THREE second-half goals saw Brentford keep up their impressive recent home record and inflict a comprehensive west London derby defeat on Rangers at Griffin Park.
After a relatively-even first half, the hosts upped the ante after half-time to take a deserved victory in the end.
Neal Maupay’s 50th-minute penalty, after Grant Hall was adjudged to have felled Ollie Watkins in the area, got the ball rolling for Brentford.
And the Bees made sure of their win thanks to further goals from Said Benrahma (71 minutes) and Sergi Canos (90+5).
Following the 1-0 midweek win over Championship promotion chasers Leeds United, R’s boss Steve McClaren decided to name an unchanged starting XI for the trip to Griffin Park.
That meant the R’s, in a 4-4-1-1 formation, once again lined up as: Joe Lumley; Darnell Furlong, Toni Leistner (captain), Hall, Jake Bidwell; Pawel Wszolek, Massimo Luongo, Jordan Cousins, Luke Freeman; Ebere Eze; Nahki Wells.
Brentford went into this clash following six straight home wins in all competitions.
Those victories were earned thanks to some free-flowing football from Thomas Frank’s side – though the first half of this particular contest wasn’t exactly one for the purist.
A keenly-contested if untidy opening period, Rangers restricted Brentford and also weren’t afraid to put a foot in.
Clear goalscoring opportunities didn’t exactly flow, though it was QPR who were first to go close when Wells’ range effort was deflected marginally over on 18 minutes.
Brentford missed a better chance four minutes later – Benrahma racing through one-on-one with Lumley before his dinked attempt, as the latter raced off his goal-line, dropped just past the foot of the right-hand post.
Two minutes later, home forward Watkins lashed wide from 20 yards, then Rangers’ Eze sent a shot past the upright in the 27th minute.
The Bees went close again on the stroke of half-time, as Yoann Barbet’s driven attempt was hacked off the line by Wells, but there was to be no goalscoring action before the interval.
The game sparked into life just a few minutes into the second half.
In the 48th minute, Brentford’s Watkins went down in the box after contact with Hall – and referee Keith Stroud wasted little time in pointing straight to the spot.
Maupay subsequently stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake from 12 yards, sliding home for his 23rd goal of the season.
Brentford should have added a quick-fire second in the 52nd minute.
Following their best move of the match, the hosts were denied by a stunning Lumley save, as the ‘keeper put a stop to Benrahma’s 10-yard blast.
Seven minutes later, and with the R’s searching for a way back into the match, Brentford broke on the counter attack and Lumley was called into action again to keep out Kamohelo Mokotjto’s edge-of-the-box attempt.
Rangers made their first change in the 63rd minute, throwing on Bright Osayi-Samuel for Eze, but it was Lumley who was soon forced into another fine save in the 65th – denying Barbet at point-blank range following a free-kick from the right.
But the Hoops custodian’s goal was finally breached once more in the 71st minute.
Maupay raced onto a ball in behind the R’s defence and, when he skipped around Lumley – who came off his line in an attempt to avert the danger – the striker squared for Benrahma to tap into an empty net.
It was a long way back for Rangers now, who introduced Tomer Hemed and Matt Smith – for Wells and Wszolek – in order to try and salvage something from the contest.
However, there was to be no late comeback on this occasion.
Maupay spurned a decent opportunity to double his account in the 81st minute. Then, during six minutes of time added on at the end, sub Canos sent home a deflected effort to rubberstamp Brentford’s win.