Leeds. Leeds fall apart. Again. Then do the unthinkable….

5 Dec

Where to even start with that? Leeds United 2 Brentford 2. The proverbial game of two halves. One which began with Ivan Toney absent through Covid (he’ll also miss Watford and Manchester United I believe) ended with the Bees conceding the equaliser just seconds before the five minutes injury time had completed. It was as close as you’ll get to securing all three points and whilst of course we’d all have taken the draw if offered it up front (would that such a thing were possible), to come so close feels like an absolute kick to the unmentionables right now. You could hear the cheer from Elland Road to Gibraltar, such was the relief that greeted Patrick B@&ford’s late, late equaliser. Instead, one can only look to the positives and prep for Watford on Friday. 

Full time at Elland Road

After the no show at Tottenham, this was a different Brentford team. Literally and mentally. Ivan and Onyeka out; Baptiste and Roerslev in. Sergi sitting up top. The Bees going for it from the off. More pressure in the opening five minutes than there had been all game at Spurs. Leeds happy to sit back and absorb as Brentford pushed. Up. The opening quarter hour one way traffic although no out and out chance. Bryan coming closest. The hosts coming back into it to start taking control themselves and then… disaster.

Charlie Goode picked up the ball and set off on a mazy run forward. Taking the ball to Leeds before losing it with a sloppy pass. The game taken back to the Bees and there was Tyler Roberts to give the home side the lead. 27 minutes on the clock and all the anticipation, gone. All the momentum, gone. All the positivity, gone. Gone in a heartbeat. Brentford with no answer and hanging on for half-time. Supporters left with that feeling that comes when about to watch Match of the Day, only to find it cancelled and replaced with a repeat of My Family (happy?). Oh Kris Marshall. How we laughed.

Mr. Harper’s boys. And girls

1-0 down at half-time. Elland Road silent, barring the sound of crockery being smashed. Teacups being thrown. Rollickings administered. Arses being kicked. Possibly. Whatever Thomas Frank did or said, The Bees came out a side possessed. Playing with purpose. With drive . With passion. Leeds on the back foot. Sergi Canos pulling the strings and all of a sudden it was 1-1. Shandon Baptiste getting on the end of it. The Spaniard with the assist and then coming close minutes after. Oooh. How didn’t he score? 

We didn’t have to wait long for the lead. This time, there was to be no hesitation from Sergi. Linking with Bryan before blasting home just after the hour. The goal had been coming and was celebrated in style. The cry of ‘Leeds. Leeds are falling apart. Again’. belted out from the visiting fans. The smiles broad and the songs loud. Brentford continuing to drive. Leeds collapsing at a rate that was well and truly in keeping with the infamous song. Wissa, on for Sergi, looking fleet of foot. The goal not quite coming and Fernandez in nets, having already pulled off a number of smart saves, helping run down the clock with sportsman like efficiency. Get ball. Dive on it. Wait. Wait….. Waiiiitttt. Distribute. The crowd giving it the expected reaction. “Salt with your chips, Sir”?

We interrupt this article for a moment to visit the home of Alanis Morissette in Canadia. The singer is in the library, leafing through the dictionary and rechecking the definition of Ironic. And also unlucky, which it isn’t. 

Back at Elland Road, a colossal five minutes of time added on have been, err, added on. Brentford still trying to take the ball out of defence but understandably also trying to close out the game. Yes, there have been a few fouls (and a shonky yellow for Rico) but this was excruciating. Where did it come from? 91. 92. 93. 94. A ball is played in to Fernandez who can only flap it over the line. He makes the catch and it’s game over when he hoofs it forward. Instead, a corner is awarded…

The inevitability…..

Leeds’ goalkeeper Meslier comes charging into the crowded box. The ball is swung in and over. The ‘keeper makes a nuisance of himself and there’s the aforementioned England international to steer it in for 2-2.  Urghhh For once, it’s Bees rather than Leeds who have fallen apart. 

The noise is immense. The silence from the away end, deafening. The game as good as over. Then it is. Urghhhh.

Look. A point is a point. The second half was one way traffic from us until the death and a marked step up from that game at Spurs We were also missing Ivan and will again. Watford and Manchester United next up for Brentford with Sergi also joining him on the sidelines for The Hornets’ game. That was a pre kick-off blow that might have knocked the stuffing out of most teams but instead Brentford rose to the challenge. In the cold light of day it will feel ok. Right now it’s just plain frustrating. Oh, what might have been but for two sloppy goals.

Instead, all we can do is look at the table. Eleventh as it stands. We could have been higher but perhaps this will serve as an education. Just as against Brighton, failure to close out a game we might have won or keep focus until the final whistle has been met with joy for the opposition. At least, this time, we’re still going home with something. It just could have been so much more….

We’ll do the player review tomorrow. There’s only so much can be written on a coach back to London via a mobile phone. Then it’s looking forward to Watford. To Manchester United. To having Ivan revitalised and perhaps even a few more points in the bag.

For now, well played Brentford. Our fans were immense. Leeds did what they had to and the relief was palpable. Those fingers from before? That was how their director Victor Orta greeted this result…

Nick Bruzon

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8 Responses to “Leeds. Leeds fall apart. Again. Then do the unthinkable….”

  1. Adam Grant December 5, 2021 at 6:14 pm #

    ‘LeEdS ArE fAlLiNg ApArT- good effort, you almost won the ‘we beat leeds trophy’.

  2. Simon Sapper December 5, 2021 at 6:17 pm #

    First off Nick, well done on getting this out so quickly (and with only one typo that I could see. ). Second, what a huge step up from Thursday. What have we learned? Mads R continues to impress and is probably a better right wing-back than Sergi
    who in turn was much more effective in today’s attacking role. Brevity has possibly made you too kind – to Charlie and Bryan for their part in the first Leeds goal and to the Ref and Lino for their part in the second. Frustrating to come away with “only” one point but sets us up well for Friday!

  3. Adam Grant December 5, 2021 at 6:21 pm #

    clearly thomas frank would chop his arm off to be leeds manager. He can barely contain himself when talking about us. poor lad

  4. David Barker December 5, 2021 at 8:43 pm #

    Whilst you wax lyrical about the 2nd half from Brentford – put it into proper context. The game changed following the Phillips injury. You weren’t in the game until that point.

    • nickbruzon December 6, 2021 at 1:53 pm #

      Fair enough. Leeds clearly a one man team. Let’s hope for your sake he stays fit

  5. Max December 5, 2021 at 9:01 pm #

    That thugish director looks like he fits right in up there ,maybe a place In the cricket team for him if he keeps up the good work… Anyway the most important thing was a more positive performance by the bees ,any team in this league would be affected by the loss of 4 or 5 of its best players but this teams spirit is a credit to the club .Nice to see how well Shandon is doing after his injury problems .as always coyb

  6. Gazza December 6, 2021 at 3:05 pm #

    What a load of bullshit you scored cos we had centre half taken off and Phillips defensive mid too you were no where near scoring whilst them two were on We had 1 centre on and no defensive mid. You d still be trying to score 2 days later if they were on !

    • nickbruzon December 6, 2021 at 3:13 pm #

      Yet still you couldn’t beat us. Yet still we are above you in the table. Mugged off. Again😂😂😂😂

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