QPR missed the chance to go second in the Championship table as a below-par performance saw them beaten by fellow promotion hopefuls Derby County. Here’s how we rated the players in their 1-0 defeat at Pride Park.
Rob Green: 5
Has been excellent this season and made a couple of decent saves. But flapped at the corner for the winner and looked shaky at times, notably when dealing with a Benoit Assou-Ekotto backpass that could easily have led to a second home goal.
Aaron Hughes: 7
Steady in defence on his debut, had a decent header well saved by Lee Grant before the break and used the ball well in supplying Junior Hoilett in the second period.
Richard Dunne: 6
Solid enough but never looked entirely comfortable against the combined threat posed by Patrick Bamford’s pace and Chris Martin’s cuteness.
Clint Hill: 6
As with Dunne, not wholly convincing but mainly because the central defenders both lacked consistent cover in from of them. Won his headers and tackles with typical determination.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto: 6
Got forward regularly. Put in a few good crosses and made two or three dangerous runs. Far too casual at times though and seemed to be going through the motions.
Joey Barton: 7
The standout Rangers player in a below-par display. Used the ball better than most, showed good energy and displayed all the fight you would expect.
Niko Kranjcar: 5
Outmuscled way too often and not involved anywhere near enough. Derby denied him time on the ball and he was only able to show fleeting glimpses of his obvious quality.
Tom Carroll: 6
Showed some neat touches and was good in possession. But like Kranjcar he struggled against a strong physical midfield performance from the home side.
Gary O’Neil: 5
Rarely featured in attack and substituted at half-time as boss Harry Redknapp looked to freshen up after a poor opening 45 minutes.
Kevin Doyle: 6
Plenty of willing running but starved of quality service and did not get an opportunity in front of goal.
Andrew Johnson: 5
One brief sight of goal, but that shooting chance was soon snuffed out. As was the case with Doyle, lacked proper supply and found it difficult to make an impact before being taken off at the break.
Modibo Maiga: 6
Eventually offered some pace and movement up front having initially contributed very little after coming on at half-time.
Junior Hoilett: 7
Provided the most likely source of a goal after the interval with some purposeful running on the right flank. But failed to deliver real quality when he did beat his man.
Impressive effort from the side managed by former R’s coach Steve McClaren. Earned the right to play with a bustling first-half display in which they dominated the midfield. John Eustace set the platform in the holding role, allowing Will Hughes to create things in the final third. Richard Keogh was excellent at centre-half and the pace and class of Bamford and the clever running of Martin posed problems throughout. Look a good bet for the play-offs at least, and a real threat to Rangers in the battle for automatic promotion.
Man of the match: Eustace