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PREMIER LEAGUE: QPR dominate but Newcastle hold on for vital point

Queens Park Rangers dominated tonight's clash with Newcastle United but could not find a winning goal at Loftus Road.

The visiting Magpies dug in to come away with a 0-0 draw and an important point which maintains their unbeaten run to the start of the season.

Neil Warnock had five debutants to deploy from the start with former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton making his R's debut as captain against his old teammates but he could not help produce a winning start for the Tony Fernandes regime.

QPR had the better of the chances throughout the match but particularly in the first half when Armand Traore supplied a super cross from the left in the ninth minute but fellow newcomer Shaun Wright-Phillips could not direct his header on target.

Newcastle's best chance of the game came in the 13th minute when Leon Best produced a great turn and shot but R's keeper Paddy Kenny was equal to the task, pulling off a huge save with an outstretched hand.

Wright-Phillips was causing plenty of problems for the Magpies with his pace down the right and when he received a pinpoint Adel Taarabt pass in the 15th minute, Jay Bothroyd was unable to keep his near post volley down from the cross.

The same players combined seven minutes later, with Taarabt again finding Wright-Phillips but Bothroyd was half a yard short with his sliding effort before the Magpies defence worked together to deny Alejandro Faurlin's toe-poke in the 27th minute and the Danny Simpson cleared Bothroyd's header off the line from the ensuing corner.

Perhaps the moment of the match came six minutes prior to half-time when Wright-Phillips beat Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini down the right, slipping over, recovering quickly and placing a neat chip over Magpies keeper Tim Krul but Steven Taylor headed off the line as he tracked back.

The second half evened out a bit and Newcastle had the best early chance when Jonas Gutierrez should have done better when Simpson's cross from the right found him at the back post but perhaps the touch off Best's head took him by surprise..

Wright-Phillips completely miscued his 53rd minute volley from a pinpoint Faurlin ball before Shaun Derry's 66th minute header from Barton's corner just outside six-yard box should have hit the target but overall, Newcastle did their job defensively and came away from London with a point which puts them fourth on the table with two wins and two draws from four outings.

TRIBAL ASKS: Was this a bright beginning for QPR as they start their new era or is close enough not good enough?

QPR: 0 Newcastle United: 0 Loftus Road, West London - 16,211

Yellow cards:QPR - Shaun Derry 36' NEW - Shola Ameobi 7', Cheik Tiote 63', Steven Taylor 87'

Match facts: QPR starting debuts for Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Amand Traore, Luke Young and Anton Ferdinand and Jason Puncheon off the bench.

Premier League debut for Newcastle's Sylvain Marveaux.

Barton named captain in first QPR match against former club Newcastle.

First scoreless draw between the clubs since 1968.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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