RANGERS’ recent winless run was stretched to eight games – Swansea City claiming a 2-0 victory in W12 to move into the Championship’s automatic promotion places.
A goal in either half did the damage in this Boxing Day affair.
Andre Ayew put Steve Cooper’s charges in front a minute from the interval, before the visitors made sure of the win in the 54th minute.
Jamal Lowe rounded off a well-executed counter attack – and Rangers couldn’t recover thereafter.
Looking to return to winning ways for the first time since late November, R’s boss Mark Warburton made one change to his team for the visit of high-flying Swansea.
Macauley Bonne came in for Bright Osayi-Samuel, who dropped down to the bench.
Swansea included former Rangers left-back Jake Bidwell in their starting line-up, while fellow ex-R’s Ryan Manning and Wayne Routledge were among the visiting substitutes.
QPR began in a changed 5-3-2 formation: Seny Dieng; Todd Kane, Rob Dickie, Geoff Cameron, Yoann Barbet, Niko Hamalainen; Ilias Chair, Dom Ball, Tom Carroll; Lyndon Dykes, Bonne.
There were chances at both ends during the opening period of the contest.
In the fourth minute, Swansea attacker Lowe poked into the arms of Dieng – probably put off by the sliding challenge of Dickie.
Then, just two minutes later, only a fine save by Freddie Woodman stood in the way of Rangers taking the lead. Barbet’s cross from deep was headed goalwards by Bonne, before the visiting goalkeeper flung himself backwards to tip the ball over the crossbar.
In the 13th minute, a flying stop at the other end by Dieng denied the Swans once more – QPR's custodian diving low to his left to keep out Yan Dhanda.
Rangers made a solid enough start to the first period, with opportunities drying up for both teams as the half progressed.
Unfortunately, though, the R’s would go in for half-time a goal behind.
On 44 minutes, Connor Roberts’ right-flank centre was headed goalwards by Bidwell, before Barbet responded in turn to head the ball against the post. Ayew then reacted first to produce a simple close-range finish.
Things went from bad to worse nine minutes after the break, as Rangers were caught on the counter attack.
Racing onto Matt Grimes’ inch-perfect pass, Lowe got the wrong side of QPR’s defence before keeping his cool to fire beyond Dieng. The R’s now had it all to do.
A Swansea third so nearly followed three minutes later. Lowe was again in the centre of the action, finding space on the right-hand side of Rangers’ box before blasting marginally wide.
At the other end, on 61 minutes, Bonne spurned a decent opportunity to bring the R’s within a goal of their opponents – heading wide from close range after meeting Dickie’s right-wing cross.
Rangers introduced Osayi-Samuel and Charlie Kelman shortly after that, in place of Hamalainen and Bonne respectively.
Fourteen minutes from time, meanwhile, another double substitution saw Kane and Carroll make way for Chris Willock and Albert Adomah.
In truth, though, those changes did little to trouble a well-organised Swansea defence.
The visitors rarely looked threatened and, in the end, were able to see out their win in relatively comfortable fashion.