The Warmdown: Andre Gray seals all three points late on
Mark Warburton, manager of Queens Park Rangers smiles as his side takes the lead during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at the Pride Park, Derby on Monday 29th November 2021. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Derby County's impressive run has come to an end after a late goal gave Queens Park Rangers a 2-1 win in the EFL Championship. 

The Rams took an early lead in the tenth minute through captain Tom Lawrence after a superb, defence-splitting, pass from Graeme Shinnie allowed the skipper to break the lines and rifle one past QPR keeper Senny Dieng.

However, the visitors equalised through Chris Willock,, the midfielder was in a great position at the back post to fire home a Charlie Austin cross on the volley. 

It was late but great from QPR striker Andre Gray who gave his side the lead after a superb strike on the volley flew beautifully into the top corner, a goal worthy of winning any game. 

  • Return from injury

Gray's return from injury came at a perfect time for QPR as he grabbed the winner and although it was only 15 minutes of football, his impact was crucial. 

The striker has scored four in 10 league games this season as he's partnered with veteran Austin. It was reported his return would be put back a week but the striker wanted to get back to action as quickly as possible and Warburton will be happy they made that decision.

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After their win, QPR sit third in the table leading the charge for the play-offs. However, they are seven points off an automatic promotion spot with Bournemouth in the second spot. If the Rs are to hold a third or push forward they will need to get Gray back firing after his injury. 

  • Thompson performs well again

In what was a disappointing performance from Derby, youngster Liam Thompson again looked like a bright spark in the side as he turned out in a midfield three with Graeme Shinnie and Max bird.

The 19-year-old had a 90% pass accuracy in this game, completing 46 accurate passes. He won six duels in the middle of the park, completed three successful tackles and made five recoveries showing his defensive capabilities in a midfield that likes to have a lot of the ball.

It was his third start for the club and his three starts have come against three clubs inside the top six, including the leagues top two. The youngster looks a hot prospect for Derby having assisted two in the Premier League 2 for Derby's U23s.

  • Tight squad issues

Mark Warburton spoke on his squad's issues off the pitch with injuries and the upcoming African Cup of Nations taking players away from the pitch, leaving him with limited options in a tough schedule.

QPR had only16 players available over the last couple of games and it was made worse for Rangers with Lee Wallace subbed off in the first half due to a hamstring injury. 

Lyndon Dykes is also out and Sam Field returned to the bench in this tie but made no appearance on the pitch. It could force the club's hand to invest in January to maintain their form and keep the push for promotion alive.