Queen's Park Rangers produced an admirable defensive performance to dig in for a 0-0 Premier League draw against Tottenham Hotspur at Loftus Road.
Despite dominating, Tottenham failed to turn their possession into goals in a largely turgid encounter.
Julio Cesar produced a brilliant early double save to deny Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, while Shaun Wright-Phillips wasted the home team's best chances.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas's frustration was increased by the loss of key midfielder Sandro to a first-half knee injury.
The match had promised needle between Harry Redknapp and his successor Villas-Boas, a man for whom he supposedly has little regard.
Even when repeatedly insisting on Friday he had "no problems at all" with the Portuguese, his words had the air of a man protesting too much.
But after briefly hinting at a compelling spectacle, the match slumped into drudgery.
The first half's standout moment came on five minutes when Defoe cut inside from the left and pinged a dipping 20-yarder.
Julio Cesar leapt to his right to touch the ball onto the post before making an instant recovery to save Adebayor's follow-up - absolutely exceptional goalkeeping.
Adel Taarabt, as always, provided QPR's main attacking focus. Largely wasteful yet fleetingly creative, he supplied a fine through-ball for Wright-Phillips in the 12th minute but Michael Dawson produced a good block to send the shot out for a corner.
Wright-Phillips had QPR's next best chance of the half, just before the break, when he darted past Kyle Walker but dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box.
Otherwise, the half followed a reliable pattern - Tottenham dominant in possession, but frustrated by their own sloppiness of touch and some well-organised defending from the home team.
Spurs lost midfielder Sandro to an apparent knee injury, with Scott Parker replacing him on 25 minutes.
The visitors made a strong start to the second period, winning a free-kick just outside the box which Gareth Bale struck straight at the goalkeeper.
Kyle Walker bent a subsequent free-kick just over before Julio Cesar saved with his feet from a Defoe shot.
As time passed, hopes of a goal vanished. Taarabt and Adebayor took turns to see who could elaborate more pointlessly and frustratingly - the latter opting for a Zidane-style spin when he needed to hit a left-foot shot.
Wright-Phillips provided an appropriate conclusion when Taarabt played him in - the winger had a chance to seal a famous win but kicked the ground. Dismal.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Julio Cesar (QPR): The Brazilian's sensational double-stop to deny Defoe and Adebayor might just be the save of the season so far.
QPR: Cesar 8, Hill 8, Onuoha 7, Nelsen 7, Fabio 7, Mbia 7, Park 6, Derry 6, Taarabt 6, Wright-Phillips 5, Mackie 7. Subs: None
Tottenham: Lloris 6, Walker 7, Vertonghen 7, Dawson 7, Naughton 6, Sandro 6, Dembele 6, Lennon 7, Bale 6, Adebayor 5, Defoe 7. Subs: Parker 6, Sigurdsson N/A, Dempsey 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- Jermain Defoe