Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s thrashing of Leeds.

Matchweek 6 was a thrilling 5-2 win for Brentford against a very familiar opponent in Leeds. Next to one another in the table, Brentford and Leeds have had similar starts to the season. Thomas Frank stuck with the same 4-3-3 lineup used against Crystal Palace with the only change being Pontus for Zanka.

Ben Mee made a few crucial defensive efforts and once again proved worthy to be in the discussion of one of the Premier League signings of the summer. Toney decided he wanted to be third in the Premier League for goals scored and easily scored a hattrick. Jensen and Baptiste had solid outings, while Keane Lewis-Potter showed flashes but couldn’t quite put it all together.

Thomas Frank again proved he is one of the top managers in this league and has a great squad to continue moving up the table.

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Quick Stats:

At the half

xG: Brentford 1.10 – 0.38 Leeds

Full Time

Possession: Brentford 31% – 69% Leeds

xG: Brentford 2.43 – 1.92 Leeds

Big Chances: Brentford 6 – 4 Leeds

Other Brentford stats:

Total Shots: 14

Interceptions: 14

Aerial duels won: 17 (61%)

 

Summary

Brentford overperformed their xG, but were clearly the better side against a high energy and passion filled Leeds squad. Leeds controlled possession, but they consistently made errors. Leeds centerbacks had a rough outing today and Brentford took full advantage of their mistakes.

A tactic often seen this season has been Rico Henry playing further up the pitch on the left wing, where he receives long balls and creates scoring opportunities. Against Leeds, Henry had the total most touches in the middle and attacking thirds and these types of plays resulted in multiple throw-ins or corner kicks. Brentford has shown to be dangerous on set pieces in the past, but racked up most of their xG from open play.

David Raya, Ben Mee, and Mathias Jensen led the team in long balls. Ben Mee and Jensen continued to impress with their long passes creating dangerous chances and leading to multiple goals. Ben Mee attempted 12 long passes and completed 6 of them. Raya’s distribution was also on display including a great ball to Lewis-Potter who controlled it beautifully in the opposition’s box early in the match.

Brentford brought back their high pressing for the majority of this match, even scoring a goal in the 91st minute from it. Hickey, Jensen, and Baptiste led the team with 18, 16 and 15 pressures respectively. Jensen ended with 6 tackles plus interceptions while Ben Mee racked up 8 along with 6 clearances.

Brentford’s depth and Thomas Frank’s substitutions stood out again today. Nørgaard’s absence was minimized with a good performance by Janelt. Ajer still didn’t get any minutes, but Zanka was able to put in a good shift when called upon. Dasilva and Oneyka coming on showed how deep this squad really is. Subs of that quality being able to provide creativity in the midfield is just what is needed in this league.

Thomas Frank’s tactical switch to a 3-5-2 in the 67th minute, this time not needing a goal, showed a preference for this change even when leading. It will be interesting to see if Thomas Frank sticks with the 4-3-3 to start future match and making changes late in the game to throw off the opponent.

An away day to Southampton next weekend may prove difficult for the Bees. Southampton like to line up in a 4-2-3-1 and have talented midfielders. Look for Brentford to continue playing the ball into the wide areas as Southampton may crowd the middle of the pitch.

 

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