Championship: Derby County 2 QPR 0
PUBLISHED: 21:46 21 November 2017
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Queens Park Rangers fell to a third successive defeat in the Sky Bet Championship after conceding either side of the break at Pride Park.
Humbled 4-0 at nearby Nottingham Forest in their last away fixture before the international break, then beaten 2-1 at home by Aston Villa at the weekend, they saw Matej Vydra and Tom Lawrence net eight minutes apart for the hosts.
And there was no way back for Rangers, who are looking nervously over their shoulders towards the relegation zone.
Ian Holloway made three changes to his side from Saturday’s home defeat against Aston Villa, with Luke Freeman seeing an early free-kick come to nothing.
David Wheeler teeds up Josh Scowen on five minutes, but his 18-yard shot was blocked as the visitors enjoyed plenty of possession during a positive start.
Joel Lynch cleared the danger when the home side looked to threaten for the first time, while Yeni Ngbakoto was inches away from connecting with Jamie Mackie’s cross and Scowen fired a volley wide.
Lynch flicked a header over the crossbar just past the half-hour mark, but then needed treatment soon after following a challenge with David Nugent.
But after such an encouraging first half, Rangers fell behind in stoppage time when Vydra finished off a fine Derby counter-attack with a low, left-footed shot.
Ryan Manning replaced Lynch during the break and Mackie sent a shot over soon after the restart,
But Rangers fell further behind on 53 minutes when Lawrence fired a stunning shot past Alex Smithies from the edge of the box.
Holloway sent Conor Washington on for Ngbakoto and, after Freeman and Jake Bidwell were both shown yellow cards, the Rs boss made his third and final change with Matt Smith replacing Wheeler.
The visitors switched to a 4-4-2 formation and Bidwell fired high and wide, before Washington flicked on Freeman’s header on 69 minutes, but Mackie could only head over the crossbar.
Derby saw Lawrence denied by Smithies at the other end, though, and Andreas Weimann fired narrowly over, before Freeman was similarly off-target from 25 yards.
And Scowen saw a late chance easily saved by Scott Carson as Rangers endured another miserable away-day, leaving boss Holloway to now try and lift his troops for their big west London derby with Brentford at Loftus Road on Monday.
QPR: Smithies, Baptiste, Lynch (Manning 46), Robinson, Wszolek, Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell, Mackie, Ngbakoto (Washington 54), Wheeler (Smith 64). Unused subs: Petrasso, Lumley, Chair, Sylla.
Attendance: 23,296 (including 383 QPR supporters).