Your Leeds United v Brentford match report powered by Utilita
Brentford were unable to pick up a third win in seven days as they were beaten by Leeds United. Liam Cooper scored the only goal at a freezing Elland Road to settle a game of few chances in the favour of the home side. The goal came against the run of play but the home side defended it well and over the course of the game they may feel they did enough to win.
Brentford were made to pay for being unable to turn possession and a territorial advantage in to goals. They had control of most of the first half hour but Leeds were compact and limited Brentford to few really good chances. Those that were created came and went and Brentford had to add a loss to wins earlier in the week against Sunderland and Birmingham City.
Leeds started the game brightly and the very early exchanges were played in Brentford territory. It was an all-energy opening from the hosts and they put lots of balls in to the box for Brentford to defend. They worked a shooting chance for Eunan O’Kane from a short corner but Daniel Bentley got down well to save and The Bees soon took control.
Leeds looked to get their players high up the pitch. They wanted to make it difficult for The Bees to play through the centre of the pitch and it took a while for Brentford’s midfield trio – Ryan Woods, Romaine Sawyers and Kamohelo Mokotjo – to get in to the game and move the ball. Once they did, however, Brentford took the upper hand in terms of possession and territory. Woods started to pick his passes and The Bees used their attacking weapons to create chances.
A snap-shot from Ollie Watkins deflected wide before he combined with Sawyers and Neal Maupay to set up a chance for Mokotjo to blaze off target. John Egan looked as if he had opened the scoring when he met a half cleared free kick with a rising left foot volley from 20 yards but Felix Wiedwald got up high to his right to push the shot over the bar. There was a chance for Florian Jozefzoon soon after when Sawyers put him in behind on the right but the ball wouldn’t come down, Vurnon Anita got back to apply pressure and the lob went over the bar.
An Andreas Bjelland header was easy for Wiedwald and a Watkins shot deflected wide before Henrik Dalsgaard missed the target with a header. Leeds were struggling to get any possession of the ball and their nervousness was summed up when Pierre-Michel Lasogga went for goal first time from 45 yards and missed the target comfortably on a rare occasion he found some space with the ball. When Leeds went ahead just past the half hour, it was very much against the run of play.
The goal came from a free kick won on the left side. Ezgjan Alioski delivered it and Cooper got in front of his man, perhaps by taking up an offside position, to divert the kick with his head in to the far corner. Bentley was at full stretch but could do nothing to stop the excellently placed header that put Leeds in front.
The hosts looked to build on that and there was a tricky period for The Bees as Leeds surged forward. Samuel Sáiz worked his way in the box after getting the better of Yoann Barbet but his shot was blocked and Bentley saved at the feet of Lasogga as he tried to finish it off. Lasogga had another shot blocked and an effort from Alioski deflected wide.
After weathering that storm, Brentford started to regain control. They were unable to use Jozefzoon as much as they had done but still dominated possession and territory at the end of the half. They were, however, unable to find a goal before the break. Dalsgaard shot well wide after a break from deep and a Bjelland effort was saved by Wiedwald as Leeds took their advantage in to the interval.
And that was a lead they looked content to hold on to. The home side sat in with two banks of four in the second period and invited Brentford to break them down. The Bees had control of the game but were largely playing in unthreatening areas and did not create much to worry the home side. There was a chance for Watkins after a short corner and an exchange with Sawyers but he curled over from 18 yards.
Watkins was replaced by Sergi Canós immediately after that and Alan Judge and Emiliano Marcondes Camargo Hansen soon followed as Brentford chased the game. There was an acrobatic effort from Barbet that was saved by Wiedwald but little else as Leeds kept The Bees as arms’ length. And the hosts could have increased their lead when Lasogga got on to an Alioski pass, he weaved away from Egan and then Bentley but took his time to shoot and Woods was well-placed to clear off the line.
Bentley saved a low Kalvin Phillips shot before substitute Caleb Ekuban got away on the left and delivered a cross that Alioski couldn’t convert. The hosts recycled the ball repeatedly as they looked to use their attacking numbers but could not create the chance and Brentford survived. The Bees were, however, not able to do much more than that. They were unable to put much together in terms of attacking moves as they chased the game, looking for individuals to try and conjure something up.
That almost happened when first Canós and then Jozefzoon surged forward, the ball dropped loose but Maupay’s shot flew wide. Judge tested Wiedwald with a curling free kick from 20 yards but the goalkeeper kept it out and Canós blasted the loose ball wide. The closing stages were played predominately in Leeds territory but The Bees could not find the goal and ended the week with a defeat.
Leeds United: Wiedwald; Berardi, Cooper, Jansson, Anita; O’Kane, Phillips; Dallas (sub Sacko 83 mins), Sáiz (sub Vieira 90 mins), Alioski; Lasogga (sub Ekuban 74 mins)
Subs (not used): Peacock-Farrell, Pennington, Cibicki, Denton
Bookings: Anita (22 mins), Alioski (23 mins)
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Bjelland, Barbet; Woods; Jozefzoon, Sawyers (sub Judge 69 mins), Mokotjo (sub Emiliano 69 mins), Watkins (sub Canós 59 mins); Maupay
Subs (not used): Daniels, McEachran, Clarke, Mepham
Bookings: Sawyers (45 mins) (sixth of season), Woods (53 mins) (seventh of season), Egan (73 mins) (fourth of season), Barbet (80 mins) (sixth of season)