Goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon put Southampton in control in the all-important clash between the Premier League’s bottom two.
In the match dubbed ‘El Sackico’ because of the pressure both managers are reported to be under, Nigel Adkins’ side boldly took the game to Rangers.
They almost took the lead when Puncheon’s right-wing cross ended up clipping the post after the unmarked Adam Lallana was just unable to connect.
The Saints have struggled this season but, unlike Mark Hughes’ expensively-assembled team, they do not lack spirit.
And that was summed up by Lambert, who put himself in harm’s way to bundle the ball home from close range after Puncheon’s shot had been blocked on the line by Jose Bosingwa.
Rangers spent much of the first half effectively playing with only two men, Ryan Nelsen and Adel Taarabt, with the latter offering their only real attacking threat.
Taarabt was denied by a near-post save from keeper Paulo Gazzangia after evading three challenges on his way into the box.
But Southampton continued to press and doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, when the unchallenged Puncheon cut inside onto his left foot and fired in from 25 yards.
QPR (4-2-3-1): Cesar; Boswinga, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Traore; Faurlin, Diakite; Granero, Taarabt, Hoilett; Cisse.
Subs: Green, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Dyer, Fabio, Ehmer.