QPR 1 Middlesbrough 5: Leroy Lita's antics taint Strachan's first win as Boro boss

By Steve Skerry for MailOnline

Gordon Strachan's first win as Middlesbrough manager was overshadowed by the ugly exploits of his striker Leroy Lita at Loftus Road.

Lita goaded Queens Park Rangers fans as he ran down the touchline after scoring the first of his two goals and was booked by referee Phil Gibbs for his conduct.

The former England Under 21 striker decided against moving to Rangers in the last January transfer window because the club's billionaire owners would not meet his pay demands.

Enlarge   Leroy Lita

Running the gauntlet: Leroy Lita taunts QPR fans after scoring his second goal

Lita's decision to snub the club had not gone down well with their fans, who were on his back from the kick-off.

Both Strachan and QPR boss Jim Magilton said they did not see Lita celebrating in front of the home stand after his 50th-minute penalty - for handball against Ben Watson - put Boro 2-0 in front, and the player was nowhere to be seen after the match.

But Dave Kitson, who scored Boro's first-half opener, thought his team-mate's actions were justified.

The on-loan Stoke City striker said: 'I understand now that there's a new rule about inciting the crowd but he took a lot of abuse. It seems to be the rule that you can take a lot of abuse but, apparently, you can't run down the touchline and look at the fans. That's a booking?

Leroy Lita

Spot on: Lita scores a penalty to give Boro the lead at Loftus Road

'Not to be able to celebrate is quite unfortunate. Leroy worked hard and deserved his goals.'

Patrick Agyemang gave QPR hope when he reduced the deficit three minutes after Lita's spot-kick, but the former Reading man soon bagged his second with a great individual effort.

Then Gary O'Neil tucked home a rebound from a Lita shot in front of the watching Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, who is thought to be weighing up a £2million move for the midfielder in January.

Mark Yeates completed the rout three minutes from time.

Bizarrely, Strachan played down his first win in his five games in charge, saying: 'I think QPR can count themselves unlucky. The decisions and run of the ball went for us today but, with the hard work the players have put it, we deserved to win.'

Magilton will be hoping his side can bounce back at Watford tonight. After a terrific start to the season, QPR have slipped to ninth in the Championship and have won only once in their last six games.

Flavio Briatore

Early bath: Briatore (left) stormed out of Loftus Road after Boro's fourth goal

This was their heaviest defeat at Loftus Road since a 6-0 FA Cup thrashing by Arsenal in 2001, and QPR chairman Flavio Briatore got up from his seat and stormed out after Boro's fourth goal flew in.

Briatore and the club's major shareholders, Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, will have little time for failure of this magnitude.

Since Briatore and Ecclestone bought the club in 2007, they have gone through five managers and the pressure is suddenly on former Ipswich boss Magilton, who said:

'We've dished out a few hidings of our own this year but we'll have to take this one on the chin.

'You sometimes learn more in defeat than you do in victory. Let's see what we've got after Monday night.'

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