GOALS from Ilias Chair and Rob Dickie ensured QPR got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win at Bristol City.
Chair and Dickie did the damage in the first half, and it proved to be a comfortable afternoon’s work for Rangers at Ashton Gate.
The R’s took the lead when Chair headed home a fantastic delivery from Todd Kane on 11 minutes before Dickie netted the second on 22 minutes from close range.
Mark Warburton made three changes from the side that lost 3-1 to Barnsley at Kiyan Prince Foundation on Wednesday night.
The most notable one was the introduction of centre-back Jordy De Wijs for his R’s debut following his arrival on loan from Hull City in January. A calf injury had delayed the start to his QPR career.
The Dutchman was in for the absent Geoff Cameron, while Sam Field was making his full debut after five sub appearances since joining on loan from West Brom.
Chris Willock was also given a started.
Dom Ball and Lyndon Dykes were rested, taking up a place on the bench.
It meant Rangers lined up with Seny Dieng between the posts behind a back five, from left to right, of Lee Wallace – who skippered the side in the absence of Cameron – Yoann Barbet, De Wijs, Rob Dickie and Todd Kane.
Stefan Johansen partnered Field behind Ilias Chair, who played in the No.10 role with Charlie Austn partnering Willock in attack.
De Wijs wasted little time getting involved in the action as he absolutely clattered City’s Famara Diedhiou in the opening minute.
The hosts, who had won two of three games under new gaffer Nigel Pearson, started strongly though, forcing two corners in the opening exchanges.
On nine minutes, QPR almost carved out a decent opportunity for themselves when Austin floated a perfectly-weighted ball into the path of Willock on the right, but the latter’s low cross for the onrushing Chair was hacked to safety.
But on 11 minutes the R’s found the breakthrough with a well-directed header from the diminutive Chair.
Kane had time on the right and he produced a super ball which Chair guided beyond the exposed Dan Bentley from eight yards for his sixth goal of the season.
Rangers were again looking dangerous going forward in the 21st minute when a great ball from Willock freed Wallace down the left and he pulled the ball back into the path of Johansen, but his effort was deflected wide.
Rangers made the most of the resultant corner, however, and doubled their lead when Dickie reacted first to smash the ball into the roof of the net after Barbet’s effort from the edge of the box came back off the post.
It was a stunning opening from the clinical R’s, and led to Pearson making his first change of the afternoon after just 23 minutes, replacing Tyreeq Bakinson with Antoine Semenyo.
The hosts fired a warning shot on 29 minutes through fullback Jack Hunt but Dieng was able to deal with the danger.
Shortly after the half-hour mark, Field and Zak Vyner suffered a nasty clash of heads as they battled in the air, with the City man coming off the worst.
Field returned to his feet after some brief treatment while Vyner had a lengthy spell of attention before groggily leaving the pitch to be replaced by Sam Pearson.
Dickie almost had his second of the afternoon when he brilliantly controlled Johansen’s corner on his chest but his shot from close-range was blocked.
There were eight minutes of injury time played at the end of the first half, in which former R Nahki Wells fired over from distance before referee Tony Harrington blew for the interval.
It was certainly a successful opening period for Rangers who were clinical when the chances came.
QPR started the second half well, enjoying plenty of the ball and looking confident as they moved it around.
Dieng made a comfortable save from Pearson on 58 minutes while De Wijs had a header from Johansen’s corner stopped by Bentley moments later.
That was his final action of note as the towering defender was replaced by Ossie Kakay on 63 minutes and can certainly be pleased with his first outing in a QPR shirt.
The move saw Kakay play on the right of a back three, with Dickie moving into the centre of the backline.
Rangers continued to look threatening when they went forward and Chair nearly netted his second of the afternoon when he controlled Willock’s cross on his chest, but his shot flew over the bar from 18 yards.
Austin, making his 100th appearance for the club, continued to show the hunger which has made him such a fans’ favourite and his chasing almost caused a mistake at the back for City, but Bentley was quick off his line to clear the danger as the R’s No.45 closed in.
Despite being two goals to the good, there was a clear eagerness by the R’s not to sit back on their lead, and much of the second half continued to be played in the City half of the pitch.
Dieng showed good hands to gather Kasey Palmer’s low drive on 72 minutes before Warburton made a double change, replacing Field and Austin with Dom Ball and Macauley Bonne respectively.
On 79 minutes, a superb run by Chair resulted in him being up-ended on the edge of the City box, and the ball was left for Johansen to try his luck – but his effort sailed a foot over the bar, much to the Norwegian’s frustration.
With ten minutes remaining, Chair was replaced by George Thomas while Willock came off for Albert Adomah.
Ball almost netted a stunner in injury time from distance as the R’s comfortably saw the game out to record another solid win on the road.