Beesotted contributor Steve Horowitz (@stevebfc) is having nightmares over Bamford’s knee as he recaps Brentford’s point against Champions of Europe Leeds United at the weekend. Check out the weekend review podcast AND the post-match podcast (both below) to hear both Brentford and Leeds fans’ post match views
When can a brilliantly fought away point won against all odds seem like a bitter defeat?
Answer. When sub Patrick Bamford scores with the last knee of the game from a corner conceded by a Fernandez fumble deep into injury time.
The news that Ivan Toney was going to miss the match due to testing positive for Covid couldn’t have been a worse start to the day. Thomas Frank changed things up by playing Canos upfront and bringing Roerslev in as wing back. He also replaced Onyeka with Shandon Baptiste.
The first twenty five minutes were fairly even with Leeds and The Bees not really threatening either goalkeeper. Mbeumo had a half-chance on the edge of the box but didn’t even come near to hitting the customary woodwork as his effort sailed way off over the bar. Leeds centre half Cooper went off injured to be replaced by Jack Harrison after a quarter of an hour.
On 27 minutes disaster. Jansson only managed to clear Raphinha’s cross straight back to him and on the Brazilian’s second attempt, Roberts was able to slide the ball into the back of the net as the Bees once more found themselves conceding the first goal. The remainder of the first half was largely uneventful – the only noteworthy event being James forcing a fine save by Fernandez from distance.
I must confess that at the break I was not filled with much positivity. So when a 54th minute deflected Canos cross found it’s way to Baptiste on the edge of the box and he calmly placed his shot into the bottom left hand corner of the Leeds net with keeper Meslier rooted to the spot, I – along with 2000 Bees fans – was euphoric.
When Calvin Phillips was substituted off with an injury, things could only get better and they certainly did. Canos firstly smacking Ayling in the head after the ball broke to him in the box and then missing even a better chance with a far post header after brilliant work from Roserlev on the right wing.
Then in the 61st minute, the finest move of the match saw Canos smash the ball past the keeper after being put through by Mbeumo’s sublime reverse past. It should be noted that Canos was involved in the earlier part of the move.
Onyeka came on for Baptiste and Wissa came on for Canos as the Bees look to firm things up in the final minutes and they seemed to be holding on quite comfortably albeit with a fair degree of time management.
In desperation, Leeds had thrown on Patrick Bamford who didn’t look particularly dangerous until that fateful 95 minute when a corner caused mayhem in the box and came off his knee for Leeds’ last minute equaliser.
I though most of team were magnificent. Especially since most of the team had been given the run-around at New White Hart Lane on Thursday night. Goode continues to defy expectations. Henry was immense but special plaudits have to go to Canos. It took a while for him to adjust to playing upfront but once he did, he was a constant danger – culminating in his super goal.
Fernandez made some fine saves and his distribution is much improved. So his last-minute fumble which gifted Leeds their corner was most disappointing. Wissa looked very promising when he came on. I wonder when he will be given his first start?
A word on the opposition
I was surprised at how poor Leeds were especially after their last minute winner against Palace in midweek. You would have thought they would be really up for it and put us under the cosh but they seemed unable to raise their game despite the passionate backing of their fans who created a great atmosphere in this fine old style ground (The Jack Charlton stand opposite the away fans is one of football’s finest).
Their last-minute equalizer was celebrated as if they had scored a winner against Manchester United to win the Premier League.
Having slept on it, I realize that this is a result that should be celebrated rather than mourned, A vital away point was gained against all the odds if you take into account injuries and fatigue. To be so close to three points is gutting but putting things into perspective we did do the reverse at West Ham earlier in this campaign and things have a habit of even-ing themselves up throughout a season.
Having Canos playing further forward clearly worked although having no target man upfront is a bit of a problem. All-in-all I feel far more confident that we will be able to pick up more points over the crazy Christmas period after yesterday.
I just hope the nightmares I’ve been having about Bamford’s knee don’t continue.