12 February 2020 03:24
Leeds United clung on to their place in the top two despite a goalkeeping gaffe from Kiko Casilla as they battled to a 1-1 draw at Brentford. United, top of the Sky Bet Championship and 11 points clear of third place just two months ago, have seen that lead evaporate over the last 10 matches. In fact Brentford would have gone above Marcelo Bielsa's wobbling Whites with a victory over them, and looked well on the way after Casilla gifted Said Benrahma his ninth goal of the season. But Liam Cooper equalised to secure a valuable point for a side who had lost four of their previous five matches. However, they will still find themselves outside the automatic promotion spots on Wednesday night if Fulham pick up a win at Millwall.
Leeds arrived in west London with a terrible history against the Bees, having not won at Griffin Park since 1950, while their record in the capital this season reads: played four, lost four. Nevertheless, Brentford could barely get out of their own half as Leeds dominated the opening stages, with David Raya making saves to keep out Jack Harrison's drive and a Luke Ayling header. But Brentford began to make inroads onto the Leeds half, first when Christian Norgaard fired narrowly wide from 18 yards out. Moments later the hosts were handed the lead after Casilla slipped and let Cooper's backpass roll under his foot, allowing Benrahma to tap home at the far post. Raya was back in action to tip Pablo Hernandez's fierce volley over the crossbar, but he was partly culpable when Cooper equalised for Leeds seven minutes before the interval. Raya came for, and missed, a corner and the Whites skipper leathered the ball into the back of the net. Bielsa threw on January recruit Jean-Kevin Augustin for the final 15 minutes but the closest they came to a winner was a Hernandez effort which was deflected over the crossbar. Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jeanvier, Pinnock, Henry, Jensen (Fosu 89), Norgaard, Da Silva (Marcondes 63), Mbeumo (Baptiste 89), Watkins, Benrahma. Unused substitutes: Valencia, Daniels, Luca Racic, R Rasmussen. Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Helder Costa, Hernandez, Klich, Harrison, Bamford (Augustin 76). Unused substitutes: Meslier, Douglas, Alioski, Berardi, Shackleton, Stevens. Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).