Brentford 3 QPR 1: Five things we learned
PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 January 2020
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Five things we learned from Queens Park Rangers' 3-1 defeat away at west London rivals Brentford.
Set-piece defending needs work
QPR were outplayed by Brentford in the first half and were deservedly behind but all of the goals conceded were easily avoidable. Said Benrahma's opener was well-worked but Rangers failed to deal with Mathias Jensen's ball into the box from a free-kick, while Mark Warburton's side also failed to properly defend a ball into the box from a free-kick for Watkins' goal. Rangers' overall performance in the first half was poor but they cannot afford to leak goals so easily from set-pieces.
Kelly deserves a chance
Warburton has shown enormous faith in Joe Lumley this season, often sticking with him after the goalkeeper has made mistakes, but his errors, particularly from his distribution, are continuing to prove costly. His awful pass straight to Christian Norgaard resulted in Brentford's second goal and the goalkeeper has had a season to forget so far. Warburton gave Liam Kelly a run in the first team earlier on in the campaign before he picked up a muscle injury and it maybe time to recall him again.
Masterson has a lot to offer
Signed after leaving Liverpool in the summer, centre-back Conor Masterson only made his debut in the FA Cup win against Swansea last week and impressed with his performance. He was introduced at half-time against the Bees and again coped well, looking composed and hardly putting a foot wrong. Warburton has spoken of his belief that the young defender would benefit from a loan spell but while he may not be ready to start week in, week out, he certainly has something to offer should he stay at QPR for the rest of the season.
Cameron is much better in midfield
Toni Leistner's injury meant Geoff Cameron was given a start at centre-back but did not look comfortable in the position. He struggled to deal with the attacking trio of Brentford and made a bad mistake for Bryan Mbeumo's goal where his poor header was capitalised on. The American moved into midfield for the second half and played well, making some good challenges and helped his side put in an improved performance. This defeat confirmed that Cameron is of much more use in a midfield role.
Ryan Manning has enjoyed a successful season but he and Todd Kane really struggled to get to grips with the challenge of Mbeumo and Benrahma. While both Bees wingers are two of the league's top players, both full-backs coped poorly with Kane in particular struggling. Kane and Manning offer a lot going forward but the experience of Lee Wallace and Angel Rangel may be more suited to these type of tests.