West Bromwich Albion extended Queens Park Rangers wait for a win with a 3-2 victory over the west London team who remain anchored at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
QPR have taken only two points out of a possible 21 and were always facing an uphill task after early goals from James Morrison and Zoltan Gera. Their chances of adding to that tally improved after Adel Taarabt had reduced the arrears, but Youssouf Mulumbu made it 3-1 before an injury-time effort from Esteban Granero again cut the deficit.
Albion registered their fourth home win, their best start to a top-flight season in front of their own fans since 1919.
Steve Clarke's side could have wrapped up the game in the opening half hour as the creativity of Morrison and the pace of Shane Long troubled the QPR defence. But Taarabt, in his first start since the opening day of the season, dragged them back into the game and he demanded close attention from the Baggies back four.
Jonas Olsson received a standing ovation from the home fans before kick-off after signing a new four-year contract - and his side needed only four minutes to go ahead. Long beat Hill down the right and delivered an inviting cross that Morrison headed back across Julio Cesar into the corner of the net.
Albion looked sharp going forward and Long missed a golden chance to double their lead in a lightning counter-attack. Peter Odemwingie picked out the run of Morrison and his cross was perfectly weighted to find Long but from six yards out he fired over the bar.
The home side doubled their lead after 22 minutes. Morrison supplied the ball into the danger area and Ferdinand's attempted clearance went straight to Zoltan Gera, who made no mistake from 10 yards out.
Taarabt gave his side a lifeline with a stunning finish after 35 minutes. Esteban Granero played the ball into the path of the Morocco midfielder on the edge of the box and he brought it under control before volleying past Ben Foster.
West Brom almost restored their two-goal advantage when Peter Odemwingie's defence-splitting pass found Gera free inside the box but Cesar deflected his shot past a post.
The visitors showed attacking intent at the start of the second period and Foster held a low drive from Taarabt, before Morrison had a shot deflected wide. It prompted Clarke to make a double change with strikers Romelu Lukaku and Markus Rosenberg replacing Long and Odemwingie.
Granero had the chance to level matters but sliced his shot wide after more good work by Taarabt. But Morrison almost capped another top performance with a second goal as his 35-yard drive flashed inches wide.
With five minutes left Mulumbu made it 3-1 but QPR showed plenty of spirit and Granero reduced the gap again in injury-time with a cool finish.
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|19 Jan 2013||v Aston Villa (H)|
|07 May 2013||v Man City (A)|
|04 May 2013||v Wigan (H)|