Brentford completed a Sky Bet Championship double over Queens Park Rangers and made it seven home wins in a row in all competitions with a comfortable win at Griffin Park. The Bees had the last scheduled game between the teams at Griffin Park just about won 33 minutes in as they raced in to a 3-0 lead. QPR pulled a goal back in the second half but never looked likely to recover the deficit and Brentford took the points.
The Bees won the game in a scintillating 14-minute spell in the first half. Saïd Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins all scored as Brentford put their neighbours to the sword and never relinquished control of the West London derby. There was defensive work to do in the second half, but it never looked likely that QPR would fight all the way back from three down and Brentford took a second 3-1 win in games between the teams this season.
The opening stages of the game were extremely competitive. Referee John Brooks was regularly being called upon to arbitrate as players came together all over the pitch and both teams had cause to remonstrate in the early stages. The visitors employed a high energy approach to the start of the contest, looking to get high up the pitch, trying to force mistakes from Brentford in possession and stop them playing through.
The QPR tactics worked in the early stages. There were few touches for Brentford in attacking areas while Mathias Jensen and Josh Dasilva struggled to get The Bees moving forward. The home side were forced to go longer but one clever long pass from Henrik Dalsgaard should have produced the opening goal. Watkins raced on to it and was clear of the QPR defence. Geoff Cameron gave him a clear barge in the back and Watkins went over but Mr Brooks inexplicably waved play on.
But the signs that Brentford had already got to grips with what QPR could offer were there and they started to move through the gears. Watkins saw a shot deflect inches wide after Jensen and Dasilva were able to link deep in QPR territory and a gulf between the teams was starting to show. QPR were unable to maintain their energetic approach as Brentford just played through them and it wasn’t long before The Bees turned pressure in to goals.
The first, unsurprisingly, owed something to a decision taken by Mr Brooks. Mbeumo and Ryan Manning challenged in the QPR left back area and the visiting defender went down. Mr Brooks allowed play to go on but then gave The Bees a free kick when Manning pulled Mbeumo back. Dasilva sold QPR a dummy as Jensen delivered the ball low and Benrahma fired home, with the help of a deflection, from 15 yards. The intricacy of the set piece had caught QPR out and Brentford had lit the touch paper.
For most of the rest of the first half it was one-way traffic. A 1-0 lead turned in to a 3-0 lead by the break and the game was just about done as a contest. The visitors had gone close to taking the lead before Benrahma opening the scoring, but not through their own efforts. David Raya was forced to make a scrambling save when Pontus Jansson made a mess of a header and almost scored an own goal. And moments later, Raya dithered in possession and was almost robbed by Nahki Wells but the goalkeeper, assisted by Ethan Pinnock, extricated himself from the hole he had dug.
It may have been a different game if QPR had got ahead but once Benrahma found a way through, Brentford were rampant. The second goal showed the way QPR reacted to the opener. Joe Lumley made a mess of a clearance and presented the ball to Christian Nørgaard, who tried to put Mbeumo in behind. Cameron miss-connected with his defensive header and was then not able to get close enough to Mbeumo to shove him over, as he had done to Watkins earlier. Mbeumo was able to toe-poke the ball past a stranded Lumley and in to the corner as it dropped.
The third came just past the half hour from another excellently executed set piece. Jensen delivered it deep from the left and Pinnock pulled away in to space. The centre half nodded it back across and Watkins dived to nod home from close range to just about kill the game as a contest. Brentford had ruthlessly exploited QPR’s porous defence and all three of their front players had their names on the score sheet.
It could, indeed, have been worse for QPR. Just after a poor Lumley kick had given Brentford their second goal, he was at it again, giving the home side possession deep in QPR territory. Benrahma fed Mbeumo and he worked the ball on to Dasilva, the cross-cum-shot would have been turned home by Watkins, but Grant Hall diverted it just past his own post. The resulting corner was half cleared and Watkins delivered a cross that would have been headed home by Pinnock had Hall not intervened again.
Lumley saved from Dasilva and Hall blocked a fierce Mbeumo shot as Brentford looked for more goals as half time approached. Dalsgaard also saw a header blocked from another corner that QPR were unable to defend. But the visitors did end the first half brightly. They started to move the ball in midfield and were able to find the odd gap in Brentford’s defensive shape. They might have got a goal back when the ball was worked to Wells on the edge of the penalty area, but Dalsgaard was there to make a fine defensive tackle.
There were also QPR shouts for a penalty late in the first half when Wells and Jansson collided, but it was not even in the same post code as the challenge on Watkins Mr Brooks had let go earlier and he brought the half to a close with Brentford in control. And it almost got worse for the visitors seconds after the break. Hall was booked for pulling back Benrahma after the Brentford attacker had made him look foolish with a flick around the corner and spin. Benrahma lined up the free kick and curled it inches wide of the near post.
QPR had made a change at half time. They brought Conor Masterson in to their defence and moved Cameron forward to play in midfield. They looked better in both areas in the opening stages of the second half and had more of the ball than The Bees in the 15 minutes after the interval. Cameron lined up an ambitious shot that flew well wide and they got a goal back just past the hour. Bright Osayi-Samuel played a clever one-two with Ilias Chair and cut the ball back from the by-line for Wells to tap in. It was a well-worked goal and gave QPR hope.
But even in that part of the game, Brentford showed their incisiveness in attacking areas. Todd Kane was booked for a foul in a similar part of the pitch as Hall was and Benrahma lined up another free kick. This time it was on target but well held by Lumley. That came after Watkins had released Benrahma and he did so again soon after only to be fouled from behind by Hall. Mr Brooks played advantage and decided that a tackle from behind was not worthy of a second caution, leaving Hall on the pitch.
Watkins had a shot deflected in to the side netting and Lumley saved a lofted effort from Mbeumo as the minutes ticked by. Watkins then headed a Benrahma cross on to the roof of the net after he wriggled free of Kane, who was also treading an increasingly narrow tightrope with his combative play. Watkins headed powerfully wide soon after as Brentford continued to look for goals.
But QPR felt the game was still alive. Osayi-Samuel pulled a shot wide when a cross dropped loose, and Raya made a fine save from Ebere Eze after Manning had raced in to space on the left. Eze had shot from ten yards and really should have scored. Eze then robbed Dalsgaard as Brentford tried to play out but Chair ran the ball out of play when he could have tested Raya.
And after those minor alarms, Brentford shut the door. They defended resolutely in the later stages and added energy to the midfield with substitutes Joel Valencia, Emiliano Marcondes and Kamohelo Mokotjo full of running. Valencia could have scored late on with a fierce shot that Lumley unconvincingly saved low down and there was still time for Watkins to miss a golden chance when Pinnock nodded a Benrahma corner down. Watkins lashed wide of the far post from a tight angle but would have expected to have scored when free that close in. A fourth goal would have given the score line a gloss but did not change the outcome, Brentford’s fifth home win in a row against QPR.
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Dasilva (sub Marcondes 87 mins), Nørgaard, Jensen (sub Mokotjo 75 mins); Mbeumo (sub Valencia 81 mins), Watkins, Benrahma
Subs (not used): Daniels, Thompson, Jeanvier, Žambůrek
Queens Park Rangers: Lumley; Kane, Hall, Cameron, Manning; Ball (sub Masterson h/t), Amos; Bright-Samuel, Chair (sub Shodipo 81 mins), Eze; Wells (sub Hugill 71 mins)
Subs (not used): Kelly, Wallace, Pugh, Scowen
Bookings: Hall (46 mins), Kane (56 mins), Cameron (71 mins), Osayi-Samuel (90 mins), Manning (90 mins)
Attendance: 12,324 (1,646 away fans)