Brentford ended their Premier League season with nine men on the pitch and home defeat to Leeds United. The Bees had slightly the better of the first half but fell behind early in the second. Kristoffer Ajer limped off after Brentford had made three substitutions and Sergi Canós was sent off after equalising for The Bees. Leeds made their advantage count and scored the decisive goal in the dying seconds.
It was a day full of emotion. Leeds needed points to try and avoid relegation while Brentford wanted to end a first Premier League campaign on a high. The 2-1 win was enough for the visitors to ensure they stay up while Brentford finish 13th.
Leeds made an energetic start to the contest. They had more of the ball in the opening exchanges and worked incredibly hard when they did not have it. The visitors grew in confidence as the half wore on and had the better of the chances in the early moments.
Jack Harrison had sight of goal on the left, but his cross-cum-shot flew across the penalty area and wide of the far post. Sam Greenwood lashed over for Leeds and then burst in to space after nice work on the right. Greenwood was faced with David Raya on the right side of the area but fired over the bar.
Brentford had shown signs of attacking promise from set pieces. Yoane Wissa headed a corner wide before Christian Eriksen bent a free kick across the Leeds six-yard box. No Brentford player could reach it before Wissa at the far post, who could only turn it wide on the stretch.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead 19 minutes in. After some possession in midfield, Harrison put Joe Gelhardt through, and he lashed a shot high past Raya and in to the net. Video Assistant Referee John Brookes checked and spotted that Gelhardt was fractionally offside. The goal was disallowed, and the game stayed level.
Junior Firpo and Raphinha fired over from distance for Leeds and as half time approached, Brentford started to take control. There was a dip in energy from the visitors and Brentford found space to move the ball up the pitch. Eriksen and Mathias Jensen got on the ball more and The Bees began to create chances.
Ivan Toney flicked a header from a Mads Bech long throw wide of the far post before Wissa set up Bryan Mbeumo for a shot that lacked the power to trouble Illan Meslier. A brilliant pass from Eriksen found Mbeumo on the right and he slipped past Firpo. Mbeumo then found Jensen and the midfield man tried to chip Meslier, but the back-peddling Leeds goalkeeper made a save. The resulting corner was only half cleared and Eriksen weaved in to space, but his shot hit Toney and flew wide.
The final minutes of the half were dominated by Brentford. Leeds were forced back, and The Bees probably should have gone in ahead at the break. Wissa drove in to space before letting fly with a shot that Meslier saved high to his right. Jensen then won the ball from Liam Cooper in midfield and set Mbeumo in to space in the inside right channel. Mbeumo moved in to a narrowing angle and his shot went past the far post.
Vitaly Janelt fired well over at the end of a half that finished 0-0, albeit Brentford ended with the initiative. The Bees also had a great chance at the start of the second half when a Wissa touch put Eriksen in to space. The pass was flicked by Jensen in to the path of Mbeumo, but his curling shot was straight at Meslier.
Leeds had a great chance themselves when a long ball was nodded in to the path of Raphinha on the right. He fed it inside to Rodrigo, but the shot failed to beat Raya. That was a warning for The Bees and Leeds got their goal a few minutes later.
It came from Brentford possession and Raya played a pass in to midfield that was intercepted by Raphinha. The path to goal opened up and the Leeds man was brought down by Raya, trying to recover his error. Referee Paul Tierney pointed to the penalty spot, Raphinha lashed it high to Raya’s left as the Brentford goalkeeper dived the wrong way and Leeds were in front.
The pattern to the second half had not really been established before the goal. Leeds started the second half better than they ended the first and their confidence grew after taking the lead. Harrison saw a shot saved from a half cleared free kick while Brentford made changes as they tried to alter the flow of the game. Toney picked up a deep corner and had a shot blocked and then met the resulting throw in from Bech with a header that flew wide.
There then followed a mad few minutes. Brentford were in attacking mode, having made three substitutions, when Ajer went down, clutching his leg. He was unable to continue, and The Bees were forced to carry on with ten, but they were committed to attack. Mbeumo looked like had had played a pass to open Leeds up, but it was intercepted. Wissa picked up the loose ball and lifted it across the penalty area. Canós rose to head powerfully back across Meslier and in to the net. Brentford celebrated and the game was level.
Unfortunately for Brentford, Canós’ celebrations went a little too far and he was cautioned. When Raphinha broke down the right and Canós made a foul challenge, Mr Tierney saw that as a second yellow card. Canós was dismissed and Brentford were down to nine.
That gave Leeds ten minutes plus stoppage time to try and win it, albeit they showed signs of nerves and Toney had a header saved for The Bees soon after. But the visitors had the initiative and tried to break Brentford down. Raphinha saw a shot deflect wide before Mateusz Klich had a pair of efforts. One flew wide and one was saved by Raya.
Firpo fired across the face of goal as Leeds continued to press and a Raphinha shot was blocked. Raya then saved from Harrison and the same player had a shot deflect wide. The resulting corner was cleared back to Harrison, his shot flicked Mbeumo, flew past Raya and settled in the net. Two players in front of Raya were adjudged to not be interfering, Leeds had the win, and the season was brought to a close.
Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Bech (sub Baptiste 70 mins), Henry (sub Canós 62 mins); Jensen (sub Dasilva 58 mins), Janelt, Eriksen; Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa
Subs (not used): Fernández, Stevens, Roerslev, Jeanvier, Onyeka, Young-Coombes
Bookings: Raya (55 mins), Toney (78 mins)
Sent Off: Canós (80 mins)
Leeds United: Meslier; Koch, Llorente, Cooper, Firpo; Greenwood (sub Klich 85 mins), Phillips; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison; Gelhardt (sub Struijk 71 mins)
Subs (not used): Klaesson, Roberts, Bate, Hjelde, Cresswell, Shackleton, Gray
Bookings: Phillips (82 mins)
Attendance: 16,957 (1,725 away fans)