Alexander makes Hoops pay penalty

Graham Alexander was back on the spot as Burnley knocked QPR off their perch at the top of the Championship with a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.

Last Updated: 30/10/10 at 17:57 Post Comment

Alexander: Spot on for Burnley

Alexander: Spot on for Burnley

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Clarets captain Alexander, who uncharacteristically missed his last penalty back in September, stepped up in first-half stoppage time to hit the first league goal Rangers have conceded at Loftus Road this season.

The spot-kick, awarded after Matt Connolly felled Dean Marney, cancelled out a stunning strike from Adel Taarabt and meant Cardiff leapfrogged Neil Warnock's side at the summit.

It may be harsh to suggest Rangers' form is stuttering after they extended their club-record unbeaten start to the season to 14 games.

But four successive draws suggest the division will not be the cakewalk it appeared a month ago when the Hoops were steamrollering everyone in sight.

Paddy Kenny had not picked the ball out of the home net for more than nine-and-a-half hours, but he had to make a double save early in the first half to extend his record by a few minutes.

Kenny probably should have held Chris Eagles' 20-yard drive but when he spilled the ball at the feet of Jay Rodriguez, the big keeper recovered superbly to palm his effort clear.

Burnley felt they should have had a penalty on the half-hour when Eagles tumbled under Clint Hill's challenge but referee Iain Williamson booked the Clarets winger, despite having earlier ignored a risible dive by Taarabt.

But if that was the worst side of Taarabt's game, the mercurial Moroccan soon showed the best by lashing an unstoppable 25-yard curler past Lee Grant and into the top corner in the 33rd minute.

Rangers could have been two up three minutes later but Rob Hulse and Alejandro Faurlin merely got in each other's way as they went for Taarabt's cross.

Instead, they allowed Burnley to draw level on the stroke of half-time when Kenny's goal was finally breached.

Connolly clumsily bundled Marney over in the area, Williamson this time pointed to the spot and Alexander duly obliged.

Rangers came closest to a winner in stoppage time when Tommy Smith curled inches wide and Shaun Derry crashed a shot over.

Burnley had their chances too, with Chris Iwelumo lashing his shot high over the bar and Rodriguez's toe-poke bouncing narrowly wide of Kenny's goal.

But even Rangers co-owner Bernie Ecclestone, on a rare Grand Prix-free weekend, had seen enough before the end as both sides settled for a point.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Premier League: Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky give 10-man Arsenal 2-1 win over QPR

Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over QPR despite Olivier Giroud's second-half sending off.

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League back to three points.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property