Your Queens Park Rangers v Brentford match report powered by Utilita
Brentford booked their place in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup on a historic night in West London. The Bees beat local rivals Queens Park Rangers 4-1 at Loftus Road, their biggest ever win in that part of town. And the score line did not flatter The Bees in any way. They raced in to a 3-0 lead just past the half hour and withstood a second half fightback from the hosts after they had reduced the deficit before the break. A Josh Clarke goal late on sealed the win.
The Bees had control almost from the first whistle. They deserved the lead given to them when QPR midfielder Ariel Borysiuk put through his own net and John Egan headed a second soon after. A wonderful Neal Maupay goal just about sealed the win just past the half hour. QPR reduced the deficit late in the half but they could not find a way through and Clarke’s second half goal – his second in consecutive games at Loftus Road – sealed Brentford’s passage.
Brentford dominated possession for the first five minutes – and Romaine Sawyers fired over from 20 yards – but the hosts had a couple of good early chances. Pawel Wszołek met a corner with a powerful header and it may have found the net had it not hit his team mate Ilias Chair. Idrissa Sylla then saw a shot deflect wide before meeting the resulting corner with a powerful header but missing the target.
That early burst from the home side was not, however, a sign of things to come. Brentford soon had a grip on the match that they would never let go and the tie looked over well before half time. Rangers played with a narrow midfield and had no answer when Brentford went down the flanks. The home side could not cope with the pace of Clarke and Florian Jozefzoon and it was no surprise that the two were involved in the opening goal. Clarke laid the ground work on the right and fed Jozefzoon, he skipped away from Steven Caulker and delivered a cross that Maupay would have converted if Borysiuk had not got there first to put it in his own net.
That goal epitomised the way Brentford approached the evening. They attacked at pace and with numbers, looking to exploit obvious weaknesses in the home defence and playing some scintillating football. QPR were contributing to their own downfall with some suspect passing in their own territory but they could make no impression on Brentford’s midfield trio – Sawyers, Nico Yennaris and Kamohelo Mokotjo – who were bossing things.
Luke Daniels made a save from a weak Sylla shot but most of the action was at the other end. Maupay shot wide from 20 yards after Yennaris had won the ball in Rangers territory, the striker was not far off target but a pass to Clarke on the right may have produced a better result. Yennaris saw a shot blocked following a clever short free kick and the same man then saw a volley deflect wide from the resulting corner. The next set piece produced Brentford’s second goal. Jozefzoon delivered it from the left, Andreas Bjelland nodded it back and Egan headed home from eight yards.
Clarke could have made it three soon after when Maupay fed him in the inside right channel but his powerful low shot was well saved by Matt Ingram. The Rangers goalkeeper then made an even better stop when Clarke burst down the right and fed Maupay, the low shot was pushed out superbly and the follow up from Jozefzoon, after he had wriggled free, flew just wide. QPR were still showing their attacking threat – Yeni Ngbakoto should have reduced the arrears when he headed wide from 12 yards unmarked and Caulker also missed the target with an aerial effort – but their problems were at the other end.
Just past the half hour, Brentford ruthlessly exposed those problems again. Sawyers fed a ball in to the inside left channel and Maupay raced clear before smashing a left foot shot past Ingram and high in to the net from 18 yards. It was a finish of an expert marksman and appeared to put the game to bed. Bjelland then saw a header saved from a corner before Jozefzoon, who delivered that ball, fired well wide.
Sawyers could have made it four before the break when he picked up a Jozefzoon pass and wriggled free but Caulker managed to get a touch on the ball to divert it away. And that seemed to give the hosts a boost. The home fans were venting their frustration and the Rangers players responded by pushing forward. Daniels saved a Ryan Manning effort and then saw referee Christopher Sarginson wave away appeals when he collided with Sylla challenging for the loose ball.
A Borysiuk shot deflected wide and when the resulting corner was only half cleared, Ngbakoto delivered a perfect ball for Darnell Furlong to rise and head in from eight yards. That gave the home side a boost going in to the break and Daniels had to save a looping Sylla header in the dying moments of the half. There was also a sign of what was to come as Brentford broke quickly in the last move of the half but Maupay fired well wide from distance.
QPR had made a subtle tactical change late in the half, ditching a diamond midfield to go to a more linear four across, but it was the increase in their tempo that made the difference. And that continued after the break. The hosts were all-action in the early stages of the second half, looking for the second goal that could have made Brentford’s nerves jangle. They could have got one from a half-cleared corner but a shot from Chair was blocked and Ngbakoto was adjudged to be offside as he tried to pick up the ball pinballing around the penalty area.
The game was becoming more and more stretched as the minutes ticked by. QPR looked to press forward and be on the front foot while Brentford were happy to counter-attack and try to take the sting out of the game with spells of possession when they could. QPR had the better of the territory as the half progressed but Brentford generally restricted them to set pieces and long range shots.
Furlong almost made a set piece count for the hosts when it was half cleared and knocked back but he couldn’t poke it in from close range. Borysiuk shot well wide and another effort from the same man was easily saved by Daniels. Sylla should have halved the deficit when he met a Furlong cross eight yards out but he headed over.
Brentford had chances to ease any lingering worries. Firstly, Clarke fired in to the side netting after picking up a reverse pass from Sawyers and then Egan met a Jozefzoon free kick but he header was deflected over the top. QPR had by this stage brought the giant Matt Smith on to play up front and had were throwing balls in to the box. Daniels saved a Sylla header before an aerial effort from Smith deflected wide.
But the introduction of Smith actually appeared to hinder the hosts. They had a head of steam for much of the second half, with the home fans playing their part, but once Smith came on they lost all shape and Brentford began to dominate possession again. It was no surprise when The Bees sealed the win with seven minutes to go. Justin Shaibu wriggled free and fed Clarke to run in to the penalty box and smash past Ingram from ten yards. That killed off any Rangers’ resistance and the hosts attacking efforts from then on had an air of futility.
More balls went in to the box and a Borysiuk shot was blocked as Rangers pressed in vain. Brentford dominated the ball in the closing stages without really looking like adding a fifth but that proved not to matter, a Third Round place was already secure, along with a biggest ever victory at Loftus Road.
Queens Park Rangers: Ingram; Furlong, Baptiste, Caulker (sub Smith 75 mins), Robinson; Wszołek (sub Mackie 69 mins), Borysiuk, Manning (sub Freeman 51 mins); Chair; Sylla, Ngbakoto
Subs (not used): Lumley, Onuoha, Washington, Petrasso
Bookings: Baptiste (17 mins), Robinson (47 mins)
Brentford: Daniels; Colin, Egan, Bjelland, Chatzitheodoridis (sub Dalsgaard 77 mins); Mokotjo (sub Woods 69 mins); Clarke, Sawyers, Yennaris, Jozefzoon; Maupay (sub Shaibu 69 mins)
Subs (not used): Bentley, Mepham, Watkins, Archibald
Attendance: 9,719 (2,218 Bees fans)