QPR made it four games unbeaten in the Championship as they ran out narrow 2-1 winners against Derby County at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Hoops took the lead on the night after 34 minutes, when Grant Hall fired home a stunning strike from just on the edge of the penalty area, after Derby failed to clear their lines.
Martyn Waghorn equalised just nine minutes after QPR’s opener though, before second-half substitute Illias Chair netted the winner, as he finished clinically past Ben Hamer in the Derby goal.
Phillip Cocu’s side came into the game winless in their last three games, but did pick up a hard-fought point against promotion-chasing Fulham in their last match.
Whilst QPR have struggled to build on a strong start to this year’s league campaign and held Nottingham Forest to a goalless draw at the City Ground at the weekend.
It was Derby that started the game brightly in this one, as Max Bird’s corner was fired just over the crossbar from close-range which was the first opening of the game on Wednesday evening.
QPR’s first chance of the game came after eight minutes, when Tom Lawrence was dispossessed inside his own half by Bright Osayi-Samuel, who found Jordan Hugill, who opened up space for Ebere Eze, but QPR’s talisman could only fire straight at Ben Hamer in the Derby goal.
Derby soon increased the pressure on the Hoops as Wayne Rooney’s through ball almost found Tom Lawrence, but Ryan Manning managed to divert the ball over his own crossbar, which would have been a considerable amount closer than the QPR left-back would have originally intended.
Martyn Waghorn then had a chance to open the scoring on the night, but he could only fire over from ten yards out after a strong run and cross from full-back Max Lowe.
The Rams were made to pay for their missed opportunities in front of goal as QPR took the lead after 34 minutes when Grant Hall smashed the ball in off the underside of the crossbar after Derby failed to clear their lines.
But Phillip Cocu’s side didn’t take long to respond, as they equalised two minutes before half-time as Martyn Waghorn headed home from close-range after a well-placed cross from Derby youngster Max Bird to see the Rams draw level just two minutes before the half-time whistle as both teams went into the break level.
The second-half was somewhat of a ‘slow burner’, with both sides struggling to create a clear-cut chance as they looked to carve out an opening.
QPR’s best chance early into the second-half came from Marc Pugh who struck the woodwork from close-range after an expertly-weighted cross from right-back Todd Kane.
But Mark Warburton’s side took the lead once again after 75 minutes, as a strong run from Ebere Eze saw QPR’s talisman find substitute Illias Chair inside the penalty area, and the winger smashed home clinically past Derby goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who some will likely feel as though he could have dealt with his effort better at his near post.
That goal proved to be the difference as QPR moved up to 12th in the Championship table, whilst Derby slip to 14th and now find themselves 11 points adrift of the play-off places.
QPR are next in action when they take on Birmingham City at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium at the weekend as they look to pick up a positive result against Pep Clotet’s side.
Derby face a potentially tricky test in their next game when they take on an out-of-form Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, in a game where a defeat for either side would all but end their faint play-off hopes in the Championship this season.