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Football | Barclays Premier League

QPR get valuable point against Spurs



Tottenham Hotspur failed to tighten their grip on third place in the Premier League on Saturday after being held to a 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers, who moved off the foot of the table.

The game at Loftus Road marked Emmanuel Adebayor's last game for Spurs before he joins up with the Togo squad at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Ryan Nelsen played for the hosts despite having this week agreed to become player-coach of Major League Soccer club FC Toronto.

Spurs striker Jermain Defoe came closest to opening the scoring in the first half with a dipping 20-yard strike that crashed back off the post, with QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacting brilliantly to save Adebayor's follow-up.

The hosts' best chances both fell to Shaun Wright-Phillips, but he could not find the target on either occasion.

Julio Cesar also thwarted Defoe in the second period, while Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker whipped a free-kick inches over the crossbar.

"They defended very well; we wanted to play with a higher tempo, but they frustrate you," said Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas.

"Julio Cesar had a great game. It was a difficult game for us, but we got an away point, so we are satisfied."

Following the shock 1-0 win at Chelsea in their previous outing, QPR have clawed themselves above Reading and are now four points from safety with 16 games to play.

Chelsea will hope to capitalise on the points dropped by Spurs later on Saturday when they visit Stoke City, where victory will take them above Villas-Boas' side into third place.

Everton, meanwhile, can close to within a point of Tottenham if they win at home to Swansea City, who stunned Chelsea 2-0 in the away leg of their League Cup semifinal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

The top two are both in action on Sunday, with leaders Manchester United hosting Liverpool and second-place Manchester City visiting Arsenal.

Elsewhere on Saturday, two teams hovering nervously above the relegation zone, Aston Villa and Southampton, meet at Villa Park.

Reading welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Madejski Stadium, Newcastle United visit Norwich City, Sunderland are at home to West Ham United and third from bottom Wigan are away at Fulham.

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