Brentford suffered a cruel blow at Elland Road as Leeds scored in the dying minutes of the match at Elland Road to grab all three points in a very tight game with very few opportunities.
It was a game that The Bees didn’t deserve to lose. Being totally honest, it was a game we probably didn’t deserve to win either – a draw would have been a fairer result.
Saying that … over the 90 minutes, Leeds United looked poor and will not have playoff rivals quaking in their boots if they turn out performances like that week in and week out.
Brentford started with the team that despatched Bristol City at Ashton Gate in the week. And they had slightly the better of a poor first half as Vibe, Hogan, Yennaris and Dean had chances to put the Bees ahead.
To be fair, the Bees looked organised. Nothing exciting. Nothing flare from the away side. Just controlling the game.
Leeds didn’t threaten the Brentford goal at all with Bees’ target from last January (and last summer) Kemar Roofe coming closest for Leeds with a shot that was deflected wide.
Hogan actually had a goal chalked off for offside just before the break. Technology has since shown that the goal was in fact onside (whoever believes that technology should not be incorporated into football matches is stuck in the 50s. It would have taken 30 seconds for technology officials to have reviewed the goal footage and give the referee the nod).
Leeds came into the game more in the second half as Brentford sat off them. Luke Ayling and Souleymane Doukara missed excellent opportunities to put Leeds ahead.
There is an argument to say that the Bees were playing for the draw by this stage as we were looking less and less adventurous and sitting deeper and deeper.
But heartbreak in the 89th minute. And Brentford can only blame themselves for being sloppy in the final minutes.
A quick short corner on the left was never dealt with. Kaikai sauntered over in a vague attempt to close the Leeds players down whereas Barbet – who had come on for left back Tom Field – was lounging over on the opposite side of the penalty area to where he should have been for some strange reason.
The ball was floated in. Bartley gave a little nudge to Egan before peeling off and losing him. Then he wins the header to score the winning goal.
A headed goal scored against a team playing three centre backs. All a bit rubbish really.
If Bees fans could take heart from anything that afternoon, it was the way that the Leeds fans celebrated beating Brentford for the first time since 1961 – the first win for them in our recent spat of encounters going back 6 years.
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As a certain Russel Slade said “It was if they’d won the FA Cup”.
As Leeds fans and Brentford fans reflected in the Pride Of West London podcast, it was a game where Leeds were fortunate to get three points and Brentford were unlucky not to get a spare of the spoils.
Gary Monk hailed Leeds’ fighting spirit and admitted that his side were not at their best today.
“It’s great to see that mentality, fight and spirit from the players to keep going right to the end”
Meanwhile Dean Smith felt the result was harsh for The Bees.
“I thought we controlled the game for the first hour. We were very good, very organised, and very disciplined. We made a very good team look average.”
Disappointing result. But not disastrous. Brentford continue their yo-yo season which will undoubtedly see them win some then lose some – bouncing up and down in that crowded area occupying the sub-playoff spots and the relegation places.
Hopefully, the break will be good for the players who will come back on Boxing Day fully refreshed and ready for battle in a must-win match against a Cardiff team who have won only 2 away games this season.
Roll on Christmas.