Premier League - Swansea pay penalty for ref mistake

Tue, 27 Dec 18:55:00 2011

Swansea City were left to rue referee Lee Probert's failure to award them a blatant penalty when being held to a 1-1 draw in the Premier League by QPR at Liberty Stadium.

Swansea 1 QPR 1

In a battle between two promoted sides in Wales, Swansea took the lead after 14 minutes when Danny Graham scored a fine effort, though Rangers had their own grievances with Probert due to a perceived handball by the striker in the build-up.

The West London club responded on 58 minutes when Jamie Mackie exploited some uncharacteristically unconvincing defending from a side that had boasted the best home defensive record in the division prior to kick-off.

However, Swansea were furious to miss out on a spot-kick when Armand Traore clearly tripped Graham after 73 minutes, with Probert denying them the chance to claim a goal that could have elevated Brendan Rodgers's side to joint tenth in the table.

Instead they make do with a point and joint-13th place with Fulham, while QPR sit 16th, three points clear of the relegation zone.

Protecting a proud home record that had seen them beaten only once in eight games at the Liberty Stadium - and that a narrow defeat at the hands of Manchester United - Swansea took the lead after only 14 minutes.

Wayne Routledge spotted Graham pulling away from his marker in the box and the striker controlled the winger's cross expertly with his thigh, though Rangers felt he had utilised his hand as well and Neil Warnock was clearly unhappy on the touchline, even if the touch could never be construed as deliberate.

After Fitz Hall tried and failed to clear, Graham rolled his foot over the ball and spun sharply to curl an inch-perfect shot around two QPR defenders and into the corner of the net.

Given the hosts' impressive home record, it was always going to be a formidable task for QPR to battle their way back into the tie but, within eight minutes, Joey Barton had forced Michel Vorm into an impressive stop with a fearsome effort from 25 yards.

However it was Swansea, resplendent in the passing style that has accompanied their impressive performances since promotion last season, who remained the greater threat, with record signing Graham a persistent menace to a team that tried to sign him over the summer.

How Warnock must have rued failing to tie up a deal for the former Watford striker as Graham turned Hall far too easily before seeing a low effort saved by Paddy Kenny after 37 minutes.

While Swansea naturally opted for a short passing game, with Leon Britton dictating proceedings from deep to good effect, QPR's most likely route to success was an aerial one but when Clint Hill and then Heidar Helguson did leap to meet crosses from Luke Young and Barton, they could not direct their respective headers on target.

A route one approach did pay dividends after 58 minutes though. Kenny punted the ball down the centre of the pitch and after Britton accidentally flicked the ball on, Ashley Williams was caught out as Mackie nipped in, took a touch and finished past Vorm.

Suddenly Swansea looked vulnerable and Mackie took a more tortuous route to goal just three minutes later, embarking on a mazy run through the home defence that was only brought to a halt when Vorm raced off his line to smother the ball.

On 73 minutes the home side were denied a clear chance to extend their lead when referee Probert decided not to award a penalty when Graham nipped in behind Traore and was clumsily brought to ground by the former Arsenal defender.

Swansea were incensed, while QPR raced up the other end and saw Adel Taarabt display fine close control on the edge of the box before spinning and forcing Vorm into a fine low save to his left to claw the ball away.

As the match wore on, QPR manager Warnock grew increasingly frustrated with the match officials, ensuring neither manager ended the match satisfied.

Tom Adams / Eurosport

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