ROBIN Van Persie shot down QPR's hopes in this afternoon's London derby with a second half winner at the Emirates.
Jay Boothroyd had the first sight of goal for Rs, testing Wojciech Szczesny with an early low drive from the edge of the area, while soon after, then Gunners keeper had to be quick off his line to smother a Shaun Wright-Phillips toe-poke from Adel Taarabt's through-ball.
Van Persie responded for the hosts by turning Matthew Connolly inside out before testing Radek Cerny, in for the absent Paddy Kenny, before the same player was found completely unmarked by a deep cross, but couldn't get his header on target.
But the closest the mercurial Dutchman came was on 25 minutes, when he picked the ball up on the left of the area following a fine run by Johan Djourou, turned Luke Young and fired a bullet of a shot just over.
Arsenal really should taken the lead minutes later when Cerny came out for a long free-kick and got nowhere near the ball, but fortunately for Rs, Theo Walcott chose to square the ball rather than shoot, and the chance was gone.
On the half hour, Van Persie got the wrong side of Connolly, but lashed the ball over with the goal at his mercy, and there another let off for Rs soon after when Young handled a shot by Laurent Koscielny, but the ref waved away Arsenal's penalty appeals.
But Arsenal came closest to scoring two minutes before the break when Joey Barton headed Aaron Ramsey's shot from the edge of the area off the line, and will have been grateful for the respite the half-time interval bought.
Jamie Mackie had the ball in the net after the break, but only after an offside flag had been raised, and Alejandro Faurlin wasted a golden chance soon after when the ball broke to him on the edge of the area with Szczesny out of his goal, but the shot was week and the keeper gathered.
A glaring miss followed up the other end for Walcott, who ran onto a Ramsey flick and had the Rs goal at his mercy, but managed to slot wide at the near post when it seemed easier to score.
But Arsenal were far more clinical minutes later when a wayward pass by Wright-Phillips in a dangerous area was picked up by Andre Arshavin, who put in Van Persie to open the scoring.
As Rs looked for a way back, Szczesny pushed a decent effort from Tarabt around the post, while Connolly volleyed over at the far post after Taarabt's corner was flicked on.
Gervinho should have done better with a Van Persie cross at the other end, while Barton's vital interception prevented a certain second for the Dutchman.
RS: Cerny, Gabbidon, Connolly, Young, Traore (Orr 78), Faurlin, Barton, Mackie (Smith 75), Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd (Campbell 65), Taarabt. Subs not used: Hill, Derry, Helguson, Murphy.