Superb Brentford dent Leeds’ promotion hopes

Brentford 2 Leeds 0

A goal in each half from Neal Maupay and Sergi Canos – each player providing the assist for the other – put a severe dent in Leeds’ hopes of securing automatic promotion.

The Yorkshire side must hate Griffin Park – having now lost on four of their last five visits and have no win in TW8 since 1950. This could prove the costliest reverse of them all.

Thomas Frank’s side survived a torrid examination early on to wrestle control. Patrick Bamford fired a first-time effort just wide in the opening minutes for the visitors and there was a huge shout for a penalty when Bamford hit the deck following an apparent trip from Julian Jeanvier that ref Keith Stroud decided was no foul.

But the Bees settled down amid long spells of Leeds possession to cause problems of their own and both Canos and Maupay were in rampant form.

Maupay had an effort blocked and a surging run down the left by Canos almost paved the way for Rico Henry – Liam Cooper getting across to block for Leeds.

Canos then turned around a defender to whip in a left footer from the right side of the penalty area that had keeper Kiko Casilla groping to touch away for a corner.

And with the half drawing to close, Maupay fired past Casilla after racing onto a defence-splitting pass from Canos – the Frenchman’s 27th goal of a highly prolific season.

Luke Daniels was called into action at the start of the second half, tipping over a shot from former player Stuart Dallas – the opening created by weak pass out of defence from Moses Obubajo.

But Canos doubled the lead on 62 minutes, poking the ball past Casilla after Maupay had slipped in a perfect pass – returning the compliment for the first goal. It was the Spaniard’s ninth of the season.

Maupay almost made it 3-0 with a volley just over the bar after Canos had a shot charged down and the striker juggled the ball up for a cheeky attempt.

A good save from Daniels denied Mateusz Kilch as Leeds tried to get back into it, but many of the visitors’ efforts were off target and snatched – betraying the tension that comes from striving so hard to land a promotion that had looked theirs for the taking not so long ago.

Superb work from Romaine Sawyers gave Canos another chance to run, stretch and terrify a retreating Leeds defence but he delayed a fraction too long before pulling the trigger. It never looked like being costly.

Brentford: Daniels; Odubajo, Konsa, Jeanvier, Sorensen; Mokotjo, Sawyers, Henry; Watkins (Dasilva 87), Maupay, Canos (Marcondes 81).
Subs not used: Gunnarsson, Ogbene, Racic, Forss, Oksanen.

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