Brentford completed a memorable double over local rivals QPR thanks to another assured performance in an entertaining match at Griffin Park… and a worldy from King Jota!
Both sides carved out opportunities throughout the game, with Dan Bentley producing a string of fine saves and takes under aerial pressure from route one Rangers, but ultimately, it was a day that the Bees’ slick passing game won the day.
In truth, Brentford didn’t find top gear or match the levels reached against Derby County on Good Friday, but there was always more artistry and quality from Dean Smith’s side and, once again, it seemed only a matter of time before it was rewarded by a goal.
The opener did come just past the half-hour mark, but from an unexpected source – Yoann Barbet slamming home a half-volley from a partially cleared corner to lift the roof off of Griffin Park, however, the Bees had Bentley to thank for pulling off two full length saves to ensure the half time lead was achieved.
Jota doubled the advantage with a well taken penalty after Maxime Colin had been felled in the penalty area – the referee hesitating to ponder the foul before pointing to the spot – but any thoughts of Brentford running away with things were soon quashed as Rangers hit back – Joel Lynch heading home to raise the tension levels.
However, cometh the hour, cometh King Jota, and the moment of the match (if not the season) was enough to kill off Rangers’ hopes before they’d even had a chance to blink – a stunning cross-field ball was taken on the run by the Spanish genius, his first touch leaving Jake Bidwell floundering, before cutting in to smash the ball home to send the home fans delirious – a true piece of class.
To be fair, Rangers didn’t give up, and the aerial threat posed by Matt Smith was always a concern, but with QPR coming forward, the Bees were able to counter attack at will. The introduction of Jozefzoon caused the visitors all kinds of problems, and with Shaibu making a late appearance, there is real strength in depth emerging in attacking positions.
As you will hear in the post match Pride of West London podcast (click the link above), there were some very proud Bees after the final whistle, and the QPR fans we spoke to were honest enough to admit that the team in red and white fully deserved the win… even though it was achieved without really getting out of third gear.
The trip to Fulham next Saturday is likely to be a stiffer test, however, on this form, and with the added incentive of derailing their play-off hopes, you never know what this side is capable of – Come On You Bees!