TEN-MAN Rangers slipped to a forgettable 4-0 defeat to promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest in W12 – meaning the R’s are now winless in six Sky Bet Championship fixtures.
By no means a classic, visitors Forest opened the scoring in this encounter in the 15th minute, as Tobias Figueiredo headed home a Joe Lolley corner.
Rangers couldn’t subsequently recover and, after Lee Wallace’s 50th-minute dismissal for bringing down Lolley as the last man, further goals from Lewis Grabban (81 minutes) and substitutes Joao Carvalho (88) and Alfa Semedo (90+1) sealed a comprehensive victory for Sabri Lamouchi’s men.
QPR boss Mark Warburton made one change to his starting XI for the visit of Nottingham Forest, following Friday night’s 2-1 west London derby reverse at Fulham. Ilias Chair came in for Jordan Hugill, who dropped down to the bench.
Rangers – in a 3-5-1-1 formation – lined up as: Joe Lumley; Grant Hall (captain), Toni Leistner, Wallace; Todd Kane, Dom Ball, Luke Amos, Ebere Eze, Ryan Manning; Chair; Nahki Wells.
High-flying Forest named two former R’s men in their line-up. Both Jack Robinson and Ben Watson were among the visiting starters at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
This contest got off to a rather sluggish start, with Manning’s wayward ninth-minute free-kick the only effort to note inside the opening 10 minutes.
However, there was to be an early goal – Forest striking the first blow on the quarter-hour mark.
Lolley’s right-flank corner kick was met by Figueiredo at the back post, who rose above Wallace to head the visitors into the lead.
A disappointing start from Rangers’ point of view – and the fixture continued to be a bit of a turgid affair thereafter amid the driving west London rain. The hosts tried to get their passing game going, but just lacked a killer ball to hurt their opponents.
Forest spurned a fine opportunity to double their lead in the 31st minute, recycling a left-wing corner before Sammy Ameobi shot tamely at Lumley from close range.
At the other end, visiting goalkeeper Brice Samba was called into action in the 35th minute – fisting away Manning’s swerving 20-yard effort before Forest managed to clear their lines.
Then, two minutes later came another Samba save, this time flinging out his right arm to keep out Chair’s fierce box attempt.
The Forest custodian was certainly busier than he had been towards half-time. Six minutes before the break, Chair burst onto a misplaced pass before striking low and at Samba.
There was to be no further goalscoring action prior to the interval – but Rangers made a positive half-time change heading into the second half. Hugill came on for Amos.
QPR’s hopes were dealt a major blow five minutes into the second period, though – the R’s reduced to 10 men.
Following a ball from deep, last man Wallace tangled with Lolley and, when referee Stephen Martin ruled that the latter was unfairly hauled to ground, a straight red card was issued.
Rangers now had it all to do and soon made a second substitution – Josh Scowen replacing Chair.
Scowen so nearly levelled matters for the R’s in the 59th minute.
Kane’s industrious run down the right ended with him picking out Scowen on 10 yards, whose header dropped just millimetres wide of the target.
Opportunities dried up somewhat after that. Forest, a man to the good, seemed content to keep possession whenever possible in order to safeguard their slim advantage – picking Rangers off on the counter when chances presented themselves.
QPR went close to equalising in the 77th minute, Wells’ dipping 25-yard free-kick forcing Samba into a smart low stop at the Loft End.
Then, a minute later, Scowen’s goal-line clearance kept out another Figueiredo header, following sub John Bostock’s corner from the right.
The visitors did put the game to bed in the final 10 minutes, though.
First, Ameobi’s left-flank centre arrowed across the six-yard box to pick out Grabban, who was left with the simple task of tapping home from all of three yards out.
And after Carvalho displayed quick feet in the box to rifle home on 88 minutes, fellow sub Semedo followed up on Matty Cash’s effort that was spilled by Lumley to finish easily from point-blank range.