Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United 1 (Cooper 31) Brentford 0
Captain Liam Cooper’s first goal of the campaign, got Leeds United back to winning ways against Brentford at Elland Road.
Central midfielder Adam Forshaw missed the match after his wife went into labour, whilst Samuel Saiz made his first start for the Whites since returning from suspension.
It was Eunan O’Kane who had the first chance of the game but the midfielders low drive was saved comfortably by Daniel Bentley on five minutes.
Ollie Watkins had the first sight of goal for the visitors but his curling shot failed to test Felix Wiedwald.
Leeds had Wiedwald to thank for keeping the scores level in the 12th minute, the German stopper made a brilliant save to tip over John Egan’s half volley from the edge of the box.
Brentford then had another chance when Florian Jozefzoon beat the offside trap to latch onto a fine through ball from Roamaine Sawyers, but his lobbed effort went over.
At the other end, Pierre-Michel Lasogga tried an ambitious effort from 40 yards after seeing Bentley off his line, but his effort was off target.
Leeds took the lead just after the 30 minute mark. Former Brentford winger Stuart Dallas won United a free-kick on the left flank and Ezgjan Alioski’s brilliant delivery was met by an even better glancing header by Liam Cooper, which found the far corner. It marked the captain’s first goal in over two and a half years.
Leeds almost doubled the lead before the break, Alioski did well and Saiz worked space for a shot which was blocked, the ball then fell into the path of Lasogga at a narrow angle, who tried to dink the ball over Bentley, but the Brentford goalkeeper made a fine save.
Half time Leeds United 1 Brentford 0
Watkins had the first half chance of the second period but Watkins was picked out on the edge of the box, but his curling effort went just wide.
Leeds almost made it two just after the hour mark when Saiz sent Lasogga through on goal with a wonderful pass. The German striker then superbly cut inside past Egan, before rounding Bentley, however Ryan Woods chasing back, made a vital block on the goal-line, to prevent Lasogga from scoring.
Kalvin Phillips then tried his luck from distance after being teed up by Saiz, but Bentley made a relatively easy stop.
The Whites were then controversially denied a goal-scoring opportunity, Saiz causing all sorts of problems, was pulled back before he played Lasogga through, but there was no advantage for Leeds from the referee.
Leeds had another chance with 11 minutes remaining, substitute Caleb Ekuban did well on the left and played a low cross to Alioski, but the Macedonian international couldn’t connect with it under pressure.
The visitors pushed to level in the closing stages, Neal Maupay hit an effort from 20 yards, but couldn’t keep it down.
Alan Judge went closest to an equaliser from a free-kick, his effort was only parried by Wiedwald and the resulting rebound was fired wide, as Leeds held on for a first win of 2018.
Full time Leeds United 1 Brentford 0
Leeds: Wiedwald, Berardi, Cooper, Jansson, Anita, Phillips, O’Kane, Alioski, Saiz (Vieira 90), Dallas (Sacko 83), Lasogga (Ekuban 73): Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Pennington, Cibicki, Denton.
Brentford: Bentley, Bjelland, Jozefzoon, Maupy, Watkins (Canos 59), Mokotjo (Marcondes 69), Egan, Woods, Sawyers (Judge 69), Dalsgaard, Barbat. Subs not used: Daniels, McEachran, Mepham.
Referee: O Langford
Booked: Anita, Alioski (Leeds United) Sawyers, Woods, Egan, Barbet (Brentford)
Attendance: 28,428 (539 Brentford Fans)
Venue: Elland Road