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Football | Barclays Premier League

Taarabt off-target as Norwich hold QPR



Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn saved a second-half penalty from Adel Taarabt as Queens Park Rangers spurned a chance to close to within a point of safety in a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Bunn thwarted Taarabt in the 56th minute to atone for the foul on Jamie Mackie that produced the spot-kick and leave Harry Redknapp's QPR three points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table.

It was QPR's fourth consecutive draw, three of which have finished goalless, while Norwich, who have not won in the league since mid-December, climb one place to 13th.

QPR handed a debut to £12.5 million record signing Christopher Samba and midfielder Andros Townsend, who has joined on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.

Norwich left new signing Luciano Becchio on the bench and it was the home side who made the running in a first half of few goal-scoring chances.

Taarabt came closest to breaking the deadlock before halftime, but his drilled shot from the right side of the penalty area flashed narrowly wide of the left-hand upright.

At the other end, Grant Holt headed straight at Julio Cesar from a Robert Snodgrass cross.

The action intensified in the second period and Cesar had to produce a superb save to thwart Wes Hoolahan before Holt headed over the bar.

The hosts were gifted an opportunity to take the lead 11 minutes after the re-start when Bunn upended Mackie in the penalty area and referee Jon Moss awarded a spot-kick.

However, Bunn redeemed himself with a fine save to deny Taarabt, springing to his left to palm away the Moroccan's placed, low shot.

Taarabt appeared eager to atone for his failure from 12 yards and he sent a free-kick inches over the Norwich bar before stinging Bunn's palms with a shot from distance.

The game became increasingly open, Bradley Johnson testing Cesar with a long-range effort at one end and Holt producing an athletic volley to clear a Samba header off his own goal-line at the other.

Cesar was extended again in the 79th minute, plunging to his left to tip a Snodgrass dive around the post, while substitute Bobby Zamora headed wide for QPR.

Townsend threatened to claim a spectacular late winner on his debut, but his ferocious 25-yard strike drew a magnificent flying save from the unyielding Bunn.

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