‘BMW’ provide the first-half drive to set up derby delight for Brentford
Brentford kept the pressure on the Sky Bet Championship’s top two with a comprehensive 3-1 win over west London rivals QPR.
Goals from the Bees’ ‘BMW’ combination of Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins ensured the engine never looked like stalling on their promotion push.
Nahki Wells’ consolation just after the hour mark was too little to late for a Rangers side that was blown away in a blistering first 45 minutes.
Brentford started strongly and took a 19th-minute lead, Benrahma smashing home Mathias Jensen’s set piece free-kick from 12 yards after Ryan Manning had hauled down Mbeumo by the byline.
The hosts doubled their advantage four minutes later when Christian Norgaard picked up Rangers keeper Joe Lumley’s poor clearance and drifted a ball forward for Mbeumo to outmuscle Geoff Cameron and finish cleverly.
It was 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Jensen’s floated free-kick found Ethan Pinnock at the far post and he headed back across goal for Watkins to head home his 18th goal of the season at full stretch.
Wells gave the visitors a glimmer of hope in the 62nd minute when he touched home Bright Osayi-Samuel’s low cross in one of the few occasions QPR managed to get behind the home defence.
The 3-0 interval lead was no more than the hosts deserved for a scintillating first 45 minutes, which started with Watkins being clipped in the box by Cameron, only for penalty appeals to be unsuccessful.
Watkins came close to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute but his shot on the turn from a Josh Dasilva through-ball was deflected just wide.
Bees goalkeeper David Raya had to be at his best minutes later when he reacted smartly to tip skipper Pontus Janssen’s attempted clearance over the bar.
The opener changed the complexion of the game further still and Brentford grew in confidence as their neighbours struggled to get any sort of foothold, with striker Wells isolated.
Watkins again went close midway through the half but his effort was deflected wide as the Bees showed no mercy, with Pinnock also coming close to making it three with a header from Watkins’ searching cross.
The Bees dropped back after the break and Rangers grew more into the game, enjoying a good 15-minute spell after Wells had pulled one back.
The unmarked Osayi-Samuel bobbled a shot wide of the post when he should have done better from Ebere Eze’s cross before Raya denied Eze from point-blank range and then got to the loose ball after a low Manning cross caught the home defence napping.
That miss deflated Rangers and Brentford began to exert more pressure in the middle, where subs Kamohelo Mokotjo and Emiliano Marcondes gave the visitors a different challenge to consider.
The final 15 minutes saw the hosts find a second wind and they started to manage the game better, Watkins looping a header over from Benrahma’s pinpoint left wing cross.
Substitute Joel Valencia almost gave the scoreline the gloss it deserved in added time but Lumley was equally to his swerving low drive from 25 yards.