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Match Reports

Leeds United 2 Brentford 2

Late goal denies Brentford win

5 December 2021

Brentford were denied three points away from home against Leeds United by a last second equaliser. The Bees came from behind to lead 2-1 in the second half and were on the verge of victory. But substitute Patrick Bamford scored in the last minute of stoppage time to make it 2-2 and ensure the spoils were shared.

To lose the lead so late may take the gloss off a point that Brentford worked hard to earn. They scored two goals in quick succession to turn the game around with Sergi Canós setting up a goal for Shandon Baptiste before scoring himself. But Leeds found a way to level at the death and take a share of the spoils.

It was a frantic opening to the game with both teams on the attack from the first whistle. There were a series of attacks from both sides in the opening exchanges and it looked like there was a desire for an open game. The midfield was well spread, with the central players given space to run in to, but with the risk that passes around them were on when they did not have the ball.

Brentford probably had slightly the better of the opening minutes with Canós and Bryan Mbeumo, paired as a front two, stretching the Leeds defence. Mbeumo had a shot blocked when he found space inside the penalty area, Canós got on to the loose ball and tried to find Vitaly Janelt to tap in, but Junior Firpo got a touch and Illan Meslier was able to gather. Canós saw a shot deflect in to the arms of Meslier after a one-two with Christian Nørgaard and Mbeumo fired wide, first time on the volley, after Ethan Pinnock had darted forward on the left.

Tyler Roberts had a sight of goal for the home side when Brentford dithered in possession, but he sliced his shot and Álvaro Fernández was able to gather. The home side were quick to move the ball forward and hassled Brentford in midfield, but The Bees would have been happier 15 minutes in. Leeds were forced in to a change at that point as Liam Cooper limped off. Rather than a like-for-like change in the centre of defence, the hosts brought on Jack Harrison to play at left wing back and changed their shape.

The delay for the injury and the change in shape, Leeds moved to three centre halves, altered the flow of the game. The hosts matched Brentford up on the flanks and tried to push The Bees back. The game was pretty even when Leeds went ahead just before the half hour. They created space on the right for Raphinha to cross. His first delivery was headed away by Pontus Jansson, but he got the ball back, fizzed a cross in and Roberts arrived to poke it past Fernández on the stretch and put Leeds in front.

Brentford had the ball in midfield just before the goal and Raphinha hacked at Charlie Goode. Referee David Coote played advantage, Brentford lost the ball and the next time Raphinha had it, he was setting up the goal. Roberts drifted in to a fraction of space and needed the slightest touch to put his team in front.

Brentford tried to respond immediately and a Rico Henry cross from a half cleared free kick was headed straight at his own goalkeeper by Firpo. But Leeds counter-attacked, Daniel James set up Roberts and his shot deflected over the bar. Roberts then drilled across the face of goal and Kalvin Phillips fired over from distance as Leeds pushed for a second before the break.

They could have got one immediately after the restart when Luke Ayling met a Raphinha free kick ten yards out. Fernández made a sprawling save high to his right and Mads Roerslev was there to block when Ayling tried to head in the loose ball. That proved to be a crucial moment as Brentford scored twice in quick succession around the hour mark.

The first goal came a little out of nothing as Pinnock played a ball in to the left channel. Henry won his battle with Stuart Dallas and was able to find Canós inside of him. The cross from Canós was blocked but dropped to Baptiste on the edge of the penalty area. He bounced his shot first time, with his left foot, in to the corner of the net. Meslier could only stand a watch as the ball bounced past him, and Brentford were level.

Brentford, all of a sudden, had the momentum. Phillips limped off for Leeds, which altered the dynamic of the midfield battle, and Brentford were dominating. Canós and Mbeumo found space in Leeds territory, Nørgaard and Janelt had control of the centre of the pitch and The Bees pushed on.

Roerslev fed the overlapping Nørgaard as Brentford continued to attack and he tricked his way past Adam Forshaw and in to the penalty area. He found Baptiste, who was tackled by Firpo as he tried to turn. Janelt got to the loose ball and set up Canós, but his shot cannoned in to the face of Ayling and Leeds cleared. Canós had another great chance when he arrived to meet a Roerslev cross, but he headed over the crossbar.

Brentford were pressing and had turned the game around completely just past the hour mark. Nørgaard won possession in the midfield, found Canós and Brentford were away. Baptiste picked up possession and fed Mbeumo, he slipped a ball behind the Leeds defence for Canós to run on to and the shot smashed high past Meslier and in to the net. It had taken Brentford seven minutes to score two goals and they were in front.

Leeds immediately introduced an extra striker, Patrick Bamford, and went ultra-attacking. They played more in Brentford’s half while The Bees tried to take the sting out of the game. There were lots of free kicks and cautions in the later stages as Leeds attacked frantically and Brentford defended deep, while looking to counter when they could.

Fernández saved a Dallas shot when he cut inside off the left and Brentford had a chance when Janelt won the midfield battle and released Mbeumo, who cut inside and saw a shot blocked. Goode blocked a fierce shot from Mateusz Klich and Fernández then denied Roberts. Mbeumo fired a free kick in to a defensive wall and Raphinha fired over after cutting inside.

It looked as if Brentford had done enough when Leeds won a corner in the last minute of stoppage time. Raphinha delivered it from the right, Ayling flicked it on, and Bamford got to it first. The Leeds striker got his knee to the ball and watched as it bounced in off the underside of the crossbar. It was a cruel way for the game to end for Brentford as Leeds grabbed their point.

Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Cooper (sub Harrison 15 mins), Firpo (sub Bamford 68 mins); Forshaw, Phillips (sub Klich 55 mins); Dallas, Raphinha, James; Roberts

Subs (not used): Klaesson, Rodrigo, Cresswell, Summerville, Shackleton, Jenkins

Bookings: Roberts (29 mins), Harrison (75 mins), Klich (75 mins), Raphinha (85 mins), Bamford (90 mins)

Brentford: Fernández; Goode, Jansson, Pinnock; Roerslev, Baptiste (sub Onyeka 69 mins), Nørgaard, Janelt (sub Jensen 90 mins), Henry; Canós (sub Wissa 72 mins), Mbeumo

Subs (not used): Cox, Stevens, Thompson, Ghoddos, Forss, Young-Coombes

Bookings: Goode (45 mins), Canós (56 mins), Henry (80 mins)

Attendance: 35,639


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