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Massimo Luongo's 87th minute header cancelled out Andreas Weimann's first-half strike as Derby County drew 1-1 with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

The Austrian converted clinically after being played through by the excellent Kasey Palmer late in the first half, but Luongo found himself totally unmarked to head home at the clock ran down.

Derby came under early pressure with Matt Smith leading the line effectively for the hosts, and the big striker was inches away from giving his side the lead when he struck the crossbar from just outside the box.

The Rams had their opportunity to drive forward with 11 minutes gone as Weimann slid a lovely ball towards David Nugent inside the box, but the recalled forward put his effort wide of the near post.

Joe Ledley had to be replaced moments later after an innocuous incident, with Bradley Johnson slotting into the left-sided midfield role in his place.

Gary Rowett’s side continued to sit deep without being caused to many problems by QPR, with Nedum Onuoha going closest when he scooped over the bar.

Despite the pressure, it was Derby that landed the first crucial blow with a goal created by a man that was feeling right at home in West London.

Palmer picked up the ball and dribbled sensationally through the QPR backline before laying it to Weimann, who lashed home with the slight aid of a deflection.

The goal was just what Derby needed going into the break and the lead was almost doubled when Curtis Davies met Weimann’s back post cross after half-time, but Alex Smithies got down well to keep it out.

Tom Lawrence found himself drifting inside and some neat link-up play followed, with the Welshman having a low effort saved by Smithies after he exchanged passes with Weimann.

With 20 minutes to go, Rangers began to pile on the pressure. Luke Freeman’s dipping volley was parried by Scott Carson, and the Rams’ No.1 reacted instantly to clear with danger looming.

Smith continued to pose a threat in the air and Derby were fortunate to see his towering header drop just wide of the target with seven minutes to play.

But four minutes later, the Rams weren't so lucky. Freeman's chipped free-kick found Luongo completely unmarked in the area, and he headed past Carson to equalise.

Substitute Joel Lynch had a glorious opportunity to win it for QPR in added time, but he fired straight at Carson, and the points were shared.

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies; Robinson, Onuoha, Furlong (Wszolek, 74’), Bidwell; Luongo, Scowen, Freeman; Smyth, Smith (Lynch, 86'), Washington (Eze, 60’).

Substitutes not used: Ingram, Perch, Cousins, Manning.

Derby County: Carson; Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth; Huddlestone, Ledley (Johnson, 14’); Weimann, Palmer (Vydra, 82'), Lawrence; Nugent (Jerome, 71’).

Substitutes not used: Roos, Pearce, Hanson, VAnya.

Major Moment…

In recent weeks, Gary Rowett has rued the defensive errors that have prevented his side from picking up three points, and it was a similar story here.

Freeman's free-kick was decent enough, and Luongo got away from his marker and planted a powerful header beyond Carson.

Who Impressed…

On his 500th career club appearance, Curtis Davies was immense.

He got his head to everything in the air, especially when Darnell Furlong repeatedly hurled long throws into the area, and he almost got his second goal of the season when he met Weimann’s searching cross, only to be thwarted by Smithies.

What’s Next…

Next up for Derby is the big one. The Rams travel to the City Ground on Sunday to face Nottingham Forest as they look to do the double over their fierce rivals for the first time since the 2011/12 season.

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