Luongo goal helps QPR defeat rivals Brentford
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 3 (Luongo 50, Lynch 58, Wells 60) Brentford 2 (Maupay 22, Dalsgaard 81)
Queens Park Rangers produced a stunning turnaround at the start of the second half to beat west London rivals Brentford 3-2 in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Rs endured a difficult first half where little of what they tried came off and found themselves behind at the break.
Goals from Massimo Luongo, Joel Lynch and Nahki Wells inside the first 15 minutes of the second half, though, turned the game around in favour of the Loftus Road club.
Though the Bees pulled one back with just under 10 minutes to go, the Rs did enough to hold on to their lead.
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QPR boss Steve McClaren made just one change to his starting XI following last weekend’s defeat at Blackburn Rovers.
After missing the trip to Ewood Park with a slight knock, Geoff Cameron was restored to the starting XI in place of Josh Scowen, who dropped to the bench.
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Jake Bidwell kept his place at left-back, allowing the defender to come up against his former employers.
Rs stopper Joe Lumley was called into early action, pushing a Sergi Canos shot behind for a corner in just the third minute, though the set-piece came to nothing.
Four minutes later, a poor clearance from Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley gifted possession to Ebere Eze, who laid the ball off to Wells.
The Bermuda international broke into the box left of centre, but drove his resulting effort wide from an acute angle.
Cameron was next to go close for the Loftus Road outfit, firing narrowly wide of the left post from a central position 20 yards out in the 16th minute.
Six minutes later, McClaren’s men fell behind when Neal Maupay opened the scoring for the Griffin Park club.
Maupay headed home from close range after reacting quickets when Lumley parried Said Benrahma’s initial 25-yard effort back into play.
With a minute remaining in the half, a Luke Freeman free-kick from the right eventually made its way to Joel Lynch at the back post.
The centre-back hooked the ball back towards goal, but could only look on as the Bees cleared the effort off the line.
There was a lengthy break shortly before the interval as Brentford forward Neal Maupay was stretchered off, but QPR were still trailing when half-time did come.
The Loftus Road outfit, though, made a superb start after the break and were level within five minutes of the restart.
The move started with Luke Freeman initially making his way into the box, before being denied by Bentley twice in quick succession.
The second strike, though, resulted in something approaching a goalmouth scramble, with Luongo eventually able to prod home from little more than three yards.
QPR’s good work in drawing level was nearly undone in the 54th minute when Benrahma weaved through the home defence, but Lumley was on hand to keep out the shot at the end.
Just four minutes later, McClaren’s men led for the first time when Lynch found the target.
A free-kick delivered by Freeman caused confusin in the away defence, with the Wales international capitalising to net from close range.
In a terrific spell for the Loftus Road club, a third arrived through Wells in the 60th minute.
Pawel Wszolek made his way down the right flank, before crossing to the on-loan Burnley forward.
Wells got a touch fortunate to still have the ball following a challenge from Ezri Konsa, but made the most of his luck to slot past Bentley from 10 yards.
Despite leading by two, the Rs were still being put under pressure and only another top save from Lumley prevented Benrahma from pulling one back for the visitors in the 63rd minute.
From there, QPR looked to be managing the game well until the Bees pulled one back in the 81st minute.
Away skipper Romaine Sawyers slipped in right-back Henrik Dalsgaard, who cut in on his left-foot before firing past Lumley from just inside the area.
Brentford pressed on in search of a late equaliser, but to no avail as McClaren’s men held firm to head into the upcoming international break on victorious note.
QPR (4-4-1-1): Lumley; Rangel, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek, Cameron, Luongo, Freeman; Eze; Wells (Cousins 86).
Subs: Ingram (GK), Furlong, Hall, Scowen, Smith, Osayi-Samuel.
Brentford (4-2-3-1): Bentley; Dalsgaard, Konsa, Mepham, Odubajo; McEachran (Da Silva 75), Yennaris; Canos, Sawyers, Benrahma (Clarke 84); Maupay (Judge 45+6).
Subs: Daniels (GK), Marcondes, Barbet, Oksanen.
Referee: James Linington.
Attendance: 17,609 (including 2,696 Brentford fans).