QPR’S woes on the road continued with defeat at West Ham United on Sunday.
Nedum Onuoha’s fifth-minute own goal inadvertently handed the Hammers an early advantage before Diafra Sakho’s tap-in compounded the R’s misery on the hour-mark.
Charlie Austin twice threatened a leveller in between but to no avail as manager Harry Redknapp endured a frustrating return to the Boleyn Ground.
Redknapp made three changes from last weekend’s trip to Southampton. Onuoha was handed his first Premier League start of the season while Karl Henry and Junior Hoilett returned in midfield as Mauricio Isla, Eduardo Vargas and Matty Phillips – missing out altogether – made way.
Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand wore the captain’s armband against his boyhood club on the defender’s 500th top flight appearance.
Rangers made the worst possible start, falling behind inside five minutes. Stewart Downing’s inswinging corner found its way through to the six-yard box, where Onuoha was helpless to prevent the ball ricocheting off his shin and into his own net.
One almost became two five minutes later. Sakho’s pull-back from the by-line deflected into the path of strike partner Enner Valencia, but the R’s defence were relieved to see him skew his shot wide.
After a tough start, Rangers fashioned their first chance midway through the first half. Armand Traore threaded a ball through to Austin but, after he skipped past James Tomkins, could only fire straight at Adrian with team-mates calling for a cut-back.
At the other end, another corner almost resulted in another goal for the hosts. This time Mauro Zarate’s centre was glanced wide by Winston Reid, with Valencia inches away from connecting at the back post.
Aaron Cresswell found space in behind the R’s rearguard moments later but his dangerous cross was lashed away by Ferdinand.
Redknapp introduced former Hammers favourite Bobby Zamora for Hoilett at the interval, and the striker almost made an instant impact. Zamora picked out Austin within two minutes of the re-start, but the R’s number volleyed wide from eight yards.
Despite an encouraging opening to the second half, though, it was West Ham who found the net again approaching the hour-mark. After Rangers failed to deal with Creswell’s floated free-kick, Tomkins hooked the ball back into the danger area for Sakho to nod home on the goal-line.
The ball was in the back of the net again seconds later but Valencia’s effort was ruled out after intercepting Green’s free-kick less than 10 yards away.
Onuoha looked to make amends at the other end, thundering a shot over Adrian’s crossbar following a marauding run through the Hammers midfield.
A second R’s substitution followed, as Adel Taarabt replaced Sandro – booked in the first half – for the final 23 minutes.
Niko Kranjcar was next to threaten, forcing Adrian to claw away the Croat’s free-kick from 25 yards.
Kranjcar was withdrawn 13 minutes from time, making way for Mutch in midfield.
Meanwhile, fellow second-half arrival Taarabt came close with a long-range speculative shot which sailed past the right-hand upright while Mutch called Adrian into action from similar range.
Kevin Nolan had the chance to extend United’s lead late on but Green had other ideas, saving low down to his left to ensure the margin of defeat remained at two.