For the Tottenham manager, Gerry Francis, returning to the ground where he had spent 18 years, it was sweet. For QPR's new arrival, Mark Hateley, watching from the sidelines after being signed for pounds 1.5m by his old Rangers team-mate Ray Wilkins it was salutary.
Two second-half goals in the space of two minutes turned the match decisively. Jason Dozzell's shot on the turn after 73 minutes brought Spurs back to 2-2. Then Teddy Sheringham headed his second goal of the game after Chris Armstrong had held off two defenders before delivering a perfect cross. Armstrong still awaits his first Premiership goal since his pounds 4.5m arrival from Crystal Palace, but it was an encouragingly positive contribution.
However, Spurs were only in a position to challenge thanks to a controversial penalty awarded within a minute of Rangers taking a 2-0 lead.
Karl Ready's challenge on Sheringham involved an imprudently high elbow, but the England forward appeared to enhance the effect as he fell. Sheringham got up and scored. Trevor Sinclair, leading the home protests, became one of six Rangers players booked by David Elleray. Three Spurs players were also cautioned. It hardly seemed necessary in a match that was rarely nasty.
Given that Hateley is 34 in November, has no formal coaching qualification and will need at least a month to recover from a cartilage operation, his move appears questionable. Wilkins, however, is confident that his influence will be "immense".
Perhaps that influence came to bear in the 36th minute when Daniele Dichio, the man most likely to make way for the newcomer, raised his and Rangers' game to head the opening goal. When Andrew Impey headed Rufus Brevett's volleyed cross home a minute after the break, Rangers appeared in full charge.
But then Francis, whose girlfriend is expecting a baby any moment, watched his team deliver a beautiful, bouncing win.
Queen's Park Rangers (3-5-2): Sommer; Maddix, McDonald, Ready; Impey, Holloway, Barker, Osborn (Allen, 80), Brevett; Sinclair, Dichio. Substitutes not used: Gallen, Challis.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Austin, Calderwood, Mabbutt, Wilson; Anderton (Edinburgh, 65), Howells, Dozzell, Rosenthal; Sheringham, Armstrong. Substitutes not used: Campbell, Thorstvedt (gk).
Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).Reuse content