left the away side with 10 men.
Further chances came for both sides, with Howard superbly saving from Hoilett, but in a fractured finale they were not to be separated.