QPR 0-1 Derby County: Kazim-Richards Wins It For Rooney
Colin Kazim-Richards of Derby County celebrates after scoring the winner via Clive Rose

QPR lost 1-0 to Derby County on a sunny afternoon at Loftus Road in the Sky Bet Championship.

Colin Kazim-Richards was the match-winner just before the hour mark when he tapped in a rebound from a Kamil Jozwiak shot. 

That was a sort of redemption for Kazim-Richards who early in the first half completely fluffed his lines when Nathan Byrne found him unmarked in the box, but the forward couldn't sort his feet out in time. 

This result made it two wins from his opening three games in management for Derby boss Wayne Rooney. This result also brought to an end QPR's winning run of two consecutive games. 

Story of the Game

Both sides enjoyed spells of possession in the opening quarter of the game and Derby had an incredible chance to take an early lead. Byrne dragged the QPR defenders to his side to loop it over them to an unmarked Kazim-Richards who got his feet tangled and completely missed the ball. 

QPR had two really good chances a few minutes apart midway through the first half. The first was a header from Charlie Austin that went wide, and five minutes later Todd Kane found Austin with a driven ball from the right by Austin's effort was well saved by Kelle Roos, and the follow up from Lyndon Dykes went over. 

As the half wore on the game became scrappier, and chances were at a premium for both sides, both defences seemed to have answers for whatever was thrown at them.

The hosts started the brighter in the second half but again struggled to break down the Derby defence and could not create any clear cut chances. 

Derby took the lead in the 55th minute through Kazim-Richards. Following an advantage on the half-way line, Graham Shinnie burst through playing Jozwiak through, the winger shot low, and Seny Dieng parried it straight to Kazim-Richards to tap into an empty net. 

The hosts responded well to falling behind and should have had a penalty just after the hour mark when it looked like it hit Kazim-Richards hand from a corner, but the referee gave nothing. 

Ilias Chair had a chance when he let fly from just outside of the box, but his powerful effort went just wide of the Rams goal.

QPR almost had a spectacular equaliser when the ball was whipped in from the left from a free-kick, and Yoann Barbet managed an overhead kick which was well saved by Roos, and the resulting corner was easily cleared.

QPR continued to search for an equaliser but the Derby backline were secure enough to keep their clean sheet and to deliver the three points for the Rams

Takeaways From The Match

Derby look more defensively resolute

Derby had what can only be described as a horrific start to the season, which saw Phillip Cocu relieved of his managerial duties and replaced by former Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney. Whether the defence was something that Rooney worked on immediately or whether the continuation of the three at the back formation is doing the trick, Derby looked super defensively this afternoon. QPR struggled to create any meaningful chances barring a couple of decent crosses. If this solidity in the defence continues, Derby should steadily rise up the table. 

Jozwiak was all over the front

 Despite missing his chance to give Derby the lead, Jozwiak was at the centre of everything going forward for the Rams. Jozwiak seemed to have been given a free role across the front by Rooney, and the Pole made use of that by being a nuisance to the R's defence all afternoon. He worked tirelessly all afternoon and deserved a goal based on his performance. 

Austin Cut A Frustrated Figure Up Top

Whilst QPR enjoyed great spells of possession throughout the game; they struggled to create any meaningful chances for Austin or Dykes up top. They constantly tried crossing it into the box which Derby easily dealt with barring a couple of occasions in the first half. Due to this lack of profligacy up top, QPR could be dragged closer to the relegation zone if results go against them.

Man of the Match

Andre Wisdom

Based solely on attacking output the MOTM would easily be Jozwiak, but I think I have waxed lyrical enough about him so far that the MOTM should go to another Derby player. The reason why the lone goal proved to be so decisive today was due to the stellar work of the County defence and in particular Andre Wisdom. The former Liverpool man was a rock at the back for the Rams and kept the physical Austin to few chances all afternoon. A real leader at the back, Wisdom marshalled the backline superbly and rarely put a foot wrong.