Two first half goals sealed a second successive away defeat for Leeds United at Brentford as they missed a chance to give themselves valuable breathing space in the EFL Championship play-off race.
After failing to find the net at Reading last Saturday, Garry Monk’s men were kept out again and stay in fifth place after their 2-0 defeat, three points ahead of Sheffield Wednesday who won at Rotherham and five in front of Fulham who lost to Derby.
United had Pontus Jansson and Luke Ayling back in defence with Liam Cooper dropping out after not contesting an FA charge for stamping and Charlie Taylor left out.
Mo Barrow was given a rare start on the flank and Stuart Dallas returned on the other side with Kalvin Phillips in for fellow youngster Ronaldo Vieira in midfield.
Leeds started well enough with Gaetano Berardi sending a header off target from a Dallas cross.
Another cross by Dallas saw Harlee Dean head the ball over his own crossbar and from the resulting corner Jansson could not get his header on target.
Sergi Canos began to create trouble for the Whites and he saw one shot well blocked by Jansson before firing another effort over.
Barrow did well on a break for United only to scuff his shot and give home keeper Daniel Bentley an easy save.
It was Brentford who came up with the crucial first goal on 18 minutes when Rob Green saved well to deny Canos, but could not keep out the follow-up from Romaine Sawyers.
Leeds looked to hit back as Chris Wood was sent away down the left only to shoot wide.
Bartley could not make the most of a chance from a corner after being found unmarked while Ayling also failed to trouble the keeper with a flick.
United were made to pay for their misses as their hosts scored again on 34 minutes, Lasse Vibe netting from the rebound after Green had saved Canos’s shot.
Only a superb save from Green prevented Canos from making it three before half-time and although Hernandez saw a shot saved at the other end just before the break Leeds were pleased to get to half-time just two down.
They had more of the play in the second period, but Wood and Dallas sent efforts wide and Barrow was denied low down by keeper Bentley.
Substitute Alfonso Pedraza almost made a quick impact after coming on as he went on a terrific run only to shoot when he should have passed to a team-mate. Bentley saved and the following corner came to nothing.
Leeds came the closest they had been on 64 minutes when Jansson’s header was cleared off the line.
Brentford showed that they could still be dangerous as Jota found space in the box only to fire over. The same player then had a header tipped over by Green.
The United keeper made a great double save soon after, denying Jota in a one-on-one then keeping out Florian Jozefzoon’s effort.
It was the Brentford keeper’s turn to shine on 82 minutes as he made a fine save to deny Whites sub Kemar Roofe.
Big shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears after Wood went down in the box, but that was the last chance for Leeds as their effort faded away.
Indeed it could have been Brentford who scored again when Green had to make another good save to deny Vibe.
(Sawyers 18, Vibe 34)
Leeds United 0
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Brentford: Bentley, Clarke, Dean, Barbet, Henry, Yennaris (McCormack 68), Woods (Kerschbaumer 84), Jota, Sawyers, Canos (Jozefzoon), Vibe.
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Bridcutt (Doukara 71), Phillips, Barrow (Roofe 66), Hernandez, Dallas (Pedraza 59), Wood.
Referee: David Coote.