QPR were dumped out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage following a 3-0 defeat to League One Sheffield United at Loftus Road.
Nigel Clough’s team took yet another scalp, this time against Premier League Rangers, following their recent giant-killing antics in cup competition.
Mark McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce (twice) were on target to put the Blades into Monday’s fourth-round draw.
Harry Redknapp made seven changes to his QPR side following our 1-1 home league draw with West Bromwich Albion on New Year’s Day.
Only top scorer Charlie Austin, Steven Caulker, Leroy Fer and Karl Henry retained their places, as the R’s lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
There were also spots on the bench for youngsters Darnell Furlong, the son of R’s legend and Under-18s boss Paul Furlong, and Reece Grego-Cox.
The opening minutes made for a relatively-tight affair, though Rangers probably shaded the possession count.
Fer forced Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard into a smart reaction save in the sixth minute following a corner. Meanwhile, at the other end, Campbell-Ryce flashed a centre across the face of goal – somehow without a touch – a few minutes later.
In the 13th minute, Jordon Mutch drove into space 25 yards from goal. His subsequent low shot, however, was held well by Howard.
The first half came without too many opportunities, though Stefan Scougall did miss a fair chance for United in the 18th minute when the ball dropped to him 10 yards from goal – the attacker blasting handsomely over.
Later into the half, Armand Traore had a low blast blocked by the visitors’ defence in the 29th minute, while Jose Baxter curled into the arms of QPR custodian Alex McCarthy soon after.
But McCarthy’s goal was breached in the 36th minute, United opening the scoring courtesy of a well-worked move.
It ended with Louis Reed slotting McNulty through one-on-one with the ‘keeper and he made no mistake thereafter, confidently sliding the ball under McCarthy at close range to give Clough’s men a half-time lead.
Rangers made one substitution at the break, Bobby Zamora brought on in place of Junior Hoilett.
However, that couldn’t prevent the away side doubling their advantage in the 50th minute.
A defensive mix-up following a corner saw the ball bounce loose in the six-yard box – and Campbell-Ryce duly obliged to tap home from close range.
Following United’s second goal, Zamora went close with a header after a Matt Phillips cross. Austin drove low at Howard following that chance.
On the hour mark, two more changes followed for QPR. Henry was replaced by Eduardo Vargas, Caulker by Mauricio Isla.
Moments after, Fer had an effort cleared off the goal-line from a corner.
With Sheffield United now breaking sporadically on the counter attack, Rangers began to clock up more possession as they went in search of a path back into the tie.
But the visitors were doing a good job of holding firm as the final quarter hour arrived. Phillips should have done better when he blazed over from 12 yards just before.
United deservedly put themselves through with a third goal in stoppage time, on a frustrating afternoon for the home side in W12.
Campbell-Ryce was put in the clear after Fer failed to get enough weight on a backwards header, before the Blades midfielder rounded McCarthy to smash home.