QPR 0-1 Hull City
Still no QPR win on opening day in the Premier League – but at least this was better than two seasons ago despite Charlie Austin’s missed penalty.
A point was on offer when Hull scorer James Chester handled Junior Hoilett’s chip in the box, but Austin, the scoring machine from last season and with 100 percent from spot kicks, fired too close to Allan McGregor and the chance went begging.
Still, Swansea plundered back in 2012. This time, Hull were barely worthy winners of a tight tussle that could have gone either way.
Chester headed the only goal, and Tom Ince was denied when clean through with a great stop from Rob Green’s legs halfway through the second period.
But there were long spells in the first half when Rangers asked the questions.
Once Hull were ahead, Rs used all three subs with Matt Phillips back from injury, Junior Hoilett and later Bobby Zamora seeking the elusive leveller without reward.
On the plus side, there wasn’t a trace of the relegation team. Instead, this was a cohesive unit probing, pushing but not quite getting the luck.
Three tight spot turns inside the box almost carved out a goal for Ale Faurlin, but the midfielder stroked his shot a foot wide of the far post.
Austin rescued a hopeless cause on the byline. The cross was good but Jordon Mutch’s swing missed completely with the goal gaping.
Curtis Davies took one for the team when he took out Loic Remy on 27 minutes to deservedly earn a yellow card.
It heralded the biggest cheer yet when the ref got out his World Cup shaving foam to mark 10 yards from the free-kick.
A minute later, Remy’s cross and Mutch’s glancing header missed the far post by a whisker as Rs cut through Hull’s defence.
Nikica Jelavic then went down in the box with Armand Traore leaning on the Hull attacker. The man with the whistle had along look, but signalled corner instead to Rs relief.
Austin was a last-ditch tackle from firing home on the left of the box and Steven Caulker was even closer when his bullet header from the subsequent corner got cleared off the line, with the rebound shovelled over his own bar by McGregor.
The Hull goal came out of nowhere.
A corner from the right skimmed heads but landed on James Chester’s at the back post with Ferdinand arriving too late to affect the ball hitting the back of the net.
Despite the subs, the goal took the sting out of Rs momentum.
Hull had chances to increase the lead, notably Jelavic firing over from a tight angle.
Everyone can miss a penalty, but more’s the pity the save from Austin was so costly.
QPR: 3-5-2 Green; Caulker, Ferdinand, Dunne (Zamora 78); Simpson (Phillips 68), Mutch, Barton (c), Faurlin (Hoilett 68), Traore; Austin, Remy; subs unused: Murphy, Hill, Onuoha, Henry