Brentford fans came away from Loftus Road on Tuesday night proud of a team that had produced an excellent display, especially in the first period, and in doing so had dealt our local rivals a hefty blow and given them a footballing lesson during a memorable 4-1 victory.
Bees fans were nervously cautious heading to the game, confident that if we played to our potential it would be alright on the night, but aware that the defensive frailties could leave us with egg on our faces if Rangers played to their early season form. In the end we had little to worry about.
Both team made a lot of changes to their usual probable starting XIs, however, you simply wouldn’t have known that looking at the Bees who looked slick, fluent and confident from the off – it was an excellent exhibition of the kind of football Brentford have made their trademark.
Ilias looked assured at left-back for the majority of the game in what was a big step up for him, while Bjelland and Egan weren’t really tested until the visitors were three up and out of sight – the one goal Rangers did get will be mulled over on the training ground again no doubt, but this was certainly a night to celebrate the positives.
The first 45 minutes was a thrashing – the opening goal may have been credited as an own goal, but the approach play was sublime, that was swiftly followed up by a deft header by John Egan and a third that was smashed into the roof of the net by Neil Maupay to continue his excellent sequence of strikes this season. At that stage, it could and should have been five or six, as a couple of clear chances went wide or were blocked by the desperate QPR defence.
After the break Rangers grew into the game and the home crown spluttered into life, but for all their pressure, the Bees rearguard stood firm and it seemed likely they would be punished on the break – a killer blow that was delivered by Josh Clarke who cut inside the box to shoot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Apart from the result, the other highlight of the night was seeing Ryan Woods back in a Bees top and it would have been emotional for the young player to receive a standing ovation as he ran onto the pitch as a second half substitute for Mokotjo.
All in all an excellent and entertaining west London derby that went end to end during the second period and the Bees’ name is in the ‘Chinese’ hat for the Third Round for the first time in several years… it is critical, however, that Brentford follow that up with a win in the Championship against Wolves this Saturday.
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