Harry Redknapp watched his new side draw at Sunderland last night, and the Mackems are just one point behind us.
QPR are still without a league win this season after Redknapp's first game in charge finished 0-0 at Sunderland.
But it could have been worse for the Hoops as they needed substitute goalkeeper Rob Green to pull off a stunning save to deny Black Cats striker Steven Fletcher.
The former England keeper somehow clawed away the Scotland international's 64th-minute header on a night when Redknapp saw plenty to persuade him that his cause may not be a forlorn one.
Green replaced the injured Julio Cesar, who had earlier made a vital block to deny Fletcher, at the break and stood firm as the visitors turned in a spirited display at the Stadium of Shite.
Home keeper Simon Mignolet also had to be at his best to keep out Sunderland old boy Djibril Cisse as well as Jamie Mackie, and he was relieved to see midfielder Stephane Mbia blast a long-range effort inches wide.
Ultimately, Redknapp's men left the north-east still without a league win this season, but with a fifth point of the campaign which extended the Black Cats' difficult run to just two wins in 21 outings.
A Villa 1 - 0 Reading Sunderland 0 - 0 QPR
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert again excluded record signing Darren Bent but saw his replacement Christian Benteke score a late winner to help them climb out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Reading at Villa Park.
The Belgium international ended a four-game run without a goal when he headed home an Ashley Westwood corner with 10 minutes remaining.
Villa's third win of the season moved them out of the bottom three in front of their lowest home league gate - 28,692 - for six years.
The game was not a classic but Villa deserved the three points after enjoying the bulk of possession and looking the more threatening.
Source: Newcastle United Mad