LEEDS UNITED 1 BRENTFORD 1

Stewart Purvis was one of the 500 fans who made an early start to see Bees concede a late equaliser.

 

‘Why do the Leeds fans get so angry?’ came a message from a friend as I sat in the away section at Elland Road. In the past decade and a half while smaller Yorkshire clubs like Hull and Huddersfield have had some Premiership years the biggest club in the county has had exactly nowt. But there’s still an air of entitlement at Leeds that turns to anger when they go behind to teams they consider beneath them.

All the more disappointing then that having got ahead and wound those fans up nicely, Brentford couldn’t hold on in the last few minutes and ended up with yet another draw, just as they did at Villa.

When the Brentford players arrived Daniels was all smiles for the cameras while Bentley was head bowed, cap firmly pulled down, an indicator that Dean Smith was going to  stick with Tuesday's keeper. He said it was ‘down to Dan to press Luke to get the shirt back’.Yoann Barbet looked less than his usual smiley self, he’d been benched to give way to Moses Odubajo. 

At the start it was Odubajo who was most under pressure, from Harrison on the right, with some swift, crisp, passing from Leeds. The BBC Radio 5 commentator was heard to say it was ‘just like watching La Liga’, he may have been influenced by the constantly prowling figure of Marcelo Bielsa, who had two spells in Spain during his twelve stop managerial journey from Argentina to Leeds. 

By contrast Dean Smith was the more composed figure, still wondering if Villa will be his next stop. Smith’s men survived the first quarter and then came more into the game. When a Watkins shot was deflected onto the crossbar a mistimed Maupay leap was all that stood between the Bees and the opening goal. Leeds, without some key players,were losing control and their fans decided referee Jeremy Simpson was to blame especiallty when he gave Brentford a penalty in the 62nd minute. A frame by frame TV replay later showed Watkins anticipating being brought down by Peacock-Farrell. Captain Maupay celebrated his tenth goal in ten games in front of Leeds fans who responded with a forest of fingers.

Rubbish was thrown on the pitch, Alioski later dived into the Brentford dugout and nearly nutted assistant coach Thomas Franks. Canos seemed to land a retaliatory headbutt.  Bielsa, who’s challenging Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri for the title of sloppiest dresser in a technical area, put his hoodie up and rose from his blue bucket perch to pace around with three of his lieutenants. They took off one Brentford alumni,Stuart Dallas,  and brought on another, Adam Forshaw.

But it was still Brentford making chances to kill the game off, most noticeably a 3 on 2 breakaway where Maupay and Watkins just seemed to run out of steam at the crucial moment..

When Canos was subbed for Benrahma ,the Algerian winger looked ready to make his mark on the game. It turned out to be a black mark. As Brentford played the game out calmly in the 88th minute, he gave away possession with an unnecessarily fancy touch and seeking to rectify the mistake gave away an equally unnecessary free kick. Leeds swung it over from the left and defender Pontus Jansson outjumped the Brentford defence. Yennaris turned towards Benrahma and let him know what he thought of him. Mepham exchanged accusing looks with Barbet who'd come on for Odubajo after he'd been lucky not to get a second yellow. Daniels was left wondering whether he had just lost that shirt.

In the final few minutes Leeds went down to ten men when Ayling got a second yellow for a hack at Judge but the free kick came to nothing.

Goalscorer Jansson did a Mr Angry post match interview.The Swede swore live on air, was warned about his language but replied ‘I don’t care, this was a robbery from the referee so it feels bad’. Beside him Sky Man of the Match Kamo Mokotjo -whose stats showed him top on touches, passes and interceptions- was rather calmer.

Dean Smith said holding a big club to a draw ‘shows how far we have come as a football club’ which is becoming a bit of a regular script on these ‘disappointed but  proud’ occasions when Brentford fail to win away.

By the end of this Championship day Leeds had given up their top slot to Sheffield United. And what did my friend make of those 30,000 angry Leeds fans who were now directing their abuse at Sky TV for some reason? He didn"t care. But then he does come from Sheffield. 

 

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Dallas (sub Clarke), Phillips; Harrison, Klich (Forshaw), Sáiz (Baker), Alioski, Roberts.

Brentford: Daniels, Dalsgaard, Mepham, Konsa, Odubajo (sub Barbet), Mokotjo, Canós (Benrahma), Sawyers, Yennaris, Watkins (Judge 85) Maupay.