TEN-MAN QPR slumped to a disappointing 3-0 Championship defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Rangers, who had Richard Dunne sent off for a last-ditch challenge on Leon Best, were behind when Chris Maguire scored a 35th-minute penalty following the award of a spot-kick for that incident.
And they failed to recover thereafter.
First, former QPR duo Leon Best and Oguchi Onyewu combined for the former to add a second goal in the 51st minute, before Lewis Buxton extended Wednesday’s advantage 20 minutes later.
Harry Redknapp made four changes to his Rangers side following Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Yeovil Town.
Three were enforced. Rob Green (rib), Armand Traore and Jermaine Jenas (both hamstring) all missed out, while Bobby Zamora replaced Will Keane in attack after scoring in that victory over the Glovers.
Brian Murphy made his first-ever league start for the R’s in goal with Green out, while there were also starting berths for Gary O’Neil and Karl Henry.
Rangers arguably had the better of the possession in the opening stanza. In fact, they should have taken the lead in the 10th minute.
Joey Barton’s quick free-kick freed Clint Hill in the box, before the Hoops skipper headed inches wide of the post.
Four minutes later, Ravel Morrison found Junior Hoilett on the left. The winger’s cross deflected up into the path of Henry on 18 yards, who shot over.
Despite those early chances, the first half was stop-start in the main.
Rangers had an excellent opportunity in the 31st minute. Morrison’s scuffed effort from a Barton free-kick bounced up off the ground towards three waiting R’s bodies, but the ball somehow evaded all of them before being collected by Damian Martinez.
The fixture took a big twist just past the half-hour mark when the home side were awarded a penalty – and QPR were reduced to 10 men.
Wednesday broke on the counter attack and when Best went down under the challenge of Dunne in the area, referee Mr Tierney pointed to the spot, dismissing the Rangers centre-back in the process.
Maguire then stepped up to coolly dispatch from 12 yards in the 35th minute.
A man up, the Owls, unsurprisingly, enjoyed a wealth of possession up to the interval. Maguire headed wide from close range, while Aaron Hughes was forced into a goal-line clearance.
Meanwhile, Murphy pulled off a spectacular reaction save on the stroke of half-time to thwart Atdhe Nuhiu, following a Wednesday corner.
QPR made a double substitution at the break. Niko Kranjcar and Yun Suk-Young were brought on to replace Hoilett and Henry respectively.
The hosts, however, scored a crucial second goal in the 51st minute. Best turned Nedum Onuoha following an Onyewu pass, before shooting low past Murphy from 12 yards.
Chances were few and far between following that particular strike. But the result was put beyond doubt with 19 minutes left on the clock.
A corner eventually fell to the feet of Owls right-back Buxton, who buried an effort into the bottom right-hand corner.
Wednesday would have added gloss to the scoreline but for the intervention of Murphy, who pulled off a number of saves until the death to keep the scoreline 3-0.