Match Report: Sheffield Wednesday 3 Queens Park Rangers 0

.Lewis Buxton celebrates his goal which completed a cracking 3-0 win over QPR at Hillsborough
.Lewis Buxton celebrates his goal which completed a cracking 3-0 win over QPR at Hillsborough
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Wednesday cashed in on a penalty and a sending-off to send big-spending QPR spinning to a convincing defeat at Hillsborough last night.

The financial gulf between the Owls and a side who were in the Premier League last season is huge.

Harry Redknapp’s outfit spent £41m in transfer fees last season , raised their wage bill to £68m and made a £65m loss.

But last night Wednesday, who lost only £3.9m in the same period, had a wage bill of £11m, and have relied a lot on loans and frees, made nonsense of the difference.

They held their own in the opening stages and then outplayed and outfought the R’s after centre half Richard Dunne was sent off for a foul on Leon Best, and the 35th minute spot kick was put away by Chris Maguire.

Wednesday were so dominant that they could have had more goals, in adddition to further ones from Best and Lewis Buxton, whose effort was his first since October, 2011, and only his fourth in five and a half years at Hillsborough.

Rangers seemed to lose heart after going behind and down to 10 men - but Wednesday were excellent and their efforts could not be faulted.

It all came after the Owls were given a 10th minute scare.

Left back Clint Hill ran into yards of space in the Kop-end box to meet a free kick and should have scored or found a team-mate but headed across goal.

It took ball-winning sttrength from Atdhe Nuhiu, a burst of pace from Jeremy Helan and a fizzing low cross from Chris Maguire to rouse a crowd who were subdued in the early stages.

QPR showed glimpses of their undoubted quality on the ball in these early stages but Wednesday were diligent in their tackling and reading of the game.

Then a break of sheer quality by Stuart Gray’s men was behind the breakthrough.

Liam Palmer, deep in his own half, played the ball forward to Chris Maguire; his equally accurate pass sent Leon Best dashing down the inside-left channel.

Best took on Dunne on the outside and went crashing, in the box - the result a penalty and a red card. QPR were probably unhappy about both as the contact seemed slight, hence a fruitless mass protest.

Maguire, without a goal in his previous eight appearances, calmly drilled the 35th minute spot kick into Murphy’s bottom left-hand corner while he dived the wrong way.

It was the Scot’s seventh of the season for Wednesday and his first since his penalty in the 2-0 win at Reading.

The restart was delayed by a discussion between referee Paul Tierney and Joey Barton, with Rangers captain Hill present.

Making use of the extra man, Wednesday piled on pressure for the remainder of the half, and with more calmness and precision around the box would have had more goals.

Maguire headed a Palmer cross past the angle; in first-half stoppage time a header by Nuhiu from a Maguire corner was saved one-handed on the line by Murphy; and Lewis Buxton, seeing the ball late, knocked a Maguire cross wide.

The question was whether Wednesday could build on that rousing finish to the half - and the answer came in the 51st minute.

Former QPR centre half Oguchu Onyewu made a forward run like a right winger and played the ball up to the feet of Best, who turned his marker and clipped a right-foot shot into Murphy’s bottom right-hand corner. It was Best’s third goal for the Owls.

QPR still had enough ability on the ball to hold some possession; Wednesday wisely did not over-commit themselves and risk trouble.

It was case of trying to pick the opposition off. Buxton arrowed a ball across the box to Maguire, who volleyed back across the pitch instead of at goal!.

But this and a couple of off-target shots from Nuhiu were forgiven by a home crowd who then enjoyed Buxton’s 71st minute goal almost as much as him.

From a Maguire corner, Palmer’s shot was blocked; the ball ran to the right back to the left of goal and just inside the box. His right-foot drive sped into the far bottom corner and he couldn’t resist running behind the goal in an exhuberant celebration.

It was a hugely enjoyable night for the Owls and their fans and it took them past Leeds into 14th spot.

Sam Hutchinson’s knee injury forced one change to the side that started the 4-1 win against Birmingham and brought a quick return for Liam Palmer.

Chris Kirkland’s calf problem allowed Damian Martinez to play his third game in succession.

Joe Mattock was back, on the bench, after recovering from his knee injury.

Fitness issues contributed to Redknapp making four changes after a 3-0 home win against Yeovil - including Murphy replacing keeper Rob Green, no places for Jermaine Jenas and Armand Traore, and a switch to the bench for striker Will Keane.

The other recalls were for Karl Henry, Gary O’Neill and Bobby Zamora, who went on as a sub and scored against Yeovil.

n Gary Madine scored the second goal of his comeback as Wednesday Under 21s beat Barnsley 1-0 away.