Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez struck as a dominant but wasteful Manchester City narrowly saw off QPR 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium once again.
Sixteen weeks after the dramatic season finale that saw City crowned Barclays Premier League champions at the same ground, the hosts survived another scare against the side managed by their former boss, Mark Hughes.
Despite creating a multitude of chances, City needed a quick response from Dzeko after Bobby Zamora cancelled out Toure's effort but Tevez made the scoreline more convincing in injury time.
QPR almost went behind in the first minute when Dzeko glanced a header wide from a corner. The Bosnian went even closer as he was first to meet another corner but this time Fabio da Silva did well to hack off the line.
QPR's first opportunity came from a City mistake as Jack Rodwell overhit a backpass and the ball dropped over his own bar.
City's opener came in the 16th minute as Tevez saw an effort blocked from another corner but Toure followed up to thump home.
David Silva then tricked his way into the QPR box and dug the ball out from under his feet to force Robert Green to save. Pablo Zabaleta went even closer as he took a fine pass from Silva and curled an effort onto the crossbar.
Recent history threatened to repeat itself as QPR levelled against the run of play. Andrew Johnson stole possession and forced a good save from Joe Hart with a deflected shot. Hart could not recover his footing quick enough to regather and Zamora stole in to head home.
Yet in contrast to last May, City began their reply earlier and without falling behind.
They moved back up the field and Tevez did well to keep the ball in play and cross for Dzeko to head home. City wrapped up the job in injury time as Tevez diverted the ball home from Dzeko's shot.