|Leeds United 1 v 1 Brentford|
Saturday, 6th October 2018 Kick-off 12:30
Match Report: Leeds United 1-1 Brentford - Pontus secures late point after Watkins dive
Saturday, 6th Oct 2018 19:32 by @LucasMonk_
Leeds United made it three games unbeaten heading into the forthcoming international break as they rescued a late draw at home to Brentford.
In a keenly-contested lunchtime kick-off, United averted a second successive home defeat as Pontus Jansson’s late header cancelled out Neal Maupay’s earlier penalty.
Ollie Watkins had dived to win the spot-kick, which Maupay coolly converted, but Jansson rose highest of all to head home Ezgjan Alioski’s free kick in the 88th minute and secure a deserved point for the hosts.
This febrile encounter saw no fewer than seven yellow cards - with Leeds’s Luke Ayling picking up two of them and being sent off in added time - and was not short of controversy, not least because of referee Jeremy Simpson’s ludicrous decision to award the visitors their penalty.
Sergi Canos appeared to headbutt Alioski following an incident in the Brentford dugout, and both he and Watkins will be most fortunate if they avoid retrospective action on the part of the Football League.
The hosts made a slow start to the match, and were under pressure in the early stages as Bailey Peacock-Farrell diverted Maupay’s low effort wide before Kalvin Phillips blocked Chris Mepham’s volley.
Their best opening of the first half came in the 22nd minute. An excellent move culminated in Tyler Roberts, fresh from scoring the winning goal away to Hull City in midweek, finding space on the edge of the box before drawing a routine save from Luke Daniels with a low shot.
The visitors perhaps had the better of what was a tepid first period, but Leeds would have a gilt-edged chance early on in the second.
Daniels failed to claim Alioski’s corner from the left before saving brilliantly from Kalvin Phillips, who had tried to force the ball home from close range.
And United were made to rue that missed opportunity just moments later, when Watkins disgracefully threw himself to the ground inside the box.
To the bewilderment and ire of the crowd, Simpson pointed to the spot.
Maupay assumed the responsibility, and tucked home with aplomb.
The hosts responded with Liam Cooper nodding just wide from an Alioski set-piece before Roberts fired narrowly off target after Jack Harrison crossed.
There was to be further controversy.
Leeds then introduced fledgling forward Jack Clarke in place of Stuart Dallas, before Moses Odubajo received a yellow card for a foul on Alioski.
Just moments later, Odubajo upended Clarke, but Simpson did not deign to issue the Brentford defender with a second booking after playing the advantage.
Canos then headbutted Alioski after the visiting bench attempted to delay the Macedonian’s taking of a throw-in as farce enveloped the match.
Unperturbed, United continued to probe. Substitute Lewis Baker arched a well-hit free kick into the side netting before Daniels pushed away Clarke’s fierce, driven cross from the right.
And they finally got their equaliser with merely two minutes of normal time remaining, as Jansson nodded home from Alioski’s sumptuous delivery into the area.
The game ended with a frenetic flourish in added-time; Baker came agonisingly close to a winner with a glancing header that bounced just wide before Ayling picked up a second yellow card.
The draw was a fair result, with Brentford having the better of the first half and Leeds the better of the second, but a deluge of dubious decisions on Simpson’s part will overshadow what was a compellingly competitive game.
Odubajo was ludicrously lucky not to have been dismissed after his indiscretion on Clarke, and Watkins and Canos will be so if they somehow avoid retrospective punishment.
Leeds were not at their best, but with several key players sidelined with injury and the referee intent on stealing the show in front of the television cameras, this point may well be reflected upon as a valuable one come the end of the season.
Leeds United (4-1-4-1): Peacock-Farrell; Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Dallas (Clarke 70’); Phillips; Harrison, Klich (Forshaw 63’), Saiz (Baker 76’), Alioski; Roberts.
Unused Subs: Blackman, Pearce, Shackleton, Edmondson.
Brentford (4-2-3-1): Daniels; Dalsgaard, Konsa, Mepham, Odubajo (Barbet 76’); Sawyers, Mokotjo; Watkins (Judge 84’), Yennaris, Canos (Benrahma 77’); Maupay.
Unused Subs: Bentley, Jeanvier, MacLeod, McEachran.
Match Statistics (Leeds / Brentford)
Dives: 0 / 1
Shots: 13 / 13
On target: 3 / 7
Possession: 54% / 46%
Corners: 2 / 3
Fouls: 18 / 15
Referee: Jeremy Simpson.
Booked: Henriksen (Hull). Jansson, Saiz, Douglas (Leeds).
Man of the match: Pontus Jansson (Leeds).
Photo: Action Images
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