EPL 2012-13: Djibril Cisse hits equaliser as QPR draw with Reading
London: Djibril Cisse`s second-half strike earned Queens Park Rangers a 1-1 draw with Reading as both teams continue to wait for their first Premier League win of the season.
Rangers made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 at Arsenal last weekend, Anton Ferdinand replaced the suspended Stephane M`Bia, while Cisse and Jamie Mackie came in for Shaun Wright-Phillips and Bobby Zamora respectively.
Reading boss Brian McDermott also elected to shuffle his pack, making four changes to the side that played out the remarkable 3-3 draw with Fulham last weekend. Chris Gunter and Sean Morrison slotted into the back four in place of Shaun Cummings and Adrian Mariappa, Gareth McCleary and Noel Hunt also came into the starting eleven, replacing Jimmy Kebe and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
It was the visitors who made the better start to proceedings and came close to taking the lead just minutes into the contest as Gorkss fluffed his lines after meeting a well placed free-kick from Nicky Shorey.
The home side responded well to that early pressure when Cisse flashed an effort just wide of the post from 20 yards. However, despite looking dangerous going forward Mark Hughes` men soon fell behind as Gorkss atoned for earlier, acrobatically volleying home from close range after Sean Morrison had headed Nicky Shorey`s cross against the crossbar.
The R`s dominated much of the game following the goal, however they struggled to find a way through a determined Reading defence and were reduced to long range efforts for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
Still, the West London club should have levelled just before the break but were denied by a fingertip save from Alex McCarthy, who dived brilliantly to his left to push Esteban Granero`s curling free-kick against the bar.
The hosts continued to enjoy the lion`s share of possession in the early stages of the second half, however clear-cut opportunities were rare and in truth McCarthy had little to worry about as the Royals` defence stood firm.
However, just over 20 minutes into the second period Hughes` men did get the goal their efforts perhaps merited, Cisse controlling Jose Bosingwa`s right-wing cross before prodding the ball past McCarthy and into the bottom corner.
That leveller seemed to spark the visitors into life, and they had a good chance to take the lead once more as substitute Kebe marauded through the QPR midfield before powering an effort a few yards over the bar.
Hughes` side dictated the majority of the play as the game trundled towards the closing stages, but Reading remained a threat and came close once more when Hal Robson-Kanu headed Shorey`s corner wide of the goal.
Still, the Royals had McCarthy to thank for keeping them in the game, as he performed heroics to deny Adel Taarabt after Cisse had broken the offside trap to play the Moroccan through on goal.
That proved to be the last meaningful chance of the contest, and although Robson-Kanu, QPR substitute Zamora and Cisse all had opportunities to win the game, both sides were left to settle for what will be a slightly unsatisfying point apiece.