QPR manager Neil Warnock admitted Derby midfielder Robbie Savage "did a job" on opposite number Adel Taarabt in Monday night's 0-0 draw at Loftus Road.
Savage, 37, claimed he once again had Taarabt in his pocket after the veteran midfielder boasted he had kept Rangers' star man quiet in last season's meeting between the two sides.
It was not long before Savage had reintroduced himself to the Championship player of the year, lunging into a reckless challenge before kicking the ball against his grounded opponent to earn a booking after 12 only minutes.
Savage was the undoubted star of the show and Warnock said: "You either love him or loathe him - he's a bit like me.
"When you look at his ability he's done fantastically to make the living he has. He's long past his sell-by date, but he does a job. He's been superb."
Derby manager Nigel Clough said: "I think it's a psychological thing. Robbie's done it to him a few times in the past. It's down to experience. The kid has got ability, but he knows Robbie will stick to his task."