Brentford came within 90 seconds of taking seven points from an unbeaten week in the Sky Bet Championship before falling to defeat against Leeds United at Elland Road. The hosts scored the only goal of the game at the death, captain Kyle Bartley heading in following a short corner. It was harsh on Brentford, who had the better of a game with few chances for long periods. The Bees had a goal ruled out for a controversial offside decision and goalkeeper Daniel Bentley did not have a save to make before Bartley’s late intervention.
Having arrived in Yorkshire after beating Burton Albion and Bristol City earlier in the week, Brentford looked set for at least another point but could not get over the line. Overall the game was not one that will live long in the memory with defences on top. Both teams were well organised out of possession and lacked inventiveness in the final third. A clever free kick should have given The Bees the lead in the first half but for an incorrect flag and that gave Leeds the chance to win it at the end.
The game settled in to a pattern early. Both teams, although playing different systems, had similar outlooks. They were comfortable in possession and determined to be resilient when they did not have the ball. Both midfields looked to get in to attacking positions but a condensed central area meant there was little space to make a telling pass. And with the wide players cancelling each other out, there were few early chances.
Stuart Dallas blasted over for Leeds after Brentford had failed to clear a free kick before Romaine Sawyers set Lasse Vibe up at the other end but the shot lacked power and Robert Green saved comfortably. Bentley made a fine clearance when he beat Kemar Roofe to a Hadi Sacko cross and a Nico Yennaris shot deflected wide at the other end. Very little of note happened in the first half hour but Brentford started to take control as half time approached.
Green saved a long range effort from Harlee Dean before a run forward from Andreas Bjelland created space for Sawyers to shoot but he blazed high and wide. Sawyers had a shot blocked before the game’s controversial moment three minutes before half time. Ryan Woods lifted a free kick forward and Vibe pulled off his man to cross for Scott Hogan to tap in. The flag of the assistant referee was raised and the goal was ruled out although it seemed clear Vibe had timed his run well and Hogan was behind the ball and was therefore also onside.
Roofe had a shot deflected wide at the end of the half but Brentford went in to the break with the initiative and they had openings early in the second period. A Dean header was easy for Green to save and Egan had time to bring down a cross rather than nodding it wide from 14 yards. As the second half progressed Leeds started to take the upper hand and Luke Ayling wasted a great chance when he smashed over the bar when a corner reached him ten yards out.
Souleymane Doukara missed the chance of the afternoon when Dallas released him in behind the Brentford defence in the inside left channel. The Leeds striker had only Bentley to beat but slotted his shot past the far post when he really should have scored. Ayling missed another chance but as both teams made their substitutions the game became even again and as it entered the final two minutes a 0-0 draw looked the most likely outcome.
But Leeds won a corner when Sacko got away from Yoann Barbet, who slipped, and made it count. They played it short, Dallas delivered and Bartley, arriving late, met it with a powerful header to send it past Bentley and in to the net. The short corner and late run caught The Bees out and that was enough to win the game. Maxime Colin had a late shot blocked and Egan clipped the bar with a lofted effort but there was no way back for Brentford and Leeds took the win.
Leeds United: Green; Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor (sub Berardi 58 mins); Viera, Phillips (sub Bridcutt 72 mins); Sacko, Roofe, Dallas; Doukara (sub Antonsson 79 mins)
Subs (not used): Silvestri, Cooper, Grimes, Mowatt
Bookings: Bartley (51 mins)
Brentford: Bentley; Egan, Dean, Bjelland; Colin, Yennaris (sub McEachran 72 mins), Woods, Sawyers, Field (sub Barbet 83 mins); Vibe (sub Kaikai 79 mins); Hogan
Subs (not used): Bonham, Saunders, Kerschbaumer, Hofmann
Bookings: Egan (74 mins) (fifth of season)