THREE first-half goals proved crucial for the R’s, who returned to winning ways with a 3-2 success over Rotherham United.
Ilias Chair (20 minutes), Bright Osayi-Samuel (45+1) and Lyndon Dykes (penalty, 45+4) were all on target for Rangers, whose work before half-time set up this Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium success.
Michael Smith’s first-half leveller and Freddie Ladapo’s 84th-minute strike certainly made for an interesting finale.
But, thankfully, the R’s were able to hang on for all three points to take into Friday’s west London derby at Brentford.
Following Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Watford, QPR boss Mark Warburton freshened things up by making four changes to his starting XI for the visit of Rotherham.
Dykes, Chris Willock, Osman Kakay and Niko Hamalainen were all drafted in for the R’s, with Macauley Bonne, Tom Carroll, Todd Kane and Lee Wallace taking up places among the substitutes this time around.
Rangers – in a 4-2-3-1 formation – lined up as: Seny Dieng; Kakay, Conor Masterson, Yoann Barbet, Hamalainen; Geoff Cameron, Dom Ball; Osayi-Samuel, Chair, Willock; Dykes.
QPR began brightly. Chair fired into the side-netting from the acutest of angles in the fourth minute, following some tidy approach play from the R’s.
But Rotherham should have taken the lead come the 10th minute. Dan Barlaser’s looping right-flank centre was met by Trevor Clarke at the back post, but he couldn’t get enough purchase on his header – instead nodding wide of the target.
Rangers also should have led after 16 minutes. Osayi-Samuel’s lung-busting run from halfway took him all the way into Rotherham’s box, before the wide-man’s subsequent blast clipped the upright on its way behind.
The R’s would edge in front in the 20th minute, though.
More Osayi-Samuel trickery eventually paved the way for Chair to take aim from 12 yards, with the latter’s shot taking a double deflection to wrongfoot Jamal Blackman before nestling into the back of the net.
Rangers so nearly added a second goal four minutes later. Chair’s corner saw Dykes eventually feed Osayi-Samuel, who drove just over.
At the other end, Dieng produced a stunning save to preserve QPR’s lead on 32 minutes. Barlaser’s 20-yard blast looked to be heading for the top right-hand corner before the R’s goalkeeper flung himself to his left to tip the ball over the crossbar.
However, Rotherham would level matters ahead of half-time.
On 38 minutes, Wes Harding’s high, hanging right-flank cross was met by the head of Smith at the near post, who got in front of his marker to restore parity in W12.
Rangers almost regained their lead just two minutes later. Osayi-Samuel’s centre from the right deflected up into the path of Willock, whose header dropped marginally wide.
The hosts went mightily close again in the 43rd minute, with Osayi-Samuel’s close-range effort – following good work from Chair – somehow kept out by visiting defender Angus McDonald.
But the R’s would finally make it 2-1 ahead of the interval.
In the first minute of added time, Osayi-Samuel played a neat one-two with Cameron before again striding into the penalty area. This time, though, he fired beyond Blackman to hand Rangers the initiative once more.
QPR even had time to add a third goal, from the penalty spot, before the half-time whistle was sounded.
After Barlaser was penalised for handball in the box, Dykes stepped up to power home his fourth of the campaign in typical no-nonsense fashion.
Into the second half, and Rangers threatened another goal in the 52nd minute.
Willock outpaced his marker before unselfishly squaring the ball across goal for Chair, but the Rotherham rearguard reacted in the nick of time to avert the danger.
A first R’s change followed on the hour mark. Willock made way for Bonne.
Five minutes later, Cameron was replaced by Carroll.
Chances were few and far between for much of a stop-start second period.
In the 74th minute, Rotherham sub Ladapo probably should have done better when shooting tamely at Dieng from 10-yards out.
With the clock running down, a third Hoops sub arrived 11 minutes from time. Adomah came on for Osayi-Samuel.
Rotherham set up a grandstand finish in the 84th minute.
After skipper Micahel Ihiekwe’s header forced a fine stop from Dieng – who tipped the ball onto the left-hand post – Ladapo followed up to bring the visitors within a goal of the R’s.
There would be no late drama, though.
Rotherham desperately threw bodies forward as they searched for a third and levelling goal, but there was no further way past the R’s through to the end of four additional second-half minutes.
Three-two to the Super Hoops.