Leeds 2-2 Brentford: Patrick Bamford grabs point with late equaliser after three months out injured


How about that for a return?

Patrick Bamford has been missing for three months with an ankle injury as Leeds have toiled in their second season back in the Premier League.

The England striker was only deemed fit enough to start on the bench against Brentford.

Patrick Bamford scored in the 94th minute to snatch a 2-2 draw for Leeds at home to Brentford

Fans demanded that Bamford came on and his goal sparked pandemonium inside Elland Road

Fans demanded that Bamford came on and his goal sparked pandemonium inside Elland Road

Brentford midfielder Sergi Canos put Brentford in front in the second half at Elland Road

Brentford midfielder Sergi Canos put Brentford in front in the second half at Elland Road

But Leeds fans demanded his introduction after the Bees took a surprise second-half lead.

And after Marcelo Bielsa responded to supporters’ calls, Bamford repaid his boss in spectacular fashion with a leveller in the 95th minute. Now that is what you call making an impact.

Bamford was on hand to knee the ball in at the back post after Luke Ayling flicked on Raphinha’s corner.

And the forward was simply delirious as he ran away in celebration, taking off his shirt and dropping to the floor in front of his adoring public.

It was the second time in five days that Leeds have netted at the death – Raphinha scoring a winner from the spot in the 93rd minute against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.

Tyler Roberts put Leeds in front in the first half, scoring his first goal in 22 games this season

Tyler Roberts put Leeds in front in the first half, scoring his first goal in 22 games this season

Shandon Baptiste (second from left) equalised to score his first goal for Brentford

Shandon Baptiste (second from left) equalised to score his first goal for Brentford

And while Bielsa will be disappointed not to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season, he was once more breathing a sigh of relief at the final whistle.

While Luke Ayling and Bamford were back for Leeds after both missing since September, Leeds were dealt a new injury blow after only 15 minutes when their captain Liam Cooper hobbled off.

It was a very Bielsa-like move to replace the injured centre back with winger Jack Harrison. But, with left-back Junior Firpo filling in as a makeshift centre half in a back three, the Leeds manager’s tactical tweaks seemed to work – and were rewarded after 27 minutes.

With one of their first attacks of any real intent, Adam Forshaw found Raphinha in space on the left and, though his first cross was headed away by ex-Leeds defender Pontus Jansson, the ball fell straight back to the feet of the Brazilian.

Raphinha made his second cross count, swinging the ball behind Brentford’s backline, with Roberts getting in between Jansson and Ethan Pinnock to slide in and score.

It was the much-maligned Wales forward Roberts’ first goal in 22 appearances for club and country this season, his first at Elland Road in 501 days and just the second Premier League goal of his career.

Bamford (right) had missed the last three months with an ankle injury but soon made his mark

Bamford (right) had missed the last three months with an ankle injury but soon made his mark

Marcelo Bielsa made a bold move by replacing injured Liam Cooper with winger Jack Harrison

Marcelo Bielsa made a bold move by replacing injured Liam Cooper with winger Jack Harrison

MATCH FACTS 

Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Firpo (Bamford 68’), Forshaw, Cooper (c) (Harrison 15’), Raphinha, Roberts, Llorente, Dallas, James, Phillips (Klich 55’).

Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Rodrigo, Cresswell, Summerville, Shackleton, Jenkins.

Goals: Roberts 27, Bamford 90+5

Booked: Harrison, Klich, Bamford, Raphinha, Roberts 

Brentford: Fernandez (GK), Henry, Goode, Pinnock, Norgaard, Canos (Wissa 72’), Jansson (c), Mbeumo, Baptiste (Onyeka 69’), Janelt (Jensen 90’), Roerslev.  

Subs not used: Cox (GK), Thompson, Forss, Ghoddos, Stevens, Young-Coombes.

Goals: Baptiste 54, Canos 61 

Booked: Goode, Henry, Canos 

Attendance: 35,639  

Referee: David Coote

But buoyed by his opening strike, he was in the mood for more and forced Alvaro Fernandez to tip over with a strike from the edge of the box before flashing over from an angle on the left.

Brentford needed a response but, with star striker Ivan Toney a late withdrawal after testing positive for Covid-19, they offered next to nothing going forward and were lucky to head into the interval only one goal behind.

Leeds’ dominance continued at the start of the second half, as Ayling got a head on Raphinha’s inswinging free-kick and was only denied a goal on his return by a fine fingertip stop from the outstretched Fernandez.

And yet, completely against the run of play, Brentford found themselves back on terms after 54 minutes.

Rico Henry got the better of Stuart Dallas down the visitors’ left, passing to Sergi Canos, whose cross cannoned off Diego Llorente to the edge of the area, where Shandon Baptiste guided the loose ball into the bottom left corner.

It was Baptiste’s first league goal since scoring for Oxford in League One two years ago. 

And the equaliser completely turned the match, with the Bees suddenly swarming all over Leeds, who were further hit when Kalvin Phillips was forced to come off with an injury.

Canos should have put Brentford ahead when Mads Roerslev picked him out at the back post but he headed over.

However, the Spaniard made amends after 61 minutes when he started and finished a flowing team move. 

Leeds were dealt another injury setback when Kalvin Phillips hobbled off with an injury

Leeds were dealt another injury setback when Kalvin Phillips hobbled off with an injury

Baptiste's equaliser turned the game towards Brentford, who suddenly swarmed all over Leeds

Baptiste’s equaliser turned the game towards Brentford, who suddenly swarmed all over Leeds

After Canos and Baptise swapped passes, Bryan Mbeumo slipped Canos back in and the lifted the ball over Meslier.

The mischievous Canos went over to celebrate in front of Leeds fans in the North East Corner, with a bottle appearing to be thrown in his direction and forcing him to go to ground.

Referee David Coote, though, did not intervene. The home crowd were growing restless and were chanting for the introduction of Bamford – a call Bielsa responded to 22 minutes from time.

And just as all looked lost for Leeds, Bamford was there to level – sparking pandemonium inside Elland Road.

Brentford's Canos was struck by a bottle thrown by Leeds fans after putting his side in front

Brentford’s Canos was struck by a bottle thrown by Leeds fans after putting his side in front

Substitute Bamford appeared in the nick of time just when all looked lost for Leeds

Substitute Bamford appeared in the nick of time just when all looked lost for Leeds

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