QPR 1-1 Blackburn

By Paul FletcherBBC Sport
Christopher Samba celebrates scoring for Blackburn
Samba's equaliser avoided a third successive defeat for Rovers

A towering first-half header from skipper Chris Samba earned struggling Blackburn a draw at QPR.

Heidar Helguson put Rangers ahead with a floated cross-cum-shot that drifted into the top corner.

Rovers, who had almost led when Anton Ferdinand clipped his own crossbar with a poor clearance, then drew level when Samba rose above Fitz Hall.

Rangers substitute Adel Taarabt shot wide after the break as Rovers ended a sequence of back-to-back defeats.

Bring on the London clubs - Kean

It might have been three in a row had referee Mark Clattenburg decided that a clumsy-looking challenge from recalled Blackburn defender Michel Salgado on Taarabt late in the game was a penalty, but the Lancashire side were given the benefit of the doubt and held on for a point.

Rovers went into the contest 19th in the Premier League table, with manager Steve Kean under mounting pressure after one win in seven top-flight games this season.

And despite taking a point at Loftus Road, Blackburn slipped to the bottom of the table after Bolton, 20th at the start of the day, defeated Wigan 2-1.

Protests against Kean's tenure are planned before next week's home game against Tottenham, but at least the Scot has something to build on after a point at Rangers.

QPR came into the contest on the back of a 6-0 thrashing at Fulham and may look back on a missed opportunity against Rovers, especially as they now face tough-looking fixtures against Chelsea and Tottenham.

Both teams showed a willingness to attack and were occasionally aided by some atrocious defending.

Ferdinand made a complete mess of his attempt to clear a low cross from the industrious Martin Olsson, the ball skimming off the top of his boot before hitting the crossbar.

There was also an element of poor defending for Rangers' opener. Rovers should have cleared the danger after blocking Helguson's header from a corner but their failure to do so was punished when a weak clearance fell to the Icelander, who floated the ball across the area and into the top corner for his 100th goal in English football.

QPR threatened to score a second, Samba deflecting a fierce low strike from Joey Barton wide and a Shaun Wright-Phillips long-range effort narrowly off target.

But between those two chances Rovers had equalised, the physically imposing Samba climbing above Hall to head into the top corner directly from a corner.

Focus Forum - Venky's back Kean '101%'

The goal seemed to breathe confidence into the beleaguered Rovers players. Junior Hoilett found a good position but made a poor connection with a cross and later cut in from the left and forced a goal-line clearance from Ferdinand with a curling shot.

After the restart, QPR holding midfielder Shaun Derry, in a rare advanced position, was inches away from connecting with a cross from Jamie Mackie, who was making his first start since he suffered a double leg break against Rovers in an FA Cup tie in January.

Taarabt, dropped to the bench after storming out of Craven Cottage when he was substituted at the break during the hammering at Fulham, had arguably the best chance of the half.

He beat Michel Salgado to the ball and charged towards goal but, with Samba closing fast, the Moroccan miscued his shot horribly wide.

Neil Warnock disappointed at QPR's draw with Blackburn

Salgado and Taarabt then tangled in the box and referee Clattenburg decided it was not a penalty as Rovers appeared to be holding on.

But Kean's side did threaten once more when the impressive Swede Olsson forced a good save from Kenny with a rasping left-foot strike.

QPR boss Neil Warnock: "We worked ever so hard but my frustration is losing a goal like that. It was diabolical. I know that Chris Samba is a big lad but he did not have to work hard.

"If you cannot mark at a corner then you are going to lose goals.

"But Heidar Helguson took his opportunity really well and Jamie Mackie worked ever so hard and never stopped trying."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean: "I am happy enough with a point in one respect but I think they scored against the run of play.

"I was disappointed but we got back into the match straight away and, on balance overall, the stats on the game are pretty equal.

"The point gets the momentum moving again, which is important."

Live text commentaryexternal-link