QPR 3 Cardiff 0
In-form striker Lyndon Dykes scored twice as QPR beat 10-man Cardiff and went top of the table amid speculation over the future of Mick Beale.
Kenneth Paal’s first Rangers goal sealed a comfortable victory at Loftus Road, where Bluebirds defender Jack Simpson was sent off.
However, the mood of the home fans was very much tempered by the prospect of boss Beale leaving.
Beale is reportedly in the frame to take over at Wolves less than four months – and a mere 15 Championship matches – into his first managerial role.
Dykes has now scored four goals in three matches since going 10 without scoring.
He put Rangers ahead with an 18th-minute penalty after Sinclair Armstrong went down in the box after darting between centre-backs Simpson and Cedric Kipre as he chased a through-ball from Stefan Johansen.
Simpson was adjudged to have fouled Armstrong and was very harshly red-carded for apparently denying the teenage striker a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Dykes almost doubled the lead when Ilias Chair’s teasing ball in from the left was nudged against the bar by the Scotland forward.
But Dykes did get his second, on 33 minutes, and again Chair was the provider, running onto Ethan Laird’s pass and delivering from the right for Dykes to apply a close-range finish.
Chair had been at the centre of the action before the opening goal, missing a good chance by firing wide, shooting over after nice build-up play involving Armstrong and Sam Field, and seeing a free-kick pushed away by keeper Ryan Allsop.
Rangers appealed in vain for a penalty after on-loan Manchester United right-back Laird seemed to be brought down by Simpson.
But when a spot-kick was later awarded and Simpson dismissed, the home side were able to take control.
And Paal added a third after being picked out by Field, directing a looping header from near the edge of the six-yard box beyond Allsop and into the far corner of the net.
QPR: Dieng, Laird (Kakay 75), Balogun, Clarke-Salter, Paal, Field, Johansen, Iroegbunam (Amos 60), Chair (Richards 75), Dykes (Bonne 75), Armstrong (Dozzell 59).
Subs not used: Archer, Dickie.