Championship match report: QPR 0-0 Blackburn

It was all a bit dull. Photo: PA

QPR remain joint top of the Championship despite being held to a goalless draw against Blackburn at Loftus Road.

Home team striker Charlie Austin went closest to grabbing a winner, but he could only watch a second half header fall into goalkeeper Simon Eastwood's arms via the inside of the post.

Rangers went into the game full of confidence following their impressive 3-0 victory over Bournemouth in midweek, Harry Redknapp's biggest in the league as manager.

They went close to opening the scoring in the third minute when Clint Hill's diagonal, cross-field ball was nodded down towards Austin, but QPR's top scorer saw his shot deflected behind for a corner.

Redknapp decided to start two strikers for consecutive league matches having previously set up with a 4-5-1 formation this season, and their front pair continued to link up well in the opening exchanges.

But it was Blackburn who created the game's first decent opportunity on the counter attack after 17 minutes.

Ben Marshall's inch-perfect delivery from the left wing was met by Jason Lowe, who saw his sliding effort parried away by Rob Green.

Championship table

It was a bit of a battle. Credit: PA

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It seemed to lift the away side; Clint Hill was forced into a diving headed clearance when Marshall broke free to whip another teasing delivery into the area ten minutes later.

At the other end, QPR lacked the same fluidity they'd conjured up in midweek. Benoit Assou-Ekotto drilled a 25 yard shot into the top tier and Simon Eastwood comfortably collected Joey Barton's free-kick after Junior Hoilett had been hacked down by Adam Henley.

Blackburn continued to pose a greater goalscoring threat on the break, and four minutes before the break it was Tommy Spurr's turn to curl a cross in from the left wing, which unmarked Chris Taylor headed over with the goal at his mercy.

Three minutes later QPR created their best opportunity of the half. Danny Simpson's scuffed delivery into the penalty box found Matt Phillips, but his goal-bound shot was deflected for a corner.

A minute before the break, Jordan Rhodes flashed a header inches past Rob Green's post from a Spurr long throw.

Gary Bowyer went into the interval the happier manager.In the 51st minute, Junior Hoilett fired wide after dispossessing Tom Cairney thirty yards from goal, as QPR emerged from the break with more energy and purpose.

They should have taken the lead five minutes later. Andy Johnson glided past Spurr on the right wing and found Phillips five yards from goal in the penalty box. Unfortunately for the home side, he drilled his shot straight at Eastwood.

Charlie Austin wasn't firing. Credit: PA

Redknapp made a double substitution on the hour. Hoilett and Phillips were replaced by Gary O'Neill and Niko Kranjcar, as the home side continued to press for an opener.

Kranjcar blazed a left-footed effort over the bar from just outside the area, while at the other end Marshall tested Rob Green from long range, a rare second-half effort from the visitors.

Redknapp must have guessed it would not be his or QPR's day when Austin came agonisingly close with twenty minutes remaining.He could only watch as Austin's close range header cannoned into goalkeeper Eastwood's arms off the inside of the post, after great work from Asso-Ekotto out wide.

Blackburn were restricted to long range efforts and looked increasingly happy with a point, despite introducing former QPR striker DJ Campbell with 15 minutes left.

Rangers continued to press in the latter stages without managing to create any goalscoring opportunities.

The home fans rose from their seats deep into injury when QPR won a late corner, but Richard Dunne's header was comfortably saved.Blackburn's 809 away fans applauded their team's resilient display at full time. They remain 13th in the Championship table, QPR are second behind Burnley on goal difference.