|Leeds United 1 v 0 Brentford|
Saturday, 24th February 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Dean Smith’s complaints spark war of words on Twitter
Sunday, 25th Feb 2018 21:45 by Tim Whelan
Dean Smith found plenty to complain about after his Brentford team lost at Elland Road yesterday, but his comments sparked a couple of amusing responses from Paul Heckinbottom and Leeds United’s official twitter account.
In his post-match press conference Smith said "I thought we were poor second half. We didn't pass the ball well enough at all, never got our tempo in the game. Didn't help that they left the grass a bit long, the pitch played poor. But we weren't good enough second half to get something out of the game."
But when Heckingbottom was asked if he agreed, he said "No. Listen, to me that was better than last week. We noted last week we thought the pitch, after the rugby game, but I though it played a lot better this week than it did last week when we played Bristol on the Sunday.” And the club’s official Twitter account posted "Good game lads @BrentfordFC," along with a picture of three members of the groundstaff mowing the pitch.
Smith was right that Brentford had the better of the game in the first half hour with their neat passing football, especially down their right against a makeshift full-back. But the game sung Leeds way and we comfortably held onto the lead after Liam Cooper’s goal had come against the run of play. Which brings us to Smith’s second complaint, this time about the match officials.
“It looked like it was going to be one way traffic and unfortunately the lad scores from an offside position. We've lost a game from a linesman's decision.” And he was unhappy with the referee’s overall performance, saying that Oliver Langford "should have let the Elland Road crowd referee the game" and that his team should have had a penalty for an alleged push on Neal Maupay.
But if Smith thought the ref’s performance favoured Leeds then I have to wonder if he was watching the same game as me. Early on Mr. Langford booked Anita and Alioski for trivial offences and then let some harsher tackles from Brentford go unpunished, which is why the crowd were getting on his back.
And that was before the worst non-use of the advantage rule I’ve ever seen, when Lasogga was clean through with only the keeper to beat, only for the ref to stop play for a Leeds free kick on the half-way line.
That was too much for Saiz and the feisty Spaniard was booked for complaining on another occasion when he had come away with the ball after being fouled, only for the ref to again blow up for the foul rather than play advantage. So I was surprised that Saiz went back to shake the referee’s hand when he was substituted late on, unless he did so as a quality bit of time-wasting.
The final Brentford moan appeared on the official Brentford twitter account, saying “Apologies for the lack of updates so far, you’d have thought at £44 a ticket, the WIFI might work.” But in the interests of accuracy I should point out that Brentford fans who bought tickets in advance would only have paid £39, rather than the figure quoted.
This time it was the Yorkshire Post’s Phil Hay who stepped in to defend our honour. He posted “That will be the grass”, though BBC Radio Leeds’ Adam Pope did admit that the WIFI on the gantry only merited “2/10.” I must admit I’ve found the stadium WIFI a bit rubbish myself, especially at half time and just after the game when most of the people in Elland Road are trying to use it at once.
But all’s well that ends well, and this win over a team just above has reduced the gap to the play-off positions to a mere five points, in conjunction with Bristol City’s defeat by Cardiff today. Friday night’s game at Middlesbrough could be important, as they are another team we need to overtake, but if we can take some confidence from this win and put a run of results together then we could yet claim a play-off spot at the end of the season.
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