Charles N’Zogbia grabbed a late equalizer for Aston Villa as Queens Park Rangers surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Villa Park in the Premier League on Wednesday.
The French winger volleyed home a cross from captain Stiliyan Petrov in the 79th minute to complete a comeback that started with Darren Bent’s close-range strike on the stroke of halftime _ the predatory England striker’s 100th Premier League goal.
French striker Djibril Cisse,playing his first match since a deadline-day switch from Lazio on Tuesday,marked his debut with a 12th-minute opener before Stephen Warnock’s own goal in the 29th.
Mid-table Villa couldn’t snatch a winner and remain without a home win since the start of November.
Cisse only received clearance to play 90 minutes before kickoff but was a danger throughout on his return to the Premier League,having had previous spells at Liverpool and Sunderland.
I thought Cisse was excellent and everyone can understand now why I wanted to bring him to the club, QPR manager Mark Hughes said.
We only got clearance for him to play as I was walking into the entrance at Villa Park when a text came through. But he is going to be vital for us. He was bright,intelligent and powerful. The fact he has already played in the Premier League was a factor in signing him because it means he can hit the ground running, he said.
A win would have lifted QPR five points clear of the bottom three,but the team should be spared a relegation scrap if Cisse and fellow deadline-day signing Bobby Zamora can strike up a good partnership up front.
Zamora wasn’t eligible to play on Wednesday as he hadn’t been registered in time by his new employers.
Villa’s comeback delighted manager Alex McLeish and it was sparked by Bent,who lifted his tally for the season to nine goals by reaching a century of goals in England’s top flight.
The goal just before halftime gave us an injection,and during the break we demanded that we played with a much greater tempo, said McLeish.
They responded and full credit to them,but we need to see that for 90 minutes in games.