Brentford 2 (Maupay 45, Canos 62))
Leeds United 0
The longer this season goes on the more it is descending into the usual hard luck story for Leeds. Once again today Leeds needed the rub of the green at crucial moments and it wasn’t to be had. The early injury to Alioski meant effectively starting a league game without him for the first time this season. As frustrating as the little Macedonian is and can be, he is always involved and frequently has created something for us. It was a blow.
Then there was the penalty shout when Patrick Bamford was clearly brought down but, for some reason referee Keith Stroud didn’t see fit to give it. On another day and all that stuff. I would add that Bamford should probably have tried his luck with his favoured left foot and took too long on the ball anyway but, none the less, it was a penalty that we ought to have profited from and I’d guess the game would have been very different.
The rest of the fault does lie though squarely with the players though –they bossed the game as usual and between the two boxes played some decent stuff at times but in the final third we were shocking again today. Once again a tally of 18 goal attempts yielded only 3 strikes on target and this failure to hit the target is now becoming almost comical. It’s not good enough lads, end of. Similarly too many passes were struck too hard or misplaced.
I am at a loss to know why Kalvin Phillips didn’t start this game too, we all know he would have been a much better bet against Leon Clarke last Friday and equally he’d have been a stronger defensive tool against the likes of Maupay, Watkins and Canos. I’d love Marcelo to tell us his thinking there and why he believed taking Roberts off would yield us more.
And then there was the introduction of Jack Clarke for the final hour which in hindsight also looks to have been a challenge too far for the young winger. We didn’t often give him a chance with the appalling quality of ball we were feeding him with but then when the pass was right poor Jack was like Bambi on ice – what exactly did he have on his feet? Slippers? Jack doesn’t look right, he didn’t against Wigan and he shouldn’t have been put on in this situation today.
Where on earth this leaves us I’m not sure; my gut feel is that we must be almost out of confidence altogether now, I’m sure the players are as baffled as we are as to what is going wrong. Whether we can get ourselves together in time for the play-offs I’m not sure. Hopefully we can storm back and give Villa a beating next Sunday and then pick up that momentum again at lowly Ipswich. Then maybe on the back of such results we could give the play-off semi-final games a good go. It seems really unlikely that either Norwich or Blades are going to lose both their remaining games but that is also a slim hope as well – but obviously we’d need to beat Villa and Ipswich anyway to benefit from that unlikely scenario. It is all very, very disappointing and the thing that haunts me most is that we were so close, but as so often we’ve come up short .
Brentford Leeds Utd
Possession 37% 63%
Shots 12 18
On Target 3 3
Corners 5 10
Fouls Committed 10 11