Bamford returns from injury to secure Leeds’ late point against Brentford

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Bamford returns from injury to secure Leeds’ late point against Brentford


Leeds didn’t demand proof they missed Patrick Bamford, but they were able to greet him when he arrived and Elland Road rang at the sound of his name. Sidelined since September, Bamford marked his comeback by sticking out his left knee and sending Leeds into ecstasy. It was a recovery job in the 95th minute, leaving Leeds celebrating what in several other ways was a bad result and Brentford lamenting what in many ways was a good one.

It was a day of competitive returns from Bamford and Luke Ayling, Brentford and Leeds. When influential Raphinha swung around the final corner, Ayling, who had also missed Leeds’ previous 11 games, provided the blow and Bamford responded. Marcelo Bielsa may be synonymous with good play, but he could relish the efficiency of a lousy finish.

“Patrick scored a goal scorer,” said his manager. Stripped of a striker who scored 17 times last season, Leeds didn’t have such predatory instincts as they rank among the worst scorers. They needed a poacher.

“Players who are used to scoring normally are in the right place at the right time,” said Bielsa. “What you appreciate about this lens is the opportunism of it. The other element he liked was the timing. “Before the game, it was not a good result. After the first half that was not the case, but once the game is over we have to value what we got, ”said Bielsa. It was Leeds’ second goal of the week in added time and without either of them they would be deeper in the quagmire. With Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool afterwards, their position could become more precarious.

They found themselves exhausted but not defeated. As the game of musical chairs on their treatment table continues, Bielsa has lost the services of Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips. The already injured England midfielder failed to stop the counterattack that brought in Brentford’s second goal. Bielsa refused to use it as an excuse as a dynamic mentality – and a Canós – propelled Brentford to the brink of victory.

“When you have the lowest budget it hits the hardest when you are missing key players in key positions,” said Brentford manager Thomas Frank, but he produced an inventive response to the loss of sound. top scorer, Ivan Toney, who contracted coronavirus. As Michail Antonio can attest, right-backs can turn into powerful attackers at times and Sergi Canós has been reinvented as an unstoppable leader. The home-goal scorer at Tottenham on Thursday could give up his defensive duties and find the right net.

Sergi Canós and Bryan Mbeumo from Brentford react after being struck by an object. Photographie : George Wood/Getty Images

His reward was being hit by an object, apparently a plastic bottle, thrown from the crowd when he scored. Leeds may face penalties if the FA investigates. Bielsa’s side were certainly punished for going astray when the odds were against Brentford. They had lost five of their previous seven matches, had been stripped of their talisman and scored a goal against a team that had two more days to prepare.

Despite Bamford’s late intervention, the substitute strikers still dominated the specialists. He felt a vote of no confidence in Rodrigo, who was Spain’s No.9 last year, when, with Bamford held in reserve, Bielsa picked Tyler Roberts to start the attack. It was vindicated as the utility man scored his first goal at Elland Road in 501 days, sliding to stab Raphinha’s center. Well supported, Roberts was elusive and came close to second with an upward shot that Alvaro Fernández saved. Ayling, too, had almost hit, with a header that Fernández knocked back but, unstoppable as the right-back proved, Bielsa looked clearly bewildered when asked to congratulate him. “Ayling had a satisfying game,” he said.


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He might have been more optimistic if it weren’t for Brentford’s quick brace. In keeping with their humble origins, their retaliation had a sufficiently unlikely catalyst. As recently as 2018, Shandon Baptiste was playing in the National Southern League for Hampton & Richmond Borough. His only previous league goal came against Lincoln. But when Canos’ cross deflected onto Diego Llorente, it obligingly fell for Baptiste, who unleashed a shot from the edge of the box. Then Canós, fearless by missing a simple opportunity a minute earlier, made a skillful passing movement. Baptiste found Bryan Mbeumo, who provided a nice reverse ball for Canós to trigger the offside trap and take a shot behind Illan Meslier.

It was a triumph for his manager, but even the normally exuberant Frank looked dejected after Bamford struck. He said: “This moment, my feeling is definitely not to celebrate. “

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