ADEL Taarabt was on target with a fine individual effort but could not help QPR stave off a 3-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
The high-flying Baggies were two goals to the good through James Morrison and Zoltan Gera before the Moroccan struck home a fine volley in the 35th minute.
The goal gave Rangers momentum but although they enjoyed the better of the possession after the half-time break, they struggled to dismantle a defiant Baggies defence.
The R’s pressed for a leveller throughout the second half but conceded an all-important third goal five minutes from time, after Youssef Mulumbu finished a free-flowing team move.
Esteban Granero added a consolation second for the visitors in second-half stoppage time.
Mark Hughes made three changes to his side after Monday night's 2-1 home defeat to West Ham United.
Taarabt started after coming from the bench to net a sensational solo effort against the Hammers, as did recent injury victims Jose Bosingwa and Anton Ferdinand.
Rangers – winless in the league this term prior to kick-off – knew they would be up against it given Albion's excellent start to the season.
Indeed, the Baggies were in sixth spot in the Premier League before the fixture and were looking for their fourth consecutive win of the campaign on home soil.
They had also failed to concede in their first three games of the season at The Hawthorns.
Such a fine start would be reason enough to give any team confidence and West Brom started like a team that had it in abundance, taking a fifth-minute lead.
It may have only been the first chance of the contest but the opening goal was certainly a well-worked one.
Shane Long sped away from Clint Hill down the right before sending over a delicious centre for Morrison, whose superb close-range header put Albion in front.
The goal gave West Brom added purpose and they almost extended their advantage 10 minutes later.
The home side broke on the counter attack and when Morrison crossed from an Peter Odemwingie pass, Long somehow blazed over with the goal at his mercy.
Gera soon saw another Baggies attempt saved by Julio Cesar, before the hosts eventually added a second goal on 22 minutes.
Ferdinand failed to clear Morrison’s low cross from the right and when the ball fell to Gera on 12 yards, he coolly slotted an effort into the bottom right-hand corner.
The second goal would have no doubt deflated Rangers but they pulled one back 13 minutes later in stunning style through Taarabt.
Hot on the heels of his blockbuster against West Ham on Monday, the Moroccan ace chested down Granero’s clip forward before lashing home with an unstoppable volley.
Hughes’ men grew in confidence – and possession – after that but could so easily have seen West Brom regain their two-goal advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Morrison’s defence-splitting pace put Gera in the clear, whose subsequent 12-yard effort was wonderfully tipped around the post by Cesar.
The R’s, who brought on Armand Traore in place of Hill at the break, fashioned the first attempt of the second half just a minute after the interval, with Taarabt shooting straight at Ben Foster.
West Brom looked nervous in possession and it wasn’t long before Shaun Wright-Phillips had another Rangers chance when latching on to Taarabt’s slide-rule pass. The diminutive winger, however, opted to shoot rather than cross from an acute angle, dragging an effort into the side-netting.
Despite seeing their team lead, the home crowd were edgy and Hughes – who had already made a relatively attacking switch by introducing Traore at the expense of Hill – threw on Jamie Mackie in place of Wright-Phillips on 58 minutes.
QPR were now arguably the stronger force but just lacked that second goal for their efforts.
It almost arrived in the 69th minute when the Baggies failed to deal with Bosingwa’s cross into the box. Granero lashed the loose ball over.
A minute later, Junior Hoilett was brought on to replace the injured Stephane Mbia, who limped off after appearing to pick up a knock.
Despite enjoying the greater possession, Rangers were struggling to break down a resilient Baggies backline.
In fact, it was West Brom who could have added a third goal in the 80th minute after Morrison saw his rasping 30-yard effort whistle inches past the upright.
But they did a minute later – and what an impressive team goal it was, too.
Mulumbu started and finished a move which eventually saw substitute Gonzalo Jara Reyes cross into his path before finishing with aplomb inside the box.
Granero gave Rangers a small glimmer of hope when he curled home a lovely 12-yard effort in second-half stoppage time.
The R’s even had an opportunity to complete the unluckiest of comebacks when Granero’s corner eventually fell into the path of Bosingwa in the dying seconds, but he could only shoot over from six yards.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Olsson, Popov, Yacob, Morrison, Long (Lukaku 63), Mulumbu, Gera, McAuley, Odemwingie (Rosenberg 63), Tamas (Reyes 46).
Subs: Daniels, Dorrans, Dawson, Fortune.
Goals: Morrison (5), Gera (22), Mulumbu (85)
Bookings: Tamas (25), Park (45)
QPR: Cesar, Ferdinand, Hill (Traore 46), Park, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips (Mackie 58), Granero, Nelsen, Bosingwa, Zamora, Mbia (Mbia 70).
Subs: Green, Cisse, Onuoha, Faurlin.
Goals: Taarabt (35), Granero (90)
Bookings: Park (45), Mackie (89)
Referee: Mr M Jones