QPR 1 Sheffield Utd 2
David McGoldrick’s 65th-minute penalty condemned QPR to defeat.
Sheffield United came from behind at Loftus Road, where Ebere Eze fired Rangers ahead just before the half-hour mark and Billy Sharp equalised a couple of minutes before the interval by tapping in Kieron Freeman’s pull-back from the right.
Only a minute after coming on as a substitute, striker McGoldrick was adjudged to have been nudged in the back by Jake Bidwell at the far post.
McGoldrick, signed on a free transfer after leaving Ipswich this summer, calmly steered his spot-kick past keeper Matt Ingram.
Eze’s strike had put QPR ahead in their first home match under boss Steve McClaren.
Luke Freeman was instrumental in the move which led to the opening goal, beautifully evading two challenges en route to the edge of the United penalty area.
The ball was shifted out to Bidwell and after the left-back’s low cross was cleared only as far as Eze, the teenage forward blasted past keeper Dean Henderson from 18 yards out.
Rangers had looked uncomfortable in possession and been pinned in their own half for much of the early stages, with United looking much the better side.
However, QPR nevertheless went close to scoring twice before eventually taking the lead.
Henderson kept out a sizzling volley from Eze, who was teed up by Idrissa Sylla tidily laying off Paul Smyth’s right-wing cross, and moments later Bidwell’s cross was headed over by Massimo Luongo.
And after Freeman led a Rangers counter-attack and set up Eze, Henderson was called into action again, this time to block the youngster’s fierce shot.
But Henderson was unable to keep Eze at bay – and the goalscorer almost doubled QPR’s lead when he dragged a left-footed shot narrowly wide, again after fine work from Freeman.
Just as the visitors seemed to be fading after their bright start, Sharpe rounded off a slick move by slotting into an unguarded net.
United, beaten in both their previous games this season, were on top for most of the second half and would have gone ahead sooner had Ingram not produced a fine save to deny Leon Clarke.
Rangers, who have lost both their first two games under McClaren, rarely looked like finding an equaliser.
Bright Osayi-Samuel, sent on as a half-time substitute by McClaren, shot into the side netting and Luongo headed Eze’s cross well wide.
The exciting Eze went closer with a powerful drive which was pushed away by Henderson, who also kept out an injury-time effort from Josh Scowen.
QPR (4-2-3-1): Ingram; Kakay (Washington 88), Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell, Scowen, Luongo; Freeman, Eze, Smyth (Osayi-Samuel 45) Sylla (Smith 69).
Subs: Lumley, Baptiste, Cousins, Manning.