A MISSED penalty from Adel Taarabt cost relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers victory against Norwich City as the early English Premier League kickoff ended in a 0-0 stalemate yesterday.
Taarabt saw his second-half spot-kick saved by Norwich goalkeeper Mark Gunn, who had bundled over striker Jamie Mackie in the area.
It was QPR's fourth league draw in a row.
Substitute Bobby Zamora also missed a late chance for Harry Redknapp's side while Gunn made a great save to deny Andros Townsend, one of several new players, including 12.5 million pounds (US$19.7 million) record-signing Christopher Samba, to make their QPR debuts.
Bottom club QPR was indebted to Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar in the second half when he made a fine stop from Robert Snodgrass's powerful shot from outside the area.
QPR is now five matches unbeaten in the Premier League but remains in 20th spot with 17 points from 25 games, three points behind Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Reading.
Norwich, which has not won in the league since mid-December, climbed one place to 13th.
With second-place Manchester City not in action until today's home game with Liverpool, leader Manchester United can increase its lead at the top to 10 points if it wins at Fulham in the evening kick-off.
Chelsea, third, will close to within three points of City if it wins at Newcastle United, while Everton can move into the top four if it overcomes beleaguered Villa at Goodison Park.
Sixth-placed Arsenal will also be looking to make up ground on its rivals for Champions League qualification when it hosts Stoke City.
In Germany, Nils Petersen scored two late goals to give Werder Bremen a 2-0 win over Hannover in the Bundesliga for the home side's first victory of the year on Friday.
Bremen created a host of chances before Petersen finally broke the deadlock in the 85th, when Eljero Elia eluded two defenders to set him up.
Three minutes later, Elia did brilliantly again to ghost past two defenders and find Oezkan Yildirim on the left. Yildirim found Petersen, who let fly with a volley to the top right corner off the post for his ninth goal of the season.
Bremen created 32 scoring chances compared to the visitors' six.
"It would have been terrible if we hadn't used our chances," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said.
The win took Bremen up to 11th, one point behind Hannover, ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.