QPR’s dismal start to the season continued as they crashed out of the Capital One Cup with a deserved defeat at Burton Albion.
The League Two side earned a first ever win over top-flight opposition through Adam McGurk’s superb late free-kick and it was the least they deserved against a much-changed Rangers side.
The goal came with 13 minutes remaining after Richard Dunne had taken out the fleet-footed Marcus Harness on the edge of the box and McGurk lifted the ensuing free-kick over the Rangers wall and beyond Brian Murphy to inflict a third straight defeat on Harry Redknapp’s men.
Redknapp defended his decision to make nine changes from Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at Tottenham and instead criticised the failure of his second string to take their opportunity. “We gave the lads who haven’t been playing an opportunity to show me what they can do and it wasn’t an awful lot,” he said. “Every team has made changes. Aston Villa have got beaten at home by Orient, Shrewsbury go to Leicester and win, MK Dons beat Man Utd. You give lads a chance to play and there are an awful lot of lads who are at Premier League clubs but really are very lucky to be there.”
Adel Taarabt showed some nice touches on his first Rangers appearance since May 2013 though their attacking threat was limited to Junior Hoilett clipping the crossbar after 22 minutes and then lifting a lob over Jon McLaughlin only to see the ball clear the crossbar.
Instead it was Burton who did the running. Gary Rowett’s team are unbeaten in League Two and had beaten Wigan in the previous round and it said everything about QPR’s failings that Burton could even afford to rest two of their own key players and win.
“At half-time we’d had four very good chances at their end,” said Rowett, who saw lively left winger Alex MacDonald go close three times, notably when he muscled his way past two defenders but was foiled by goalkeeper Murphy. “We broke and counterattacked with pace and purpose and at times opened them up quite well,” added Rowett.
Rangers got no better in the second half when Redknapp saw midfielder Alejandro Faurlin limp off injured. Burton continued to push, winning a series of corners, and they eventually got their reward thanks McGurk’s moment of magic.
“There was probably only Taarabt who did himself any good tonight,” added Redknapp who admitted the Moroccan might yet move on before the window closes. “I don’t know what he’ll do – he has got a buy-out clause in his contract.”
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