Jay Bothroyd Image 2
QPR 2-3 Manchester City
A BRAVE QPR show deserved better than nothing out of five-goal game.
Heidar Helguson's back looked to have earned Rs a draw when it got in the way of Jay Bothroyd's diving header and in, only to be cruelly undone when Yaya Toure thumped a powerful header past Paddy Kenny minutes later.
Rangers continually asked the questions against the millionaires, and the lines between potential champions and new boys were blurred save for a few vital seconds when City broke twice to score second-half goals.
A cracking start with the ball pinging across the City box led to a chance inches wide of the post.
Helguson leapt highest to head back across the face of goal, with Anton Ferdinand only the sweat of his brow from putting Rs ahead.
The goal that had been threatened deservedly came when Bothroyd (pic) got fouled out by the touchline, only to rise like the proverbial salmon and head Joey Barton's free-kick into the corner with Joe Hart rooted to the spot.
The City keeper did better to keep out Helguson's diving header after he had already parried a Jamie Mackie piledriver. It little mattered the chance was offside, Hart's lightning reactions were top drawer.
But the gloveman was once again an unwilling spectator when Helguson seized on a City slip to send another cross for Bothroyd to pick his spot and unfortunately graze the outside of the same post where he scored.
But City's sparkling credentials shone brighter just before half time when a slide rule pass found Edin Dzeko down the left.
The Bosnian cut inside past Ferdinand and fired low, hard and true past Kenny's right.
Barely 20 seconds into the second half Barton sent a crashing left-foot drive goalwards from 20 yards that Hart turned smartly aside.
But home momentum got royally stopped in its tracks, when Armand Traore, playing well up till then, sent a wayward pass out wide. Dzeko said thanks, and his low cross was picked off by David Silva to calmy fire past Kenny at his near post.
The QPR keeper was down again to deny Dzeko on the hour as the sky-blue horde poured forward, but pressure was relieved when Mackie just failed to get a proper connection in the box to volley over.
And Rangers thought they had earned a share of the spoils when Helguson sent another firerce header against the frame to underline his starring role in hoops.