Andreas Weimann hits winner as Derby beat QPR
Andreas Weimann scored his second goal in four days to give Derbyan eighth win in 10 games as QPR went down 1-0 on a murky night at the iPro Stadium.
The Austrian pounced early in the second half to give Derby a deserved win over a Rangers side who created little and had James Perch sent off in the final minute of normal time.
The clubs were meeting for the first time since Rangers won the play-off final 1-0 in May 2014 but Derby were the form team coming into this game with 23 points out of 27 although the visitors were boosted by Charlie Austin's return to the starting line-up on a drizzly evening.
It needed an excellent defensive header by Craig Forsyth to prevent Austin connecting with a cross in the eighth minute but the left-back was carried off in the 21st minute after falling awkwardly behind the QPR goal as he tried to get on the end of a Chris Martin flick.
Derby responded by creating their first chance in the 24th minute when Martin helped the ball on to Johnny Russell on the left edge of the box and it needed a great block by Perch to divert his drive behind for a corner.
The ball was zipping across the wet surface and Rangers had to defend desperately again when Weimann got behind them on the right to deliver a low cross which Nedum Onuoha cleared at full stretch.
Weimann sliced an attempted volley tamely through to Robert Green in the 34th minute as Derby started to find more space around the Rangers penalty area and Martin was only inches away from heading in a whipped free-kick from Russell four minutes later.
The game had been played in a good spirit until the first half ended with a flare-up in the Derby six yard box ahead of a QPR corner which saw Cyrus Christie and Suk-Young Yun booked by referee Keith Stroud.
Derby started the second half strongly and after Jacob Butterfield struck a post, Weimann scored with a shot from 15 yards in the 51st minute although Rangers were convinced the ball struck Richard Keogh's hand before he laid it off.
Green palmed away a Butterfield shot minutes later and Paul Konchesky diverted a Jeff Hendrick shot behind for a corner as Rangers came under increasing pressure.
Rangers had not forced Scott Carson into a meaningful save and Onuoha failed to test the keeper when he headed a corner wide in the 79th minute before the visitors appealed in vain for a penalty in the 82nd minute when Junior Hoilett claimed he was caught by Carson.
Derby survived a late scare when a cross skidded narrowly wide off a defender before another disappointing night for QPR ended with Perch dismissed in the 90th minute fooolwing a second yellow card.