MILLWAL are six games without a win in all competitions after Nahki Wells’ double gave QPR a fourth consecutive victory to take them into the Championship’s top six.
Wells gave QPR the lead in the 56th minute after his side had counter-attacked following a Millwall corner.
Millwall equalised in the 71st minute when Shaun Hutchinson slammed home following Shane Ferguson's corner, but the visitors were back in front just a minute later after a defensive blunder.
Mistake costs Lions
Bart Bialkowski may have been unlucky to see Kamil Grosicki’s free-kick go over him and into the net in Millwall’s last home game against Hull, but it was harder to make a case for the goalkeeper here.
Just after Hutchinson had levelled with his first goal since last February, Bialkowski tried to find Jake Cooper, but Wells nipped in to intercept and roll the ball home in front of an away end that couldn’t believe their luck.
Millwall had also been on the up before the opener, but were then exposed on the counter-attack and Bialkowski had little chance when Wells cracked a shot into the far left corner.
The optimism earlier in the season has somewhat evaporated after no wins in their last five league games. There were some boos at the final whistle from those in the home stands in a 16,808 crowd, the highest this season.
The Lions’ leveller again came from a corner, and there is still no goal from open play since the opening day. It’s 15 league games now since Millwall last scored more than one goal.
Neil Harris made attacking substitutions to try to rescue the game, but Joe Lumley in the Hoops’ goal had a relatively comfortable last 20 minutes.
He should have been tested after the away side had gone 2-1 up. Jed Wallace raced through, but hit a left-footed shot just wide.
Wallace also felt he should have had a penalty when he claimed his shot had hit a hand in the area.
Aiden O’Brien headed over Wallace’s cross, but that was the closest the hosts went to a second equaliser.
Millwall drop to 16th in the table, with nine points from eight games.
Former Lion Eze influential
QPR gained control as the first half went on and Ebere Eze was at the centre of most of their attacking play.
He started on the left side of a midfield three but roamed across midfield and out wide. He is so difficult to dispossess and Millwall’s two deep midfielders, Ben Thompson and Jayson Molumby, were constantly have to check where he was.
Eze wasn’t as prominent after the break – as Wells did the business for his side.
Lions change formation to match QPR
Millwall boss Harris switched to 3-5-2 for the first time since the 1-1 draw at Sheffield United last season.
Hutchinson, making his first league start since the 3-1 defeat to Norwich on March 2, was on the right of a back three. In front of him, Jason McCarthy made his Den debut at right wing-back.
Wallace played behind Matt Smith and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, and in the first half tried to make things happen for his side with little attacking help. One sprint down the left with the ball was followed by a low cross but Toni Leistner anticipated it better than any home player. That was a rare foray into the Hoops’ box before the break.
QPR went closest to scoring and it took a superb Alex Pearce block to deny them. Pearce was still on the turf after trying to hook away Ilias Chair’s right-wing cross, but flung himself at Jordan Hugill’s 10-yard shot to prevent what looked like a certain goal.
Hugill's strike partner went on to be the difference.
Harris made four changes from the side that started last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Blackburn. McCarthy, Hutchinson, Ferguson and Matt Smith came in for Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Leonard, Connor Mahoney and Murray Wallace.
Millwall: 3-4-1-2: Bialkowski; Hutchinson, Pearce (Mahoney, 76), Cooper; McCarthy (O’Brien, 88), Thompson, Molumby, Ferguson; J Wallace; Bodvarsson (Bradshaw, 69), Smith.
Subs: Steele, M Wallace, Williams, Leonard, Mahoney.
Image: Millwall FC