Both of the Sunday’s Premier League games finished 1-1.
The early kick-off saw two of the bottom three in the Premier League go head-to-head, as QPR drew Reading at Loftus Road.
QPR started the game in very nervous fashion and Reading made a confident start to the clash.
That confident start led to the Royals taking the lead in the 16th minute. Debutant defender Sean Morrison headed against the crossbar and defensive partner Kasper Gorkss volleyed home the rebound via a deflection off QPR centre-back Ryan Nelsen.
The home side went off at half-time to a chorus of boos. The Hoops performance improved in the second half. Reading keeper Alex McCarthy put in a superb performance though. The young keeper tipped Esteban Granero’s free-kick onto the crossbar in spectacular fashion before the break.
McCarthy was beaten in the 66th minute though, not before Reading midfielder Mikele Leigertwood had headed over with a good opportunity. The goal came when Hoops full-back Jose Bosingwa crossed into the box and striker Djibril Cisse stabbed home from close-range.
QPR were inches away from stealing all three points in the dying minutes as striker Bobby Zamora was agonisingly close to connecting with Cisse’s cross. The result did little good for either team.
However, Reading boss Brian McDermott will be more pleased with the point. QPR boss Mark Hughes remains under pressure, despite his team moving up one place in the Premier League table to 19th.
Elsewhere, Liverpool and Newcastle drew 1-1 at Anfield in the 4PM kick-off. The first half was a tight affair. Liverpool’s best effort came from controversial striker Luis Suarez, whose 20 yard free-kick went just over the cross bar.
However, it was the visitors that drew first blood with a rare attack just before half-time. French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa did well to get a cross in down the flank, fellow midfielder Yohan Cabaye was on hand to control and then volley the ball superbly past Brad Jones in the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool came in to the game far more in the second half. The Reds went close in the 58th minute when Luis Suarez was denied by a superb save by Tim Krul. Suarez couldn’t be stopped in the 67th minute though.
Full-back Jose Enrique launched a long-ball up field, which Suarez then controlled brilliantly, outstripped Coloccini and rounded Tim Krul to fire home into an empty net. Suarez was involved just seconds later as he beat the defence and pulled the ball back to substitute Jonjo Shelvey, who miskicked his shot when well placed.
Newcastle were reduced to ten in the 84th minute, as Magpies centre-back Fabricio Coloccini was dismissed for a lunge on Luis Suarez. There was very little contact between the pair, but the referee had no choice but to send the Argentinian off for the intent.
Liverpool pushed the visitors back towards the end of the game, but couldn’t make their one man advantage count. Newcastle will definitely be the happier of the two teams with the draw, considering Coloccini’s sending off.
Everybody connected with Liverpool will be worried by the Reds poor home form this season. The Reds have claimed just one win at Anfield this season and also struggled to collect maximum points at home last season.
Until the Reds can turn Anfield into a fortress again teams are likely to fancy their chances of getting maximum points on the red side of Merseyside.
QPR have even bigger worries. The Hoops have struggled for points this season and if they carry performing like yesterday then Mark Hughes’ side are heading for the Championship next season.
Can Mark Hughes turn things around at QPR?