QPR 2-0 Millwall: Massimo Luongo, Ebere Eze secure comfortable home victory
Win sees Rangers extend unbeaten league run to four
Last Updated: 19/09/18 10:45pm
Two goals inside three first-half minutes gave rejuvenated QPR a 2-0 victory over Millwall in the London derby at Loftus Road.
Massimo Luongo put QPR ahead on the half-hour mark and Ebere Eze, playing against the club that released him, doubled their lead.
It continued a dramatic upturn in form for Rangers, who lost their first four league matches under boss Steve McClaren - a run which included a 7-1 humiliation at West Brom.
They have taken 10 points from a possible 12 since the all-important loan signings of strikers Nahki Wells and Tomer Hemed, although the latter was rested from the starting XI against the Lions.
Luongo's unorthodox opener came from the corner that followed Ben Amos saving at his near post to deny Jordan Cousins; in a set-piece clearly devised on the training pitch, Wells drifted into space to meet Luke Freeman's low delivery with a first-time shot.
Wells' strike took a deflection and looped up towards Luongo, who was standing just in front of keeper Amos and back-headed the ball past him from a couple of yards out.
QPR were helped by another deflection for the second goal. After Conor McLaughlin mis-hit an apparent attempt to direct Wells' right-wing cross out for a corner, Jake Bidwell retrieved the ball on the opposite flank.
Bidwell crossed to Eze, whose hooked shot from near the edge of the six-yard box came off Lions defender Murray Wallace, wrong-footing Amos, who was unable to keep the ball out of his net.
The visitors improved after the break and home goalkeeper Joe Lumley pushed away a volley from substitute Steve Morison before Jake Cooper almost pulled a goal back when he headed Shaun Williams' left-wing corner against the bar.
But QPR remained a threat and Cooper prevented them scoring a late third after Luongo combined beautifully with Eze; Australian Luongo's shot was kept out by Amos, and Cooper blocked Cousins' attempt to force home the loose ball.
Hemed, on as a substitute for the hard-working Wells, saw a late free-kick palmed away by Amos as Rangers finished on top.
Steve McClaren: "It wasn't perfect, that second half was...if they'd have scored then, it would've been difficult, like it was against Bolton on Saturday. It was a performance which I think had everything - good and bad. It was a great first half and we could've been four goals up.
"We needed that third goal. We knew they'd come at us bringing Morison on but we defended for our lives and at the right times got lucky but there again, you need that. It was closer than it should've been at the end but three points, clean sheet, scored two goals at home...we're delighted with that."
Neil Harris: "In the first half, we didn't compete. I take full responsibility as I picked a side to play a London derby, picked the tactics but it wasn't good enough in the first half. Outbattled by the QPR side and I take responsibility - it won't happen again while I'm in charge.
"I thought we were much better second half, a lot more Millwall-like. We huffed and puffed but ultimately we've lost to two really, really poor goals."