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QPR took the game to their hosts in the opening minutes as Niko Kranjcar let fly with his left, but his effort flew high and wide of the goal.
McManaman then had an effort of his own as his shot narrowly flew past Robert Green's post with Wigan pushing to take the lead.
QPR carved out a great chance to go ahead in the 32nd minute, but Gary O'Neil's effort was kept out after a fine piece of goalkeeping.
The visitors wasted another good chance as the end of the half closed in, this time as Charlie Austin's right-footed shot from the left side of the box edged wide of the post.