QPR put Boro to the sword
QPR continue to set the pace as Middlesbrough look anything but pre-season promotion favourites.
Last Updated: 11/09/10 5:38pm
QPR continue to set the pace at the top of the Championship as Middlesbrough look anything but the pre-season promotion favourites they were billed as.
Neil Warnock's men produced a stirring second-half display with Heidar Helguson breaking the deadlock when he rolled home a penalty in the 49th minute.
Hogan Ephraim doubled their lead soon after before Jamie Mackie completed the scoring to pile further pressure on Boro boss Gordon Strachan.
Rangers have now hit nine goals without reply at home while Boro remain winless on the road.
Strachan handed a debut to on loan Hamburg midfielder Mickael Tavares, and gave him the unenviable task of keeping an eye on Rangers playmaker Adel Taarabt.
But the Senegal man was nowhere to be seen when Taarabt, the player of the month for August, put in another fine display.
Taarabt fired in an early shot which Jason Steele got down well to and then tried his luck from 25 yards, only to curl his shot over the top.
Steele was back in action midway through the first half, twice denying Ephraim within the space of a minute.
Seconds later Taarabt was teed up by Mackie but dragged his 18-yard shot inches wide.
Boro's only sights of goal in the opening stages were from long range, with Scott McDonald firing wide and Paddy Kenny saving from Tarmo Kink.
But they should have gone ahead just after the half hour when Barry Robson's corner landed at the feet of Kris Boyd.
However, the former Rangers striker dragged his shot wide from all of six yards out.
Warnock was incensed when Helguson was sent sprawling in the area by Robson and referee Mick Russell waved away their penalty claims.
But when the same pair tangled in the opposite area just after the interval, Russell pointed to the spot and Helguson coolly sent Steele the wrong way.
Four minutes later Rangers went two up when Taarabt floated a curling cross into the area and Ephraim was on hand to guide the ball past Steele and into the net.
Mackie killed off Boro on the hour when he pounced from close range after Kaspars Gorkss' shot was blocked.
Boro's day could have got even worse, with Helguson volleying wide and Ephraim crashing a shot onto the crossbar.