QPR 2-1 Brentford: Bees slip to back-to-back defeats
Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Brentford: Sam Field and Charlie Austin give Hoops west London bragging rights as Bees slip to back-to-back defeats after Ivan Toney had given them a first-half lead
- Brentford took another stumble in the race for promotion to the Premier League
- Ivan Toney had put them in front in the first half against Queens Park Rangers
- But goals from Sam Field and Charlie Austin gave Mark Warburton’s side victory
Brentford took another stumble in the race to the Premier League as west London rivals Queens Park Rangers inflicted another damaging defeat.
Having seen their 21-match unbeaten sequence in the Championship ended by Barnsley on Sunday, defensive frailties sprung up again for the Bees as Sam Field and Charlie Austin flipped this contest.
It was all going so well for Brentford when Ivan Toney, with his 24th goal of the season, gave them a first-half lead.
Queens Park Rangers took the west London bragging rights with a 2-1 victory over Brentford
Sam Field and Charlie Austin turned the game on its head in the space of four minutes
The Bees have lost back-to-back games after an unbeaten run of 21 league matches
But Thomas Frank’s side were some way below their fluent best, created next to nothing and paid the price when debutant Field and Austin, both on loan from West Bromwich Albion, scored within five minutes of one another in the second-half.
With Norwich winning at Coventry, a gap of four points has opened up between the leaders and Brentford. There will be nervousness that Swansea, just below them, still have a couple of games in hand.
Frank’s job will be to ensure this blip doesn’t become something more terminal as they’re in a great position to reach the promised land of the Premier League.
Ivan Toney had given Brentford the lead in the 30th minute to grab his 23rd goal of the season
The striker met Mathias Jensen’s cross to guide the ball beyond Seny Dieng in the QPR goal
QPR (3-1-4-2): Dieng; Dickie, Cameron (c), Barbet; Kane, Ball (Field 55), Johansen, Wallace (Kakay 80); Chair; Austin, Dykes (Willock 65)
Subs not used: Lumley; Hamalainen, Bettache, Kelman, Adomah
Scorers: Field 72; Austin 77
Booked: Kane, Ball, Dickie, Cameron
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard (c) (Rasmussen 83), Reid, Sorensen, Henry; Dasilva (Ghoddos 75), Janelt (Forss 83), Jensen; Fosu (Mbeumo 58), Toney, Canos
Subs not used: Daniels (GK); Pinnock, Ghoddos, Zamburek, Bidstrup
Scorers: Toney 30
For Rangers, aside from the local bragging rights for the first time in five meetings, there is now precious breathing space between themselves and the relegation places.
Mark Warburton’s side weren’t cowed by Brentford’s attacking threat, created the better chances and were ultimately deserving winners.
The main point of interest early on was whether Brentford would suffer a hangover from that Barnsley defeat. Not a bit of it, they were clear-headed and perky, soon zipping the ball around and making QPR chase.
But for all their possession, chances were few and far between in the first-half, making for a disappointing spectacle. This west London derby usually comes with a crackling atmosphere and an edge but sadly that was absent and it made the action flat.
There was a fifth-minute opening for Tariqe Fosu, who fired over from a tight angle after Rico Henry crossed deep from the left.
But then little of note happened until Brentford’s opener, just after the half-hour mark. Todd Kane brought down Henry on the left corner of the box and Jensen stood over the set-play with Vitaly Janelt.
Jensen curled the ball into a six-yard box where players were packed like sardines. The delivery was so good it just needed a touch and Toney was the sharpest of mind to react, sticking out a boot to divert it past Seny Dieng.
That Toney got the decisive touch wasn’t surprising in the slightest given his hot form. That was his eighth goal in five matches.
Rangers had created nothing beyond half-chances but they came to life late in the half and might have gone into the break level.
Ilias Chair, the main threat with his willingness to run the left channel and look for a cross, flashed an effort wide from just outside the box.
And it took a good block from Bees keeper David Raya to keep Yoann Barbet scoring against his former club, with Charlie Austin, of all people, slicing the follow-up.
Early in the second-half, Raya raced out and cleared unconvincingly with his head before Chair reached the ball. Chair’s corner was a vicious inswinger that bounced off the top of the bar.
QPR had all the momentum and won a free-kick 35 yards out that Stefan Johansen fancied. His curling effort wasn’t too far away, certainly close enough to have Raya scrambling.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank was seen having words with QPR’s Yoann Barbet at full-time
The Bees’ promotion rivals Norwich and Swansea both won to compound their result
Brentford seemed content enough to soak up this pressure and hit QPR on the counter, bringing Bryan Mbeumo into the action just before the hour. Jensen fired high across the face of goal following good work by Canos not long after.
But you always felt QPR had a goal in them and it duly arrived 18 minutes from time. Kane chipped the ball back into the danger area and Toney and Winston Reid both jumped for the same clearing header, with the result neither cleared it.
Henry could only nod the ball to Field, who struck the ball perfectly on his left foot to mark his debut with a goal after signing on loan from West Brom.
And the turnaround was complete five minutes later. It was another poor defensive clearance in the first instance and the ball came to Lee Wallace to cut the ball back from the byline.
It fell nicely to Austin on the left foot and he found the net via a hefty deflection for his third goal since returning to the club.
His celebrations in front of the dug-outs showed exactly how much this fixture means to him and QPR. They will relish inflicting this blow to Brentford’s Premier League dream.
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