The hosts started the game brightly and were seeing most of the ball in the opening few minutes. The first real opening came after seven minutes when Jordan Rhodes was picked out at the far post by Craig Conway, but he tamely put his header wide.
Just two minutes later, however, and Blackburn's early dominance paid off. Gestede was found just outside the box and he took a touch to steady himself before rifling a shot into the bottom corner past Robert Green.
The goal seemed to spur QPR into action, and on the 15-minute mark they had their first attempt on goal when Ravel Morrison drove forward from midfield before shooting over the bar.
QPR were by now on top of the game and Morrison came much closer with 10 minutes of the half to play with a powerful volley that was just too close to Paul Robinson, who was able to keep it out to preserve Blackburn's half-time lead.