A drab 0-0 draw ensured both Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City remain without a win since the opening day.
Birmingham will be the happier of the two to come away with a point, with Harlee Dean’s excellent goalline clearance ensuring they did not slip to their third defeat in the space of eight days.
The sides remain level on seven points after seven games, just three points above the relegation zone.
A drab spectacle
It was a grey and dreary day in West London, and the football served up by these two out-of-form sides was not much better. With the wind and the rain swirling around Loftus Road, the conditions were not conducive to attractive football.
The first chance of the game fell to Jonathan Leko, found in the box by Maxime Colin, but he failed to adjust his body in time to prevent his volley flying well over the bar.
Birmingham should have been ahead after twenty minutes, when Gary Gardner’s in-swinging free-kick fell to Marc Roberts at the far post. Any contact on the ball would have sent it goalward with Seny Dieng stranded, but the defender fluffed his shot and the chance went begging.
Soon after, Birmingham were in again through Leko, finding space in the area to take a touch and get a shot away. This time it was a brilliant bit of defending that prevented the net from bulging, with Yoann Barbet getting his body in the way.
Scott Hogan did have the ball in the net just before half-time, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
As the weather improved, so too did the football.
QPR came out for the second-half looking livelier, but they were given a scare early on when Gardner’s volley flashed inches past the post, with Dieng rooted to the spot. It would have been a spectacular effort had it gone in.
Soon QPR’s vibrant start to the half began to pay off. Bright Osayi-Samuel’s shot from ten yards out was brilliantly headed off the line by Dean, with Lyndon Dykes hitting the bar from the resulting corner. Dykes remains without a goal from open play for his new club since his move from Livingston this summer.
Birmingham weathered the storm, and Dieng was kept on his toes by a long range effort from Ivan Sunjic which was heading for the top corner. Substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz found Kristian Pederson in space, but the full-back’s effort sailed well over the crossbar.
Both managers rang the changes but to no avail, and the match petered out to a goalless draw.
Birmingham's away woes continue
This match will not go down as a classic, but it may be a valuable point for Birmingham away from home after a trying week of defeats to Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday. It means Aitor Karanka’s side is without a league win away from home since a victory over Barnsley on 11th February.
For QPR it is a third straight match without a goal, a spell of attacking impotence which will surely concern manager Mark Warburton.
They travel to Barnsley on Tuesday, while Birmingham welcome Huddersfield Town.