RANGERS plucked a point from the jaws of defeat with an incredible late fightback in a pulsating West London derby.
It looked all over with Brentford 2-0 up and the clock past 90 minutes when goals from sub Matt Smith and midfielder Luke Freeman sent the home fans wild.
But what a sickener for Bees Danish striker Lasse Vibe, who seemed to have set up victory with a double strike in the 52nd and 81st minutes.
He said: “It feels like we’re leaving with nothing – we just stopped playing.” Smith said: “We have a knack of scoring in the late stages of games.”
They certainly have. The home side, hit by a string of injuries to defenders, will feel a point was a just reward because they had their moments.
Five minutes before Vibe’s first goal, Idrissa Sylla’s header rattled the Brentford bar and just after the hour, ref Stephen Martin waved away penalty appeals after Bees defender John Egan appeared to handle.
Brentford set out to exploit Rangers’ shortcomings with left winger Sergi Canos was causing all sorts of problems, and he almost shot his team into the lead in the 13th minute.
There was no attempt to close him down as he cut in from the flank and fired off a 25-yard rocket. But Rangers keeper Alex Smithies flung himself to his left to force the ball round the post.
Rangers were up for the fight and they went close after 17 minutes.
Sylla floated the ball across the box to find Jamie Mackie running in from the left but the midfielder fired just over.
But it took a crucial block by visiting centre-back Egan to stop Luke Freeman putting his side ahead just after the half-hour.
Rangers went within inches of going ahead seconds after the restart.
Freeman’s corner was met by a poor headed clearance and Josh Scowen headed it on to Sylla, whose header hit the bar with keeper Daniel Bentley beaten.
?How to claim your FREE £30 bet?
1 Register for Sun Bets here
2 Bet £10 or more
3 Sun Bets will stick a £30 bet in your account
CLAIM YOUR FREE £30 BET Check out this new sign up offer from Sun Bets
Keep updated with the latest transfer news from the Premier League and around the world in SunSport’s transfer blog
Then Vibe shot the Bees ahead. Nico Yennaris’ ball into the box found the striker with his back to goal but he gave centre-back Alex Baptiste the slip and turned to fire in right-footed from 15 yards.
Smith’s introduction in place of Sylla was the signal for Rangers to bombard the visitors’ goal before Vibe struck again from Romaine Sawyers’ cross.
Rangers just kept battling and it paid off with Smith’s 93rd-minute header and Freeman scrambled leveller a minute later.