Leeds United went on the road to Griffin Park looking to forget the performance against Reading on Saturday and hoping for their first win at Brentford since 1950. Stuart Dallas lined up against his old club, and Modou Barrow got his first start for the boys in blue.
The first half was… not pretty. It started off well; Leeds had three corners in the first 10 minutes. Beyond that… oh boy. Brentford took us to school.
In the 18th minute, Rob Green made a very good first save, but the rebound fell to Brentford’s Romaine Sawyers who finished off the attack with an opening goal.
From then on, the first half was all Brentford’s. Clinical passing, constant movement, beautiful football… by Brentford. The Bees front four of Lasse Vibe, Romaine Sawyers, Jota, and Sergi Canos were very good. They were all unafraid to run past Vibe, and their attacking presence really caused a lot of trouble for United.
Canos and wingback Rico Henry, in particular, were a thorn in Leeds’ right-hand side. Remember when WE were supposed to sign Sergi Canos? In the first half, the Spaniard showed Massimo Cellino, the suddenly quiet Andrea Radrizzani, and Garry Monk exactly what they missed out on, and it hurt just that much more with January transfer window signee Modou Barrow across the pitch.
It might sound like I both love Brentford and hate Leeds, but that’s just how the first half went. Brentford were playing amazing football, and they topped their dominating first half performance with a Lasse Vibe goal to make it 2-0 after some really good ball movement in the lead-up.
It very nearly could have been 3-0, but Green made a good save to keep the game within catching distance.
2-0 should warrant at least one change at the half, but Monk decided to stick with his starting 11, and for a while, it looked good for him.
Leeds do this thing where we are really, really good for the first 10-15 minutes of the second half and the rest is up in the air. The same thing happened again today, as Leeds came out very strong. Unfortunately, nothing came from the start, but it was encouraging at least.
Brentford’s inevitable first attack came all the way in the 71st minute, so at least we were dominant for an (albeit short) amount of time. In the 59th minute, Monk decided to make a substitution as Pedraza came on for… Dallas. Why you sub off the better winger when you desperately need a goal, I don’t know. Dallas was clearly the better winger in the first half, so it was a little bit more than a shock to me when Barrow stayed on.
Pedraza came on and shortly after did his best impression of Hadi Sacko. After doing everything correct in the attacking third, Pedraza decided to shoot at a very tight angle instead of passing it into the box. Shortly after, Barrow finally came off, making way for Kemar Roofe.
A minute later, while Alan McCormack was coming on for Nicholas Yennaris, the Brentford fans decided to have a little bit of fun with Pontus Jansson. The fans asked why the Swedish god of defense was wearing gloves so, much to the delight of the fans, Jansson took them off and threw them into the crowd. Top class.
Back to the game, and Brentford had their first “real” attack of the second half in the 71st minute. Right after, Monk made his second questionable substitution of the night, subbing off captain Liam Bridcutt for Souleymane Doukara when Kalvin Phillips was still on the pitch. Brentford started to get their attack together, but nothing was a challenge for Rob Green.
Right before the game came to a close, Leeds put on some pressure again, but nothing really troubled (my shoe-in to replace Rob Green when we go up) goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
This was a rough one, and back to back losses are not fun at all. Preston’s up next, and they just put five past Bristol City, so they’ll be looking to make it interesting. We have to win. MOT.
How do you think that one went?
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