Two goals in five second half minutes condemned Brentford to defeat against Queens Park Rangers. Ivan Toney scored in the first half as The Bees had the upper hand and they seemed to be on their way to a well-earned away win. But a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute became a 2-1 deficit by the 77th and QPR took the points.
While The Bees may not have done enough to win the contest overall, they limited QPR to few chances and were undone by the two-goal blast in the later stages. Toney scored after an opening that Brentford had the better of and The Bees were worth their lead at the break. The second period was more even and more scrappy but QPR found a way to get their goals and took the points.
Brentford had the better of the opening exchanges, having more of the ball and playing mostly in the home side’s half. They tried to expose QPR’s back three with the movement of their attacking players with Sergi Canós and Tariqe Fosu often getting close to Toney and then drifting in to wider positions in the space behind the home wing backs. The Bees were able to play the ball in and out of midfield and progress up the pitch but also had success with balls in to space on the flanks.
All the early openings went the way of Brentford, but the final pass was often awry. A Canós cross was just ahead of Fosu and another, that may have been a shot, was too high for Toney. If it was a shot from Canós, it failed to trouble Seny Dieng in the QPR goal.
The best early chance went the way of Fosu. Canós released Rico Henry on the overlap and his cross bounced its way through to Fosu at the far post, but he snatched at the shot and it flew over the crossbar. When The Bees moved up the pitch down the left soon after a Canós cross found Fosu, this time at the near post, but he failed to find the finish. Henrik Dalsgaard also blasted wide when he got up in support of an attack, Fosu found Canós in the penalty area and the ball broke to the edge of the box.
When Brentford got the ball in to the penalty area right, on the half hour, they took the lead. A burst from Henry won a free kick on the left as Todd Kane upended him and earned a yellow card. Mathias Jensen’s delivery in to the near post area was whipped and wicked and Toney got to it, flicking the ball past Dieng and in to the far corner for his 24th goal of the season.
The Bees deserved the lead on the balance of the first half hour but QPR were having a decent spell at the time. Strikers Lyndon Dykes and Charlie Austin were starting to link, and the home side were getting them the ball in Brentford territory. Austin curled a shot over from the edge of the penalty are and a cross-cum-shot from Kane had David Raya scrambling a little as it flew wide of the far post.
Those openings came just before Brentford’s goal and the later stages of the first period saw good chances at both ends. Ilias Chair cut inside off the left and let fly with a shot that flew wide of the far post. It then took a fine recovery tackle from Geoff Cameron to prevent Toney shooting from 15 yards to double Brentford’s lead. Canós had split the home defence with a pass and Fosu had the option to shoot but looked to find Toney in a better position but Cameron made a vital intervention.
A fierce free kick from Toney was deflected over the bar before Jensen came close to a goal that would have been the best in any season. As he picked up a dropping loose ball after a Brentford corner, he headed it over Austin, nutmegged Stefan Johansen and bounced the ball in front of himself before letting fly with a shot that dipped and swerved and landed just in front of Dieng. The QPR goalkeeper was equal to it and managed to push it away from the arriving Canós.
And the hosts then almost equalised at the other end. A Chair corner was bent in underneath the Brentford crossbar and Raya punched it out under pressure, the ball dropped and Yoann Barbet fired it back towards goal. Raya recovered to make the save and was then helped out by his defenders, who scrambled the ball away.
The home side also went close from two set pieces just after the interval, firstly when a deep free kick reached Barbet at the far post. The first shot was blocked, as was the next from Dominic Ball, Barbet then had another go, but Raya saved at the near post. Chair then whipped a corner from the left that flew over Raya and bounced off the crossbar and away.
Johansen then curled a free kick just over the crossbar as the host made a good start to the second period. They were winning more loose balls in midfield and delivering crosses in to the Brentford penalty area. The Bees were being forced back and not able to play through midfield as they did for much of the first half with QPR crowding the centre of the pitch.
The Bees did, however, have sights of goal early in the second half, making the most of a more open game. Dieng saved at the feet of Toney when he looked like he might get on to a Josh Dasilva pass. A Dasilva cross was then a fraction too heavy for Toney at the far post.
There was a chance for Fosu on the counter-attack as Mads Bech Sørensen broke out from his own penalty area. Fosu was released in to space but faded a shot wide with Canós making a fine run in support on the left. There was also an opening for Jensen as he got in to the penalty area on the left side. Canós worked his way in to the penalty area and back heeled the ball to Jensen, but he fed a shot over the crossbar from a tight angle.
As the game approached the hour mark, all momentum seemed to be disappearing. It was being played at a slow pace, with Brentford largely in control in midfield, but The Bees were undone by a five-minute blast from the hosts. The two goals came out of nothing, with QPR making the most of a counter-attack to level, and then working the winning goal moments later.
Substitute Chris Willock played a key role in the equaliser. The home side cleared a corner and Willock worked his way between a gaggle of players in midfield to get his team up the pitch. The ball was played in to the penalty area and, after bouncing around while The Bees were unable to clear, Sam Field latched on to it and drilled a low shot past Raya and in to the corner of the net.
And a few moments later, 1-1 became 2-1. Kane played a brilliant pass from right to left and Lee Wallace managed to work his way in to the penalty area. He tried to feed a cross along the six-yard box but saw it deflect in to the path of Austin and he steered a shot in to the corner of the net, via another deflection. QPR had gone more than 20 minutes without troubling Raya but then struck a double blow that The Bees could not recover from.
The visitors tried to fight back, made substitutions and forced the home side to defend, largely playing in opposition territory. Canós saw a shot blocked after getting on to a Toney lay off. Toney then headed a corner over the crossbar.
There were a couple of chances at the death as Dieng bravely saved at the feet of Toney when the striker looked to be getting on to a Jensen pass. Henry then got in around the back and delivered a cross that QPR couldn’t clear, Bryan Mbeumo wriggled free, but his shot was deflected over the crossbar. Raya came forward for that last set piece, but Brentford couldn’t make the most of it and QPR had the win.
Queens Park Rangers: Dieng; Dickie, Cameron, Barbet; Kane, Johansen, Ball (sub Field 55 mins), Wallace (sub Kakay 79 mins); Chair; Dykes (sub Willock 65 mins), Austin
Subs (not used): Lumley, Hämäläinen, Kelman, Adomah, Bettache
Bookings: Kane (30 mins), Ball (33 mins), Dickie (57 mins), Cameron (84 mins), Dieng (89 mins)
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard (sub Roerslev 83 mins), Reid, Sørensen, Henry; Dasilva (sub Ghoddos 75 mins), Janelt (sub Forss 83 mins), Jensen; Fosu (sub Mbeumo 58 mins), Toney, Canós
Subs (not used): Daniels, Pinnock, Bidstrup, Žambůrek
Bookings: Toney (90 mins) (fifth of season)