BEES BUZZING AS LATE SHOW PAYS a downer
Ryan and Yoann put Whites on
WITH the two sides heading in such markedly different directions, perhaps it should have come as no surprise that Brentford dug deep to extend Leeds’ recent misery, leaving Dean Smith to claim his faith in the squad has never wavered.
Brentford’s eight-game winless streak to start their league campaign is fast becoming as much of a distant memory as Leeds’ spell atop the Championship table, with the Bees’ current eight-game run an unbeaten one.
Contrastingly, the Whites have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions and although they were in with a chance when Ezgjan Alioski cancelled out Neal Maupay’s opener – both goals coming from calamitous goalkeeping errors – Yoann Barbet and Ryan Woods struck late to keep the Bees buzzing.
“I know some people were looking at me thinking I’d gone mad when I was saying how good our performances were [in the winless run] and that we had to continue and believe in what we were doing,” said Smith. “But I felt the results would come.
“I felt we deserved the win. In the first half we were very good and probably deserved to go in two goals up.
“But there is a big togetherness here and we need to harness that and keep it going. We have a lot of belief in the way we play so we need to make sure we don’t drop off the work ethic.”
And under-fire Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen insists it is only the rub of the green currently limiting his side.
“It’s not a question of the coach or bad players, it’s a little bit of bad luck,” he said. “When you have a good run, they hit the post and go in and not it’s post and out.
“No one will recognise this effort that the players did to change the dynamic of the game because we also have to recognise that the first half was very bad.
“But the strength in the team that they fought back and dominated the situation – they deserved much more”
Dean Smith’s side started brightly and Maupay gave them the goal they deserved with the simplest of headers after Barbet’s cross from the left was inexplicably spilled by Andy Lonergan on 23 minutes.
Leeds had a glorious chance to level in the 37th minute but Piere-Michel Lasogga chipped over with only Daniel Bentley to beat.
Brentford should have gone in two goals up at half-time when Pontus Jansson fouled Maupay inside the box, but the heavily-involved Ollie Watkins blazed over from the spot.
He almost atoned for his error in the 58th minute when he beat his man brilliantly and fired on to the crossbar.
Visiting midfielder Ronaldo Vieira so nearly levelled from distance but he found Bentley at his best in the 66th minute.
Christiansen’s side did equalise 25 minutes from time with what was a carbon-copy of the game’s opening goal, Bentley fumbling a cross and Alioski beating two men on the line with a simple header.
But Barbet then struck a freekick left-footed into the bottom right-hand corner in the 85th minute and Woods collected Kamohelo Mokotjo’s pass before lashing a fine 20-yard strike into the corner to make it nine points from nine for Brentford in the past week.
ERROR: Neal Maupay scores for Brentford after Andy Lonergan drops the ball