Ten-man Toffees hold Rangers
A Julio Cesar own goal cancelled out Junior Hoilett’s opener for
QPR as 10-man Everton held on for a 1-1 Premier League draw at
QPR took the lead within the first two minutes when Hoilett beat
Phil Neville to a loose ball on the edge of his own area and ran
the length of the field to fire in via a deflection off Leighton
Baines which wrong-footed Tim Howard.
Everton hit back shortly after the half-hour mark when Sylvain
Distin headed a Steven Pienaar free-kick onto the post, with the
ball rebounding onto the back of Julio Cesar and into the QPR
Any hopes the Toffees had of winning the game were diminished in
the 61st minute when Pienaar was controversially shown a second
yellow card for an alleged trip on Jose Bosingwa.
A draw, however, was a fair result from an entertaining
afternoon in west London, but it leaves Mark Hughes’ side still
searching for their first Premier League win of the season.
The build-up to the match was dominated with speculation as to
which players would boycott wearing t-shirts in the warm-up
supporting the anti-racism ‘Kick it Out’ campaign.
Anton Ferdinand and team-mates Shaun Wright-Phillips and Hoilett
opted not to wear the shirt, following the stance taken by
Ferdinand’s brother Rio prior to Manchester United’s game against
Stoke on Saturday and by Reading striker Jason Roberts.
QPR boss Mark Hughes would have been fully focused on the game,
however, knowing a decent start from his side was a must having
conceded early goals in their previous two outings. He was not to
Everton pressed in the opening couple of minutes but after
having a second early corner cleared Neville lost possession to
The former Blackburn winger burst into the Everton half before
striking an effort that beat Howard after taking a heavy deflection
Hoilett came close to adding a second in the eighth minute as he
closed down Howard, who slipped as he looked to clear the ball. The
United States international just got enough on the ball and the
resulting cross eluded the on-rushing Bobby Zamora.
The first real chance for the visitors came after 17 minutes as
Nikica Jelavic curled a free-kick towards goal that was pushed away
comfortably by Julio Cesar.
It was QPR who then came close from a set-piece of their own but
Ryan Nelsen could only direct a header from Esteban Granero’s
free-kick wide of Howard’s goal.
Everton’s equalised in fortuitous circumstances at a time when
they were struggling to create clear-cut opportunities.
Pienaar whipped in a deep free-kick that Distin headed onto the
post with the rebound hitting a prone Cesar and nestling into the
The Toffees took some momentum from their stroke of luck and
could have had a penalty seconds after the re-start but referee
Jonathan Moss waved away Jelavic’s appeals after he went down
following a Stephane Mbia challenge.
Phil Jagielka then struck the crossbar with the resulting corner
as QPR started to show the defensive fragility which has plagued
them during the early parts of the season.
After the initial shock of conceding the equaliser QPR finished
the first half the strongest but could not test Howard before the
QPR captain Park Ji-sung came close in the opening exchanges of
the second half but he could not poke Samba Diakite’s cross home
due to the close attention of Jagielka.
Everton boss David Moyes was quick to introduce Steven Naismith
from the bench in place of the largely ineffectual Victor Anichebe,
who also decided not to wear the ‘Kick It Out’ shirt before the
match, as he looked to get more support for lone striker
Although spaces began to appear on the pitch there was a
distinct lack of creativity, with both sides guilty of conceding
possession too cheaply.
Everton were reduced to 10 men with just over an hour gone when
Pienaar received his second booking inside nine minutes, although
he appeared to make minimal contact on Jose Bosingwa who looked to
be heading to ground regardless.
Despite losing Pienaar, Everton were the side pushing for a
Kevin Mirallas saw his effort headed behind by Mbia and
Jagielka’s header from the resulting corner was brilliantly kept
out by Cesar before Hughes introduced Djibril Cisse, with Zamora
the man to make way.
Nedum Onuoha was also brought on as QPR finally started to look
like a team with a numerical advantage.
Following a string of corners the visitors had Howard to thank
for keeping out Hoilett at full stretch, with Granero firing the
rebound high and wide.
Referee Moss was unmoved as Everton full-back Seamus Coleman
appeared to up-end Hoilett in the penalty area as the home side
took complete control.
Hoilett was again foiled by Howard moments later as the former
Manchester United goalkeeper flew to his right to tip a curling
effort around the post.
Adel Taarabt also bent a free-kick just wide as Everton started
to struggle with the continued pressure from their hosts.
Moyes took off Jelavic to replace him with the defensive-minded
John Heitinga whilst Hughes was forced to replace the injured
Nelsen with Ferdinand.
The break in play for the substitutions seemed to take some of
the sting out of QPR’s onslaught on Howard’s goal but Cisse came
close to grabbing an 89th-minute winner when he fired wide.