QPR manager Harry Redknapp has rued his side's "sloppy" start in their 3-2 defeat to west London rivals Fulham that delivered a heavy blow to the Hoops' survival hopes.
Christopher Samba fouled Ashkan Dejagah to concede an early penalty, which was converted by Dimitar Berbatov, before being caught in possession to allow the Bulgarian to add his second after 22 minutes.
An own goal from Samba's central defensive partner Clint Hill saw QPR fall 3-0 down before Adel Taarabt pulled a goal back before the interval.
After the break Rangers were much improved and Loic Remy thundered home a second for the visitors, but only after he had seen a tame penalty saved by Mark Schwarzer.
Redknapp felt the game was there for the taking, especially after Fulham midfielder Steven Sidwell was sent off for a challenge on Armand Traore, but the former Tottenham boss was left bemoaning the poor opening to the match.
"We started sloppy," Redknapp said.
"We gave an early goal away and suddenly you're on the back foot, you can't give goals away like that and win football matches.
"They were the worst three goals you could ever wish to see given away.
"They didn't have to work for their goals, the penalty we got caught in possession, then we lost the ball and then with the own goal - you couldn't have seen three worse goals."
"He got caught with the ball and it cost us dearly" - Harry Redknapp
"We did well to come back from there and in the second half we deserved to get something out of the game - we battered them second half. At 3-2 I could see only one winner."
Samba, who joined from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala for a club-record fee to much fanfare in the January transfer window, had an off night and Redknapp said it was not a performance you would normally associate with the former Blackburn defender.
Samba pushed up late on in the search for a dramatic equaliser, much to the chagrin of his manager.
"It is not like him, he is normally a very confident guy," Redknapp said.
"He got caught with the ball and it cost us dearly. When they had 10 men and we are murdering them with 11 you have got to play.
"I don't want to start lumping it into the box to Samba, [Bobby] Zamora or Remy.
"You have got to play and use that extra man. We had been creating three or four chances every 10 minutes and with 10 men we would have created even more chances.
"Suddenly he goes up front and we think we have got to start lumping it - that is not how I wanted us to finish the game, I wanted us to use the extra man and play."
The result leaves QPR seven points from safety with seven games remaining whereas Fulham now have 39 points on the board and look like surviving comfortably in the Barclays Premier League.
Fulham manager Martin Jol thought his players suffered a collective lapse in concentration to allow QPR back into the game.
"We lifted their spirit and that was my worry," said Jol.
"We played ever so well to be 3-0 up in a derby game. I wouldn't say we relaxed but it was nice and then we gave them the ball and I still can't understand why.
"There was maybe a lack of concentration and at half-time we realised that if they scored another one it would be difficult for us and that is exactly what happened.
"We started making mistakes in possession but that is not what you should do. If it was 3-0 at half-time I would have been convinced we would have scored a fourth and a fifth but we made it difficult for ourselves."
Berbatov took his tally to 13 goals for the season as he was once again the catalyst for an impressive home performance from Fulham, who have now moved nine points clear of the relegation zone.