Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Brentford Five Things: Freeman finishes fairytale fightback

‘Ollie celebrates Freeman’s leveller – bbc.co.uk

In one of the most remarkable fight-backs in second tier history, 93rd and 94th minute goals saw QPR snatch a remarkable point against West London foes Brentford at Loftus Road. Here’s five things from the game.

Lively Canos

QPR fans taunted Sergi Canos for his haircut, but the winger’s performance certainly had it’s highlights. In the Bees’ first spell of pressure, he forced Alex Smithies to tip over his fine strike from outside the box, shortly before Yoann Barbet’s free-kick flew narrowly wide. Canos started on the left but the Spaniard had no qualms in drifting inside to provide a threat on the break with his driving runs.

Disjointed QPR

The home side had started on the front foot with three crosses into the box in the first three minutes, but John Egan and Andreas Bjelland coped well with Luke Freeman’s deliveries. From then on the wide man began roaming over to the left side, where he had less time to get the ball onto his left foot and pick out accurate crosses for target man Idrissa Sylla. With Jamie Mackie not a natural wide man and full-backs Jordan Cousins and Jake Bidwell less than impressive going forward, the Rs had to wait for Freeman to conjure something up which made them a little one dimensional. Their best chance came on 17 minutes when Mackie turned Josh Clarke inside out to move deep inside the penalty area, but he fired over.

Positive Vibe

QPR began the second half on the front foot, when Sylla flicked Scowen’s header onto the crossbar, but Brentford broke with purpose through Canos and Ollie Watkins, who had replaced the injured Florian Jozefzoon in the first half. It was Nico Yennaris though who set up the opener and when Alex Baptiste failed to get close to Lasse Vibe, the forward swivelled before firing home inside the near post. There was a 15 minute period when Brentford were penned into their defensive third as Egan and Bjelland had to deal with early balls to substitute Matt Smith. They appeared to have weathered that storm on 81 minutes though when Vibe slid home for his second, after some slick interplay between Kamohelo Mokotjo and substitute Romaine Sawyers.

Freeman finishes fairytale fightback

The main thing Ian Holloway’s backers point to is the spirit the team shows at Loftus Road, so had his side suffered back-to-back home defeats by going out with a whimper against West London rivals, his leadership might have been called into question. That was how it was looking until the 93rd minute when Daniel Bentley failed to collect a corner and Smith nodded in, before the target man made another telling contribution. He knocked the ball down from a deep free-kick with half a minute to play and Freeman pounced, creating for the hosts one of the most extraordinary second-tier comeback stories of all time.

Can the Bees handle pressure?

Over the last two years, Brentford have teased us by playing in patches some of the best football in the division – but often when the pressure is off. Monday night’s capitulation means that this season, they have dropped 18 points from winning positions – had they held onto even half those points, they’d be in the top six. The Bees have at times promised great things under Dean Smith, but due to apparent psychological issues when it comes to the crunch, they have delivered an underwhelming proportion of what they have promised.