Report: Leeds United 2-2 Brentford
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Firpo (Bamford 68’), Forshaw, Cooper (c) (Harrison 15’), Raphinha, Roberts, Llorente, Dallas, James, Phillips (Klich 55’). Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Rodrigo, Cresswell, Summerville, Shackleton, Jenkins.
Brentford: Fernandez (GK), Henry, Goode, Pinnock, Norgaard, Canos (Wissa 72’), Jansson (c), Mbeumo, Baptiste (Onyeka 69’), Janelt (Jensen 90’), Roerslev. Subs not used: Cox (GK), Thompson, Forss, Ghoddos, Stevens, Young-Coombes.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side scored in stoppage time for the second game running, this time to secure a point at home to Brentford in the Premier League, courtesy of the returning Patrick Bamford.
Leeds had gone in front during the first half, but were pegged back in the second 45, before then getting the point in the final few seconds of the match.
There was very little attacking threat inside the opening 15 minutes at Elland Road, as both teams looked to settle into the game and control possession of the ball where possible. The same couldn’t be said off the pitch though, with another impressive atmosphere inside the stadium.
Leeds were forced into an early change inside 15 minutes. Liam Cooper was forced off after picking up an injury whilst challenging for the ball, with Jack Harrison coming on to replace the skipper.
Just before the half-hour mark, the Whites went into the lead. A superb ball from Raphinha on the wing was whipped in with pace and Tyler Roberts came sliding in to perfectly time his finish into the back of the net and put his side ahead.
Shortly after his goal and full of confidence, Roberts came close again. Dan James got Leeds up the pitch and played in the goalscorer, who saw Alvaro Fernandez tip his goal-bound effort over the bar.
A couple of set-pieces each before the interval came at either end, with the Bees trying to threaten from a long-throw and the Whites from corners. Neither troubled the respective defences and the whistle went with Leeds taking a one-goal advantage into the break.
The second half began with Leeds on the front foot from kick-off. James was again proving too lively for the Brentford defence and he was brought down outside the box, giving the whites another set-play opportunity.
Raphinha delivered another excellent ball in and the returning Luke Ayling connected well with a header - which was heading for the top corner - only to see see Fernandez dive across his goal to fingertip it clear.
Inside 10 minutes of the restart though, the visitors hit back. A cross from Sergi Canos was deflected into the path of Shandon Baptiste who struck low and hard into the bottom corner of the goal to level the score.
Inspired by the goal, Canos went close to putting his side in front. A quick-counter attack allowed for the ball to fall nicely for him in the box, he shot powerfully on target but a superb block by Ayling was needed to clear the danger.
For the first time in the match, the visitors were really starting to get on top in the game. It was Canos again who had a clear chance on goal, but he powered a header over at the back post from just a couple of yards out.
Just over the hour mark, Canos did put his side ahead this time. Quick build-up play again created the chance, with previous goalscorer Baptiste playing the ball through for Canos, who finished high into the roof of the net.
The response from Leeds was to bring on Bamford. Returning from injury, the striker was roared onto the pitch at Elland Road as he replaced Junior Firpo.
Pushing players forward in search of the equaliser, Stuart Dallas had a curling effort which went close, before Roberts powered a testing strike into the arms of Fernandez inside the final 10 minutes of the game.
With five minutes of added time announced and everyone forward for a last minute corner, including Illan Meslier, Elland Road erupted with jubilation as Bamford returned in style by scoring from Raphinha’s ball into the box.
The goal secured a point in what had been action packed second half and it was what the Whites had deserved, at the very least.