Premier League - Newcastle hold QPR on Barton debut

Mon, 12 Sep 22:03:00 2011

Joey Barton captained a new-look QPR side that were held to a goalless draw by his former club Newcastle at Loftus Road in the Premier League.

QPR v Newcastle

Neil Warnock handed debuts to five of his new signings with Armand Traore, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand and Barton starting the game - and handed the armband to the controversial midfielder who had been at loggerheads with the Magpies during the transfer window.

Newcastle did not play for a draw, deploying Leon Best and Shola Ameobi up front with Jonas Gutierrez and Gabriel Obertan on the wings.

The home team were the first to create a real goalscoring opportunity just nine minutes into the game as two of the new boys linked up well.

Traore burst on to an Alejandro Faurlin ball down the left and whipped in a cross which found the on-rushing Wright-Phillips at the back post. He flew through the air to meet it with his head - but his effort was well over.

Paddy Kenny was called into action for the first time just three minutes later as Best used trickery on the edge of the area to create space and hit a strike that was destined for the bottom left corner; the Ireland international was down quickly to turn it round the post.

The action-packed opening to the match continued when Jay Bothroyd had the first of a number of chances to break the deadlock.

Adel Taarabt found Wright-Phillips on the right - something of a trademark in the match - and the England winger whipped in a cross which found Bothroyd on the edge of the six-yard box. He was off balance when he hit his volley and it flew over the crossbar.

The same triumvirate linked up again on 21 minutes but again failed to produce a goal, as Wright-Phillips's low cross narrowly missed the lunge of Bothroyd six yards out.

It was desperate defending at times by Newcastle in the first half as Steven Taylor was forced into a diving block inside the box to divert a Faurlin shot wide then from the resulting corner Bothroyd's header was cleared off the goal line by Danny Simpson.

Inches again prevented QPR from taking the lead on 40 minutes as Wright-Phillips got on to the end of a Taarabt through ball and chipped the on-rushing Tim Krul to perfection - but Taylor was there again to make a headed clearance on the goal line.

The half-time whistle may have disrupted the home side's rhythm somewhat as although they still had the better of the play in the second half, they did not create as many chances.

In fact the visitors had the first real chance of the second period as an Obertan cross was missed at the near post by Best then dropped just behind Gutierrez at the far post.

QPR reasserted their dominance and it was the unlikely source of Shaun Derry that next came close to an opener, his header from a Barton corner into the ground bouncing narrowly wide.

Wright-Phillips got in behind the defence yet again with 20 minutes to go, but as he bore down on Krul his angle was narrowed and he was forced to flick over the keeper with the outside of his right boot; the Dutchman got a hand to the ball and it fell into the path of Bothroyd who, under pressure from Taylor, could only send it wide.

Derry had another headed chance and Wright-Phillips continued to probe but the best of the opportunities had been and gone as the game entered its latter stages.

Neil Warnock will undoubtedly be thrilled with the performance of his new-look team, but will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points - while Alan Pardew sees his side move into fourth place in the table.

Phil Haigh / Eurosport

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