CARLOS TEVEZ rounded off the scoring as Manchester City wasted a host of chances at the Etihad.
QPR, managed by former City boss Mark Hughes, were never going to be short of motivation for this game against the Premier League champs.
And despite creating a host of opportunites, Roberto Mancini’s men needed a quick response from Edin Dzeko after Bobby Zamora cancelled out Yaya Toure’s first-half effort.
With just a goal in it, QPR could have pinched an unlikely point — until Tevez diverted a wayward Dzeko shot beyond the wrongfooted Rob Green.
Hughes handed a debut to Esteban Granero while Green, dropped from the England squad earlier this week, started what could be his last match as QPR’s first-choice keeper.
The 32-year-old only joined the club in the summer but now faces an uncertain future following the capture of Julio Cesar from Inter Milan.
Scott Sinclair was the only one of City’s five new signings to make the squad but the winger did not even get off the bench.
The hosts, watched by Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho ahead of their Champions League meeting, soon established control with Toure bossing the midfield.
QPR survived a scare in the first minute when Dzeko, starting for the first time this season, glanced a header wide from a corner.
The Bosnian went even closer when he was first to meet another corner but this time Fabio, on loan from Manchester United, did well to hack the ball off the line.
Toure powered in on the rebound, only for former City star Shaun Wright-Phillips to make the block.
The City pressure continued as the visitors were starved of possession and Aleksandar Kolarov’s cross almost fell for Jack Rodwell after a touch from Tevez.
It seemed inevitable the champions would take the lead and their opener came in the 16th minute as Tevez saw an effort blocked from yet another corner before Toure followed up to thump home.
Green got a hand to it but could do little on what was shaping up to be a difficult afternoon for him.
Former Real Madrid man Granero had QPR’s first shot when he found space outside the area but Joe Hart was not troubled.
David Silva tricked his way into the QPR box and dug the ball out from under his feet to force Green to save and Samir Nasri was unable to follow up.
Silva spurned another opportunity when he was played through by a superb long ball from Kolarov. The Spaniard failed to get away a shot quickly enough and Fabio produced another timely block.
Tevez fired over as City continued to power forward and Jack Rodwell wasted an opening when he opted to pass instead of shoot.
QPR’s opportunities were limited but Granero looked composed when allowed time on the ball, only to miss the target with another attempt.
City returned for the second half with much the same approach as the first and thre
goal from the restart as Tevez drilled an awkward shot at Green.
The tireless Pablo Zabaleta, probably knowing new signing Maicon will be after his place, went even closer when he took a fine pass from Silva and curled an effort onto the bar.
Yet as much as City were dominant, recent history threatened to repeat itself as QPR levelled against the run of play just before the hour.
Andrew Johnson stole possession outside the area and forced a good save from Hart with a deflected shot. The England keeper could not recover his footing quick enough to regather and Zamora stole in to head home.
City swiftly moved back up the field after the restart and Tevez did well to keep the ball in play before crossing for Dzeko to head home at close range.
It should have been the sign for the big spenders to wrap up the game but chances came and went has QPR clung on for dear life.
The visitors were far from dead and buried and Hughes urged them forward as signs of nerves kicked in among the home team.
QPR grew in confidence and Granero whipped in a free-kick that Ryan Nelsen narrowly failed to touch in at the far post.
But City wrapped up the points in injury-time as Tevez, moving back into an onside position, diverted the ball home from Dzeko’s shot.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta (Toure 74), Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Silva (Milner 81), Toure, Rodwell, Nasri (Razak 89), Tevez, Dzeko. Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Clichy, Balotelli. Booked: Kolarov, Rodwell.
Goals: Toure 16, Dzeko 61, Tevez 90.
QPR: Green, Bosingwa, Ferdinand (Onuoha 67), Nelsen, Fabio, Wright-Phillips, Granero (Cisse 85), Park, Faurlin (Dyer 72), Zamora, Johnson. Subs not used: Murphy, Derry, Mackie, Hoilett. Booked: Zamora.
Goals: Zamora 59.
Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).