Bristol City make QPR pay for failure to take advantage of overwhelming first-half dominance
QPR 1 Bristol City 2
Rangers paid a heavy price for missing a host of first-half chances as they slipped to a second successive defeat, despite dominating the possession and shot stats.
They produced a thrilling first 45 minutes, with Bright Osayi-Samuel in imperious form down the right and Rob Dickie claiming his first goal for the Hoops.
But Mark Warburton’s men let the Robins off the hook and after conceding five minutes before the break, they lost their way, falling behind after the restart and failing to recover.
Rangers had a lucky early escape when Hungarian international Adam Nagy played a neat one-two with Chris Martin and slid the ball just wide from 12 yards with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
Yet the half after that belonged almost totally to Rangers as they arguably turned in their best half of the season so far.
They had a great chance to go in front when a long ball from the left by Yoann Barbet freed Osayi-Samuel, but former Bees keeper Dan Bentley raced out to smother.
And on 12 minutes, Dickie claimed his first Hoops goal, powering in a close-range header after fine work down the left flank from Chris Willock, whose cross was perfect for the ex-Oxford United defender.
Osayi-Samuel then tormented ex-Chelsea man Jay Dasilva, rounding the left back before forcing Bentley to get down low to block at his near post.
So desperate were the efforts of Dasilva to get to grips with the Rangers winger that he was hooked at half-time, to nobody’s great surprise.
From an Ilias Chair corner, Tom Carroll had a volley deflected over from inside the area, then it needed a clearance off the line to deny Willock as the home side scented blood.
The chances kept coming. Chair fired inches wide after a square ball from an increasingly on-fire Osayi-Samuel, who seemed to be tearing into the box from the right flank at will.
It seemed a second goal must come, but five minutes before the break, former Ranger Nahki Wells tapped in at the far post after a Callum O’Dowda cross from near the byline had made its way across the face of goal.
And Rangers were further punished for their profligacy five minutes after the break when they gave the ball away and a lightning break from Callum O’Dowda ended with a cross finding Nagy and the midfielder calmly side-stepped a defender before rolling the ball into the bottom corner.
Lyndon Dykes – who skied over a good chance in the first half from a fine Osman Kakay cross - eventually made way for Macauley Bonne as Rangers struggled to rediscover their first-half dynamism. Albert Adomah also entered the fray against his old club and Osayi-Samuel switched wings.
But it just did not fall right for Rangers.
Bonne came close to snatching an equaliser on 79 minutes – planting a shot wide from inside the box after getting the better of two City defenders to take possession of an awkward bouncing ball.
But there was an even better chance in injury time for Osayi-Samuel after Bonne and another sub, debutant Charlie Kelman, had set the winger into space with only Bentley to beat.
Wells almost settled it with a free-kick which flicked the outside of a post, but he had already done enough damage against his old club to make it a night of frustration for the hosts.
Rangers: Dieng – Kakay, Dickie, Barbet, Wallace (Hamalainen 74) – Ball (Adomah 68), Carroll – Osayi-Samuel, Chair, Willock (Kelman 83) – Dykes (Bonne 68). Subs not used: Kelly, Bonne, Thomas, Masterson, Bettache, De Silva.