Brentford 1-2 Leeds: Leeds celebrate Premier League survival

todayMay 22, 2022

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Leeds were able to celebrate Premier League safety as Jack Harrison’s 94th-minute strike gave them a 2-1 win at Brentford to escape the bottom three at Burnley’s expense.


Knowing they needed to better the Clarets’ result owing to their vastly inferior goal difference, the pressure of their challenge weighed heavy on Leeds early on.


Once they settled into the game they looked relatively comfortable against a Brentford side lacking sharpness and on a chaotic afternoon across the Premier League, moments after news filtered through that Newcastle were leading at Turf Moor they thought they had taken the lead themselves through Joe Gelhardt, only for a VAR review to deny them the opener.


Bryan Mbeumo missed presentable opportunities in either half for the hosts before a rare David Raya howler saw him scuff a pass straight to Rodrigo, who he then bundled over in the box. From 12 yards, Raphinha stepped up to send him the wrong way and leave Leeds within touching distance of safety.

That survival bid was given another helping hand when Kristoffer Ajer was forced off injured after Brentford had used all three substitutes, but they still reignited Leeds’ sense of angst as Sergi Canos nodded home Josh Dasilva’s cross to level.

He was booked for his celebrations and was soon shown a second yellow for fouling Raphinha on the halfway line, but still Leeds could not re-establish their advantage until Harrison’s long-range deflected effort beat Raya in the fourth minute of injury time to guarantee their survival.


Leeds leave it late – again – to breathe easy

It wasn’t until Harrison’s last-gasp winner that Leeds’ capacity travelling support could finally celebrate in the knowledge that they had a third consecutive season of Premier League football to look forward to.

In the end, it wasn’t quality that told but a never-say-die attitude which has underpinned Leeds’ survival far more than anything else.

Harrison’s goal was their fourth 90th-minute winner of the season, a tally no-one across the Premier League can match. It should have been an easier afternoon for Marsch’s side, who were handed a glorious chance for the opener through Raya’s mistake and then should have seen out victory when Ajer was forced off injured.

But they had struggled to create in open play all afternoon, and even with a man advantage their fate appeared perilous when Canos nodded in Dasilva’s cross and the knowledge one Burnley goal at Turf Moor would be enough to send them down.

Even when Brentford were reduced to nine men, Raya’s goal rarely appeared in serious danger until Dasilva’s clearance from a last-minute corner fell for Harrison, whose 25-yard effort took a slight deflection to beat the goalkeeper inside his near post.

This may be the way Leeds have operated in recent times, but it is not a formula Marsch wants to continue.

“I’ve heard this a lot about Leeds United, that we think we have to do it the hard way,” he said after the game. “Part of my job is to change that mentality, to say we deserve more, that we have an incredible club and team, and honestly I think it’s not by accident we’ve scored four winners or equalisers in injury time.

“We’ve had belief, but we’ve had to earn it. I’ve heard this is the Leeds way, but I’m not buying into that.”


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todayMay 22, 2022

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