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QPR stare at relegation after draw

LONDON, Feb 2, 2013, Reuters: 22:54 IST

Football Foreign round-up: Taarabt misses spot-kick as Norwich City hold them goalless

A missed penalty from Adel Taarabt cost relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers victory against Norwich City as the early Premier League kickoff ended in a 0-0 stalemate on Saturday.

Taarabt saw his second-half spot-kick saved by Norwich keeper 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 signings to make their QPR debuts.

Bottom club QPR were indebted to keeper Julio Cesar in the second half when he made a fine stop from Robert Snodgrass's powerful shot from outside the area. QPR are now five matches unbeaten in the Premier League but remain in 20th spot with 17 points from 25 games, three points behind Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Reading.

Bilbao hold Valladolid

Athletic Bilbao recovered from two goals down to rescue a 2-2 draw at Real Valladolid in La Liga on Friday as they failed to build convincingly on last week's 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

Javi Guerra nodded the home side in front in the eighth minute of an entertaining match between the two mid-table teams at Valladolid's rain-lashed Jose Zorrilla stadium.
Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz shot against the frame of the goal in the 15th minute but moments later Valladolid were 2-0 ahead when Alberto Bueno turned in a Daniel Larsson centre.

Oscar de Marcos began Bilbao's fightback in the 22nd minute when he volleyed Markel Susaeta's cross in off a post and Susaeta tapped in the equaliser at a corner five minutes after the break.

Bilbao have failed to reproduce the form that took them to the final of the Europa League and King's Cup last season. Friday's draw leaves them in 13th place on 26 points from 22 matches with Valladolid 10th on 29 points.

"We got off to a poor start falling two goals behind," Susaeta told Spanish television broadcaster Marca TV. Real Madrid, whose title defence has faltered leaving them 15 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, can move within a point of second-placed Atletico Madrid by beating Granada on Saturday.

Barca play at seventh-placed Valencia on Sunday before Atletico host Real Betis, who are fifth.

Bayern extend lead

In-form striker Mario Mandzukic scored twice to steer Bayern Munich to a 3-0 victory at Mainz 05 on Saturday and increase their runaway lead at the top of the Bundesliga to an enormous 14 points.

Bundesliga top scorer Mandzukic, who also scored one goal and set up another last week, struck twice in seven minutes early in the second half to take his league goal tally to 14 as Bayern won their 16th out of 20 games so far.
Thomas Mueller had given the visitors a 40th minute lead against the run of play with his 11th goal of the season.

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