|Queens Park Rangers 1 v 4 Brentford|
Tuesday, 22nd August 2017 Kick-off 19:45
Brentford dump woeful Rangers out cup - Report
Wednesday, 23rd Aug 2017 18:36 by Jordan James Foster
Jordan Foster reports on QPR's annual cup humiliation - this time a 4-1 second round defeat at home to neighbours Brentford on Tuesday night.
After what was a very welcome, yet albeit unexpected start to the season, QPR are now in a familiar situation of being booed off the pitch after a lacklustre performance against local rivals Brentford.
Rangers are notoriously poor in cup competitions and recently have been notoriously poor against Brentford so a betting man you would have been forgiven for backing the Hounslow-based side for a win. 'Plucky'/'tin pot'/ 'little old..' Brentford played with conviction and looked genuinely impressive in parts – unlike Rangers.
Brentford ran riot under the lights at Loftus Road, after being three up inside the first 30 minutes they coasted to a 4-1 win.
An Ariel Borysiuk own-goal, followed by John Egan's close range header and Neal Maupay's thunderous strike left fans wondering whether Rangers were heading for an even bigger thrashing until Darnell Furlong's reply looked to give the home side a foot back in the game. However Josh Clarke secured the win late in the second half for the visitors after improvements from QPR but without causing Brentford any real problems.
With such a large squad, rotation is going to be key to allow fringe players to get a run out, but perhaps after the latest showing moving some of these fringe players on would be wise.
Matt Ingram made his obligatory cup outing with a back four of Darnell Furlong, Steven Caulker, Alex Baptiste and Jack Robinson operating (loosely used) in front of him. Idrissa Sylla and winger Yeni Ngbakoto were deployed up front in a classic big man-little man combination. Robinson was lambasted by a lot of the team after Egan's header, but in truth he was getting very little protection and having to play as a wing-back whilst on the other side Pawel Wsolek hugged the touchline in front of Furlong.
A midfield three of Illias Chair, Borsiuk and Ryan Manning offered as much protection as a punctured condom. In hindsight, perhaps Manning was supposed to operate on the left hand-side. Within the first 20 minutes, Brentford had made five meaningful attacks down Rangers' left. Romaine Sawyers, a languid and gangly number ten, picked up space between Robinson and Baptiste at freewill whilst Clarke or Florian Jozefzoon's used their pace to get in behind.
As sure as night follows day, it was down this side that Brentford opened the scoring after ten minutes. Jozefzoon danced past Caulker after the former England international had tried to perform a crowd-pleasing challenge in front of the R Block, when it would have been easier to clear his lines. Fleet-footed Jozefzoon left Caulker in his wake and fired a low cross towards Maupay which Borysiuk turned into his own net.
Brentford doubled their lead when Jozefzoon's deep corner found Andreas Bjelland who nodded back across goal for Egan. The natives began to get restless and many left when Maupay's left-footed strike flew past Ingram after he raced onto a through ball from Sawyers to put the visitors three up. Ngbakoto headed Borysiuk's cross over as Rangers attempted to look to make the game at least competitive. At the other end Ingram, who played very well despite the score line, made two saves from Clarke and Maupay in quick succession and was troubled by a long-range Sawyers strike.
Rangers managed to muster up one of their first chances which fortunately led to their opener. Still up from a poor corner, Furlong headed in after being found by Ngbakoto's deep cross. In truth Rangers could have only been one behind at the break when Sylla looked to have been fouled by keeper Luke Daniels which normally have resulted in a penalty.
Five minutes after the break, Manning was replaced by Luke Freeman a surprising move bearing in mind the Irishman at least looked like he was up for it with a number of huge tackles. Chair looked an interesting proposition alongisde him in midfield. Brought in from SK Lierse, the 19-year-old clearly has something about him and it was nice to see him last the full 90 but in a midfield that was up against Kamohelo Mokotjo, former Arsenal man Nico Yennaris and then the extremely impressive Ryan Woods - who I am sure is in many of our thoughts as he mourns the loss of his baby.
Sidenote: Both Nedum Onuoha and Woods were on the bench and sent out to warm up at a similar time, whilst down in the corner stretching it was nice to see Onuoha embrace Woods twice and then shook his hand. After what the midfielder has been through I'm sure many players have sent him their wishes but that was a really nice touch and showed the class of the man. Woods looked really appreciative of the gesture. That's why he's captain.
Back to Chair, a lovely right foot but doesn't ever use his left, would rather turn back into trouble that play a simple pass with his opposite foot. A little short and certainly lacking athleticism but technique and ability wise he’s a nice player but I felt here he was a little lucky to still be on the pitch after neither supporting the forwards or dropping in and collecting the ball from the back four.
As the second half went on, it was fairly obvious there wasn't going to be another goal for the hosts, Matt Smith and Jamie Mackie were thrown on in place of Caulker and Wzsolek but both offered virtually nothing new to proceedings and the added presence of Smith for a defender sent Freeman into a weird left-wing back role when out of possession. The gameplan from this point for QPR seemed to lack any real direction other than long balls forward and the difference in the two sides was underlined when Justin Shaibu broke down Ranger's left and found the run of Clarke in behind who finished in front of the jubilant 2,000 Brentford fans. By this point there was probably the same amount of fans in the ground for both sides as many more QPR fans threw in the towel as the second half dragged on.
After one of the worst opening performances from Baptise, he did grow into the game throughout the second half. His defensive partner, Caulker, looked wobbly before being replaced. Such a shame as there is clearly a player in there but he looked a long way off from his best last night and after the first mistake looked sheepish for the rest of the night. With injuries to Grant Hall and Joel Lynch, one of the two that started will be looked to for cover. I'd say after wearing the captain’s armband, Holloway must think very highly of Baptise, but he's a long way off being ready for this level after being ripped apart by a team towards the bottom of the league. Heavy, flat footed and slow to start with, hopefully there is more to come from one of the few summer signings.
It leaves Rangers out of another cup and Ian Holloway's record as QPR manager as played 36, won 12, drawn four and lost 20 – after a promising start, it could be argued that ten changes was too much against a side that always look to have a point to prove. The visitors can now look forward to a potential match up against a Premier League side whilst Holloway must turn his attention to Neil Warnock's Cardiff – if Rangers start in Wales like they did here there could be a similar scoreline on the cards.
QPR: Ingram 7; Furlong 7, Caulker 4 (Smith 75,6), Baptise 4, Robinson 5; Wszolek 5 (Mackie 69,6), Chair 6, Borysiuk 5, Manning 6 (Freeman 51, 6); Sylla 6, Ngbakoto 6
Subs not used: Lumley, Onuoha, Petrasso, Washington,
Goals: Furlong 43 (assisted Ngbakoto)
Brentford: Daniels, Clarke, Colin, Egan, Bjelland, Jozefzoon, Yennaris, Mokotjo (Woods 69), Sawyers, Chatzitheodoridis (Dalsgaard 77), Maupay (Shaibu 69).
Subs not used: Bentley, Watkins, Archibald, Mepham.
Goals: Borysiuk 10 (OG), Egan 19 (assisted Bjelland), Maupay 32 (assisted Sawyers), Clarke 83 (assisted Shaibu).
QPR Star Man – Darnell Furlong 7 Tough one to choose from when you lose 4-1 in a local derby but did relatively well, stood up to Brentford wing play with some good challenges especially in the second half and did well in the air. Was between Furlong and Ingram but the goal was well taken and despite the saves, Ingram could have done better with the third.
Referee – Chris Sarginson 7 Probably could have given the penalty on Sylla but didn't do a lot wrong in truth but also didn't have a lot to do. Every small decision was correct and did what all good referees should do and made himself invisible to the game.
Attendance – 9719 Brentford of course brought a healthy away following but the attendance was a little disappointing considering its a local derby and reduced prices. Empty seats throughout Ellersie Road and South Africa but hard to look past the cynicism of the line up and recent QPR cup form.
The Twitter @JordanJFoster
Pictures – Action Images
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