West London showdown short on quality and grace

QPR 0 Chelsea 0: On a heavy day of snubbed handshakes and bad feeling, QPR's best player is their new goalkeeper while recently signed Victor Moses shines for Chelsea

After the handshakes and headshakes, a football match broke out here yesterday, but like much of the build-up, it was undistinguished stuff.

Queens Park Rangers finished the afternoon the happier, their local pride upheld and a second point of the season achieved, features marked by a standing ovation at the finish. Chelsea were satisfied too, even if Manchester United cut their lead at the top of the table to a single point.

As for the principal performers of the little drama talking place before kick-off, all played rather well on a defender's day, although Anton Ferdinand pulled up near the end with what looked like a hamstring injury, and would have gone off had his team's allocation of substitutes not been used up – two of them in the opening half an hour.

Ferdinand's best moment was in dispossessing Fernando Torres on a Chelsea breakaway in the second half, by which time Rangers were asserting a measure of control. Ashley Cole was, nevertheless, rarely troubled by either Shaun Wright-Phillips or Jamie Mackie, who moved wide late in the game, and John Terry allowed his old Sunday football team-mate Bobby Zamora only one real opportunity, blocking the resulting shot with Petr Cech out of his goal.

Rangers lost the services of Fabio da Silva at the back and Andrew Johnson in attack to injuries suffered before half-time, and for all Mackie's willing running, Johnson's departure depleted them.

They have at least found a goalkeeper in Internazionale's Julio Cesar, whose performance suggested Robert Green will be looking at the League Cup for his appearance money in the immediate future. Another high-profile signing, Esteban Granero from Real Madrid, also impressed and overall Mark Hughes was delighted.

"I thought we were excellent," he said, "and proof that we're going in the right direction. The more we play together, the better we'll become." As for the whole handshake farrago, he repeated his suggestion that the pre-match parade be done away with. "A lot of things have moved on for the better but I'm not sure about this one. I've got the utmost respect for the Respect campaign but this part of it causes more problems than it solves."

Chelsea's Roberto Di Matteo was more sanguine: "We offered and did our part. If other people feel differently it's their problem." He also confirmed that Chelsea were not displeased with their afternoon's work. "The only disappointment was that we didn't score the goals from the chances we created," he said.

Chelsea had rested Juan Mata with the Champions' League game against Juventus in mind and Ryan Bertrand in his position on the left was understandably less creative. More encouraging was the cameo by Victor Moses in the last quarter of an hour. He set up a glorious chance for Eden Hazard, who had been rivalling Julio Cesar, Granero and Ryan Nelsen for the individual honours until he spooned a shot over the bar from seven yards.

The atmosphere, heavy with animosity, did not help the quality of football and after two early opportunities for the Brazilian keeper to demonstrate his capabilities, there were few chances for a long period. Not much more was seen of Torres, the man destined forever to be known as the £50m striker, who before the end had taken a knock and walked straight down to the dressing-room.

Chelsea might twice have had a penalty in the first half, when Terry and Hazard were both sent tumbling in the area, perhaps suffering from the theatricality of their fall. "Stonewall penalty," Di Matteo said of the former incident. Cech meanwhile made only one save, straightforwardly from Zamora. That pattern changed after half-time. Hazard's delicious flick-up the line was a rare moment of class and when Terry unwisely attempted similar deftness on the ball but was forced to pass back to his goalkeeper from beyond the halfway line, the home crowd were stirred to noisier involvement. Mackie responded to them by twisting to shoot at Cech, who was then grateful that Park Ji-Sung's header from a fine cross from Granero went straight at him.

Rangers' big opportunity came in the 75th minute when Mikel misjudged a long ball, allowing Zamora to home in on Cech and go round him, only to find four Chelsea players defending their goal and Terry – who else – knocking the ball away.

With Moses and Daniel Sturridge offering fresh legs and impetus, the visitors looked the more likely to score from then on. Moses, playing wide on the right, forced Julio Cesar into his third good save before setting up Hazard for a rare blot on the Belgian's copybook.

QPR (4-4-2): Julio Cesar; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Fabio (Onuoha 20); Wright-Phillips (Cisse 69), Granero, Faurlin, Park; Johnson A (Mackie 32), Zamora.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires, Hazard E, Bertrand (Moses 58); Torres (Sturridge 81).

Referee: A Marriner.

Man of the match: Julio Cesar (QPR)

Match rating: 5/10

Half-time 0-0 Att: 18,271

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
News
Keeping it friendly: Tom Cruise on ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen