Taarabt brace earns R's a point

Championship leaders QPR twice came from behind to earn a vital point in a thrilling 2-2 draw with promotion rivals Cardiff on Saturday.

Last Updated: 23/04/11 at 17:46 Post Comment

Taarabt: Celebrates double for leaders

Taarabt: Celebrates double for leaders

More of the games that matter

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

Neil Warnock's side went into the encounter knowing victory would seal their return to the Premier League after a 15-year absence, although they can now do so with victory over Hull at Loftus Road on Easter Monday.

For Cardiff, a draw was not really good enough for their automatic promotion ambitions and they now sit one point behind second-placed Norwich with just three matches remaining.

A blistering start, with two goals inside the opening 10 minutes, set the pattern for a pulsating afternoon.

At the heart of it was enigmatic QPR skipper Adel Taarabt, who showed why he is the Championship's player of the year with two great finishes, the second of which came in the 71st minute to cancel equally impressive first-half efforts from City's star duo Jay Bothroyd and Craig Bellamy.

R's striker Heidar Helguson had promotion within his grasp in the 89th minute, but he could only find the side-netting with the goal at his mercy.

Both sides were unchanged from their last outing and it was Bellamy who set up the first clear opening for Peter Whittingham after just three minutes, but the 10-goal midfielder failed to connect properly with his shot and Paddy Kenny saved well.

But it mattered little as Bothroyd soon broke the deadlock in stunning fashion.

The former Arsenal trainee picked up the ball on the right touchline and skipped inside a challenge before curling a delightful left-footed effort from 18 yards into the top corner off the crossbar.

But anything Bothroyd could do, Taarabt could match.

The Moroccan saw a corner returned to him on the left but an acute angle mattered little as he planted a stunning curling shot beyond the reach of Stephen Bywater and into the far corner.

Despite the pace of the opening stages slowing slightly, half chances continued to flow at either end.

And the majority of the 26,058 inside the Cardiff City Stadium were brought to their feet again in the 35th minute.

Bothroyd was allowed time to send over an inswinging cross from the right which Matthew Connolly failed to deal with, even using his hand in the process, and the ball squirmed through to Bellamy to swivel and smash past Kenny into the top corner.

Bywater preserved City's lead going into the break, producing a great diving save after Shaun Derry's shot took two deflections.

Whittingham wasted his second good chance of the afternoon shortly after the restart.

Unsurprisingly, the pace of the second half failed to match that of the first and that was reflected in the lack of clear-cut opportunities created.

But Taarabt made sure he did not waste the one which did come his way in the 71st minute, shrugging off the attentions of Kevin McNaughton to bring down Wayne Routledge's chipped forward pass and beat Bywater from just inside the area.

Bellamy was denied by Kenny but it was Helguson who passed up the best chance of victory, somehow shooting wide from close range late on.

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.

More Match Results

Saturday, 31 January 2015
12:30
Huddsf'ld 1-2 Leeds Report
12:15
Brentford 0-1 M'boro Report
Friday, 30 January 2015
19:45
B'mouth 2-0 Watford Report
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Derby 2-0 Blackburn Report
Millwall 0-0 Reading Report
Rotherham 4-2 Bolton Report
Sheff Wed 0-0 Birm'ham Report
Saturday, 24 January 2015
15:00
Norwich 1-2 Brentford Report
Watford 7-2 Blackpool Report
Wigan 0-1 Huddsf'ld Report

Footer 365

Premier League: Scott Sinclair excited for chance to impress at Aston Villa

Scott Sinclair hopes his loan move to Aston Villa will help kick-start his flagging Premier League career.

Andy Carroll accuses Brendan Rodgers of lying

Andy Carroll has accused Brendan Rodgers of lying to him when he was trying to force him out of Anfield.

Frank Lampard tells Soccer AM that Jose Mourinho would 'love' him back at Chelsea

Frank Lampard has revealed Jose Mourinho would "love" him to return to Chelsea once his playing career is over.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company