Queens Park Rangers remain without a Premier League victory after two James McCarthy goals earned Wigan Athletic a 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium.
Wigan took the lead when McCarthy fired low past Rob Green, but QPR hit back with captain Ryan Nelsen heading a corner beyond Ali Al Habsi.
Substitute Djibril Cisse looked like he may have earned QPR the victory with a neat finish but McCarthy equalised almost immediately.
The Latics were without several key defenders for this game, with Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa suspended, and Antolin Alcaraz and Ivan Ramis injured. James McArthur and Adrian Lopez came in to replace Caldwell and Figueroa in two changes from the side that lost to Newcastle United on Monday.
Harry Redknapp made one change from the QPR side which drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa, with Shaun Derry coming into midfield in place of Esteban Granero.
The west Londoners entered this fixture bidding to avoid the unwanted tag of being the only team in Premier League history not to win any of their opening 16 games.
QPR started the stronger and Ali Al Habsi had to be alert to turn away a stinging drive from Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Wigan reacted and Jordi Gomez laid a free-kick off to David Jones who flicked the ball up and fired spectacularly towards goal but his effort was tipped over by Rob Green.
For all QPR’s positive play, they fell behind on 19 minutes when Jamie Mackie could not fully clear a Jean Beausejour corner. The ball fell to McCarthy on the edge of the area, who fired into the bottom corner via a deflection off Mackie.
QPR reacted well and levelled the match seven minutes later when Nelsen evaded the attentions of Lopez to power in an Adel Taarabt corner at the near post.
Green was a relieved man when Franco Di Santo failed to make proper contact with the ball at the far post after some slack defending from Clint Hill.
Despite the confidence gained from their equaliser, QPR found themselves under the cosh for much of the second-half.
Green had to be alert after the restart to come out and block at the feet of McCarthy after some direct running from Arouna Kone.
The QPR defence then afforded Jordi Gomez far too much room and the Spaniard took advantage by letting fly from the edge of the area but, again, Green was equal to the attempt as he parried the shot behind.
Green then got down superbly to turn away a terrific effort from Jones, before Gomez crashed the rebound against the bar as Wigan dominated.
The hardworking Mackie got to the byline and crossed for Stephane Mbia who failed to make proper contact with his shot but nonetheless forced a fine save out of Al Habsi.
QPR took the lead when a poor pass from Lopez enabled Wright-Phillips to get in down the right and cross for Cisse who nonchalantly stroked the ball across Al Habsi and into the corner.
Redknapp’s joy was short-lived as Wigan equalised within two minutes. Beausejour was afforded far too much time on the left to cross for McCarthy who controlled well and shot low past Green for his second goal of the game.
The outstanding Green denied substitute Mauro Boselli a goal with a fine low save late on but QPR remain well adrift of safety after 16 games.
MAN OF THE MATCH
James McCarthy: Although Nelsen and Green both excelled for QPR, McCarthy again showed his class with two goals and a cultured display in the middle of the park.
WIGAN ATHLETIC: Al Habsi 6, Kone 7, McCarthy 8, Jones 7, Di Santo 6, Gomez 6, McArthur 6, Boyce 6, Beausejour 7, Stam 7, Lopez 6. Subs: Maloney 6, Boselli 6.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS: Green 8; Traore 6, Hill 6, Nelsen 8, Bosingwa 6; Taarabt 5, Mbia 6, Derry 7, Diakite 6; Wright-Phillips 6; Mackie 7. Subs: Ferdinand, Cisse 7, Granero 6, Fabio 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ali Al Habsi
- Jordi Gomez
- Wigan Athletic