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Stalemate at Loftus Road

ON THE ATTACK: Spurs' Emmanuel Adebayor fends of QPR's Stephane Mbia (right) and Shaun Derry

QUEENS PARK Rangers were held to a goalless draw by Tottenham Hotspur in a lacklustre game that failed to come to life and was bereft of chances.

In the third minute Sandro had a shot saved by his compatriot Julio Cesar in the QPR goal. In the fifth minute Jermaine Defoe also tried his luck, this time his effort was pushed onto the post by Cesar who also saved the rebound from Emmanuel Adebayor, whom Andre Villa Boas confirmed would be departing for the African Cup of Nations after this capital clash.

That was the closest that both teams came to scoring. In the 11th minute Rangers' Shaun Wright-Phillips received a pass from Adel Taraabt but his shot was deflected for a corner. Spurs countered when Gareth Bale tried his luck from distance but his shot was comfortably saved.

Stephane Mbia went on a run into the Spurs half but before he could shoot Michael Dawson intercepted with an excellent tackle. On 23 minutes Sandro had to be replaced by Scott Parker due to an injury. Right on half time Wright-Phillips cut inside the Spurs box from the left but he shot wide.

In the second half Spurs had numerous dangerous free kicks which looked the only way they would break their opponents down. One taken by Bale was saved and the other by Kyle Walker was wide of goal.

Seven minutes into the second period Adebayor found Defoe in space with a pass but his shot was saved. In the 73rd minute Fabio Da Silva fizzed a ball across the Spurs six-yard area but there was no Rangers player in the box who could connect.

In the 73rd minute a through ball was played to Wright-Phillips but the alert Hugo Lloris rushed out of his penalty area and cleared the ball. Both sides continued to huff and puff with no substance and the game petered out to a goalless draw.

This was the first game in which Spurs failed to score away from home all season. Boss Villas Boas sai:, “We wanted to win to profit from the weekend games. We feel very comfortable away from home.

"After their win against Chelsea it was important to come here and get the first goal. They defended with 11 players behind the ball and it was difficult to break them down. I think in the end we can be satisfied with a point.”

Although QPR have now managed to keep back to back clean sheets in the league for the first time this season they will feel that they wasted an opportunity to consolidate on their win at Chelsea last week.

Manager Harry Redknapp chose to see it differently though. He said: “You take a point in games like these. I am happy to take four points from Chelsea and Spurs. We tried to play 4-4-2 against Liverpool the other day and we got ripped to shreds.

"We need to strengthen the squad as we are short in certain areas. You could not get more work rate that what we got out of those boys today.”

Redknapp confirmed that they had made an enquiry about West Brom's Peter Odemwingie.

QPR’s next four games against West Ham, Manchester City, Norwich and Swansea will go a long way in defining their season.

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