Brentford once again found themselves on the end of a high scoring thriller on Saturday as they lost 3-2 to London and promotion rivals Queens Park Rangers, once again surrendering a lead in the process. This game differed from most that Brentford have lost this season, with the Bees falling apart in a 10-minute second-half spell that saw Thomas Frank’s side go from 1-0 up to 3-1 down at the beginning of the second half.
The High Tempo Game
The first half provided no clear-cut style of play from both teams with a lot of end to end action ending in half-chances for both teams. The game began and continued at a high tempo pace with both teams closing down the man on the ball at any given opportunity.
The annotated images below show the opening minute of Saturday afternoon’s fixture as both teams are seen pressing each other high up the pitch to stop the other from playing through them.
Straight from kick-off, QPR had played a long ball straight out in behind Brentford’s defence off the pitch and into their defensive third.
This annotated image is taken just seconds after kick-off, where QPR kicked the ball off the pitch. Four attacking players have pushed up the pitch and attempted to press Brentford as soon as the ball is played on to the pitch.
Brentford adopted the same approach as QPR, however, in a more orthodox manner as they pressed QPR, whenever the ball was in QPR’s defensive third. In the images annotated above, Brentford are seen employing the same tactics as QPR, pressing high and allowing no options for QPR in defence and midfield.
These tactics were employed throughout the fixture on Saturday, especially the first half, and can be seen in the number of long passes each team were forced to play. In the entire game, of the 110 long passes played, 61 of them were played in the first half, showing off the effects of the high tempo tactics both teams employed in the half, with both defences and midfield’s being forced to go long.
Brentford Defensive Mistakes
The high tempo style continued in the second half with QPR doing most of the running and pressing as they blew Brentford away with three goals in 10 second-half minutes. With QPR’s running, Brentford were forced into a lot of mistakes which are detailed in this section.
Brentford’s defence struggled at Loftus Road, and this was seen in the number of defensive mistakes that were made, especially in the goals the bees conceded. The defensive mistakes were a mixture of everything that Brentford have been doing wrong so far this season.
The opening QPR goal was calamitous from a Brentford point of view, as spaces were left in behind the Brentford defence which allowed Luke Freeman the time to cross the ball into the six-yard box. This was due to a poor shape from the defence which saw the two centre-backs deeper than the left-back, Moses Odubajo.
In the image below, there four Brentford players are seen standing and ball watching, with a further two standing off the two unmarked QPR players. A cross into the box, a mixture of poor marking and poor reactions sees the ball cannon off Dalsgaard and reach two unmarked QPR players with Luongo tapping home for the equaliser.
Brentford’s poor defending continued into the second goal, as they conceded from yet another cross in the game. A simple free-kick is crossed into the box, and attacker Sergi Canos fails to pick up Leistner, who heads across goal to yet more unmarked players, as Lynch taps in for QPR to take the lead.
The third goal QPR scored capped off a miserable performance from left-back Odubajo, as he was caught in possession on the half-way line, and then fails to keep up with Wszołek who sprints clear to cross for the third goal.
As well as Odubajo conceding possession, centre-back Ezri Konsa also makes a mistake. The centre-half fails to connect with the ball, allowing it through his legs to Nakhi Wells, who slots in for the third.
Brentford Prey On Mistakes
Despite looking shocking defensively, Brentford still managed to carry an attacking threat, preying on QPR’s mistakes to score two goals of their own. The opening Brentford goal saw Neal Maupay, in acres of space as he headed in after a poor parry by QPR goalkeeper Lumley.
Brentford’s second goal followed the similar pattern the other four goals had, as yet another mistake was made. Defender Bidwell was lax as he allowed Dalsgaard in behind the QPR defence, switching off. The Danish Centre-half did well in slotting home to reduce the deficit for Brentford.
Yet another defensive disaster-class has cost Brentford as they started the game in good fashion. Brentford started the game well, and matched the home side stride-for-stride in the opening half. However, their poor defensive concentration has seen Brentford drop yet more points away from home and against fellow promotion chasers. The Bees are yet to win a game away from home this season, with their last away win coming at the back end of last season away at Nottingham Forest.