Bottom club Queens Park Rangers held Premier League champions Manchester City to a draw, thanks to a fantastic goalkeeping display from Julio Cesar.

The visitors dominated the first half as Pablo Zabaleta hit the bar and Gareth Barry had a shot tipped wide.

Rangers were a danger on the break, with Adel Taarabt and Loic Remy going close either side of half-time.

Mancini sad to see Balotelli go

QPR continued to stand firm in the second half, with Cesar denying David Silva from six yards.

But a point was the very least Rangers deserved for a spirited defensive display as they stretched their unbeaten Premier League run in 2013.

Since the turn of the year, Harry Redknapp's side have beaten Chelsea and held both Tottenham and West Ham - and this was another performance of real substance.

City looked like overwhelming Rangers in a dominant first-half performance, but the hosts grew in confidence and stature as the game wore on and continue to offer their supporters hope they can win their battle against relegation.

Analysis

"You have to say it was QPR's night. There were so many good performances, and tonight could be the night that Man City feel the Premier League slip from their hands."

There was no Mario Balotelli for Manchester City, as the Italian striker finalises a move to AC Milan, and Roberto Mancini will be concerned that his side could not find a way past the club bottom of the league.

They had their chances, with Joleon Lescott shooting over the bar after a rare mistake from Cesar and Zabaleta rattling the woodwork with a header from 12 yards after good work by Silva.

Javi Garcia, playing at centre-half in place of the injured Vincent Kompany, also fired wide from 30 yards as City poured forward in the early stages.

While City were dominant in midfield, Taarabt and Remy were a constant threat on the break.

Redknapp hails goalkeeper Cesar

First, Remy capitalised on a quick free-kick to break clear and have a shot deflected wide, before Taarabt countered and forced a fantastic sprawling save from Joe Hart.

Both chances came against the run of play and City looked like taking the lead when Carlos Tevez pulled the ball back for Barry - only for Cesar to tip the England midfielder's 18-yard shot wide.

QPR were content for the visitors to dominate possession, often having all 11 men back behind the ball. The tactic began to bring reward as City struggled to unlock the Rangers defence, which was well marshalled by Ryan Nelsen on his final appearance for the club before leaving to take over as manager of Toronto FC.

Aguero, who famously scored City's late winner when they won the Premier League title with victory over QPR on the final day of last season, was not as clinical and he blazed over from 12 yards.

Edin Dzeko, so often City's saviour from the bench, was brought on and he looked like finally breaking Rangers' resistance when he pulled the ball back for Silva, but the Spanish playmaker saw his six-yard shot spectacularly saved by Cesar.

Both sides had late penalty shouts, with Remy and Scott Sinclair going down in the area, but referee Phil Dowd waved away the appeals.

And while Rangers were left delighted with another gutsy point at the final whistle, City were hoping Manchester United fail to capitalise and stretch their lead at the top of the table to seven points against Southampton on Wednesday.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp: "Of course it is a bonus point, it is a great point.

"They rip teams to pieces home and away, you would take a point off them at any time. It is a fantastic result.

"I wouldn't say it is the end (of the title race) - it is a good result for Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) tonight for sure, but it is still open."

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "We lost two points, this is sure. We played well, we had the chances but didn't score - that is all it is.

"We are disappointed with this result because we had a lot of chances to win, we dominated this game but when you play like this and don't score quickly it can be difficult.

"QPR defended very well and got players behind the ball and Julio Cesar was incredible tonight."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

QPR

  • 33 Julio Cesar
  • 03 Traore
  • 06 Hill
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 17 Nelsen
  • 20 Fabio
  • 04 Derry
  • 10 Taarabt
  • 14 Granero Booked (Park Ji-sung - 89' )
  • 40 M'bia Booked (Faurlin - 90' )
  • 18 Remy (Zamora - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Green
  • 26 Murphy
  • 21 Ben-Haim
  • 07 Park Ji-sung
  • 32 Faurlin
  • 25 Zamora
  • 37 Bothroyd

Man City

  • 01 Hart
  • 05 Zabaleta Booked
  • 06 Lescott
  • 22 Clichy
  • 07 Milner (Sinclair - 86' )
  • 08 Nasri (Dzeko - 58' )
  • 14 Garcia
  • 18 Barry Booked
  • 21 Silva
  • 16 Aguero
  • 32 Tevez (Rodwell - 73' )

Substitutes

  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 13 Kolarov
  • 33 Nastasic
  • 44 Rekik
  • 11 Sinclair
  • 17 Rodwell
  • 10 Dzeko
Ref: Dowd
Att: 17,894

Match Stats

Shots

5 15

On target

3 7

Corners

2 10

Fouls

9 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:29 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +2:30

Jack Rodwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora. Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.

90:00 +1:04 Substitution

Substitution Stephane Mbia leaves the field to be replaced by Alejandro Faurlin.

90:00 +1:04 Substitution

Substitution Bobby Zamora joins the action as a substitute, replacing Loic Remy.

90:00 +0:31

Corner taken by Fabio Da Silva, Gareth Barry makes a clearance.

89:41

Gael Clichy delivers the ball, clearance by Armand Traore.

88:07 Substitution

Substitution Ji-Sung Park comes on in place of Esteban Granero.

85:46

Loic Remy fouled by Gael Clichy, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Esteban Granero.

85:14 Substitution

Substitution James Milner leaves the field to be replaced by Scott Sinclair.

85:04

James Milner delivers the ball.

84:04

David Silva takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.

83:07

Direct free kick taken by Clint Hill.

83:07 Booking

Booking Pablo Zabaleta is given a yellow card.

83:01

Free kick awarded for a foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Esteban Granero.

82:36

David Silva takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.

76:40

Foul by Gareth Barry on Stephane Mbia, free kick awarded. Strike comes in from Esteban Granero from the free kick.

74:18

James Milner has a drilled shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.

72:45 Substitution

Substitution Jack Rodwell on for Carlos Tevez.

72:26

Effort from deep inside the area by Sergio Aguero clears the bar.

70:34

David Silva takes the inswinging corner, Edin Dzeko produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

68:43

David Silva has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Fantastic save by Soares Julio Cesar.

68:05

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the left by-line to the near post, save by Soares Julio Cesar.

62:30 Booking

Booking Gareth Barry shown a yellow card.

62:12

Effort from the edge of the area by Loic Remy goes wide of the right-hand post.

60:55

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Adel Taarabt, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Esteban Granero.

60:20

Sergio Aguero has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.

57:24

Free kick crossed left-footed by Carlos Tevez, clearance made by Loic Remy.

57:24 Substitution

Substitution Samir Nasri goes off and Edin Dzeko comes on.

57:24 Booking

Booking Esteban Granero is booked.

57:12

Esteban Granero concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva.

55:58

Foul by Carlos Tevez on Clint Hill, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.

53:39

Nedum Onuoha challenges Sergio Aguero unfairly and gives away a free kick. Samir Nasri crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Clint Hill.

53:09

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Silva, save by Soares Julio Cesar.

50:24

Stephane Mbia challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.

49:25

Shot by Adel Taarabt. Francisco Javi Garcia gets a block in.

46:23

A cross is delivered by Armand Traore, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.

45:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by Nedum Onuoha on Samir Nasri. Samir Nasri takes the free kick.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:09 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

43:23

Effort from the edge of the box by Samir Nasri goes wide of the left-hand post.

42:40

Adel Taarabt fouled by Pablo Zabaleta, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Nedum Onuoha.

41:58

Effort on goal by Gareth Barry from 18 yards. Save made by Soares Julio Cesar. James Milner takes a short corner.

39:27

Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.

39:27 Booking

Booking Booking for Stephane Mbia.

39:14

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy by Stephane Mbia.

38:14

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.

37:51

Corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the left by-line, Soares Julio Cesar makes a save.

34:28

David Silva has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Shaun Derry gets a block in.

32:02

The offside flag is raised against Sergio Aguero. Free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.

29:28

Stephane Mbia gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gareth Barry. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.

27:48

The ball is sent over by Gael Clichy, clearance made by Nedum Onuoha.

26:56

Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Esteban Granero results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Milner.

25:10

James Milner is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Clint Hill takes the free kick.

24:33

Short corner taken by Esteban Granero.

24:17

Loic Remy has a drilled shot. Blocked by Francisco Javi Garcia.

23:57

Foul by Gareth Barry on Adel Taarabt, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Esteban Granero.

21:52

Shot from long range by Francisco Javi Garcia misses to the left of the target.

19:51

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Esteban Granero, free kick awarded. Esteban Granero restarts play with the free kick.

19:08

The ball is swung over by David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta takes a shot. Effort from the edge of the box by Sergio Aguero goes wide of the right-hand upright.

18:14

Corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Loic Remy.

17:45

Corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the right by-line, Soares Julio Cesar makes a save.

17:16

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Silva played to the near post, clearance made by Loic Remy.

16:24

Corner taken by James Milner from the left by-line, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.

13:49

Free kick awarded for a foul by Esteban Granero on Carlos Tevez. Free kick crossed by James Milner, Loic Remy makes a clearance.

8:34

Corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the right by-line to the near post, save made by Soares Julio Cesar. Joleon Lescott takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.

8:21

Shot by Sergio Aguero from 18 yards. Blocked by Shaun Derry.

7:31

The offside flag is raised against Stephane Mbia. Joleon Lescott takes the free kick.

6:24

The ball is sent over by Samir Nasri, Nedum Onuoha makes a clearance.

5:20

The ball is swung over by Fabio Da Silva, save made by Joe Hart.

5:01

Fabio Da Silva delivers the ball, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.

3:53

Esteban Granero concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlos Tevez. James Milner takes the direct free kick.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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