LEEDS United fell to back to back defeats for only the third time this season as a poor display led to a 2-0 loss at Championship hosts Brentford.
After twice going close through the dangerous Jota, Brentford took a 19th-minute lead when Romaine Sawyers produced a fine finish to follow up after Jota’s initial strike was parried by Rob Green.
And it was no surprise when a struggling Leeds side went further behind in the 34th minute when another effort from Canos was this time parried to Lasse Vibe who slammed home to make it 2-0.
Only a fantastic one-handed save from Rob Green then denied Jota and the hosts a third and Green performed even more heroics after the break.
A 2-0 victory for Sheffield Wednesday at Rotherham United saw United’s hold on a play-off place again slightly loosened with six games to go, with Leeds now five points clear of seventh-placed Fulham who dropped out of the play-offs with a 4-2 defeat at Derby County.
United were hit with a blow in the build up to the clash at Griffin Park when news emerged that the FA had charged centre-back Liam Cooper with violent conduct for stamping on Reece Oxford in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Reading.
Cooper had until 6pm to respond to the charge and pleaded guilty, with his ban - which is sure to be be at least four games - beginning with the clash at Brentford.
The recently dropped Pontus Jansson instead returned at centre-back as head coach Garry Monk made five changes in also bringing in the back from suspension Luke Ayling, Kalvin Phillips, Mo Barrow and Stuart Dallas as Charlie Taylor, Ronaldo Vieira, Hadi Sacko and Alfonso Pedraza were all dropped.
Brentford had the game’s first attempt on goal in the second minute when Jota fired over the bar from the edge of the box.
United’s first real attempt arrived in the tenth minute when Pablo Hernandez curled an effort wide from United’s third corner of the night.
But Brentford then squandered the game’s best chance yet in the 14th minute when an unmarked Canos blazed over inside the area when presented with plenty of space by the Whites defence.
Another Canos effort just one minute earlier had been blocked by Jansson and Leeds attempted to hit back through Mo Barrow whose low shot was saved.
But the home side looked by far the more dangerous side and it was no surprise when the Bees took a 19th-minute lead through Sawyers.
Canos was again given far too much space by the Leeds defence as Brentford countered and while Rob Green produced a strong save to deny the Spaniard, the ball was only parried to Sawyers who produced a tremendous finish to thump the ball into the far corner from a tight angle.
Leeds were initially slow to respond but squandered a fine chance to level on the half hour mark when Kyle Bartley chose to place a free header from a Hernandez corner back across goal. The ball fell to Ayling who volleyed his effort over the bar.
And Brentford then should have doubled their lead just one minute later when Vibe was released one on one with Green but poked his effort
But Vibe made no mistake just two minutes later when Brentford again carved Leeds open and Vibe was on hand to slam the ball home after a Canos strike had been parried by Green.
Leeds were all at sea and United should and would have been 3-0 down but for a fantastic one-handed save by Green to deny Canos after an initial effort from Sawyers was deflected.
There was little response from Leeds for whom a dangerous cross from Hernandez in the 43rd minute was the best it got.
Monk opted to make no changes during the half-time break and Brentford were immediately back on the front foot as Yoann Barbet hit the wall with a potentialy dangerous free-kick conceded by Kyle Bartley.
A Jota shot from a Canos cut back was then blocked before Leeds finally threatened on two occassions through Barrow who first saw a shot headed away by Harlee Dean before seeing a low effort just kept out at the near post by Bentley.
Monk then made his first change in hauling off Dallas for Alfonso Pedraza just short of the hour.
Pedraza made an immediate impression with a fine run to the byline to win a corner which was cleared.
From a 64th-minute Hernandez free-kick soon after, Dean was well placed to clear a header from Jansson off the line.
Monk then made his second change in bringing on Kemar Roofe for Barrow with just under 25 minutes.
But Brentford squandered another chance when Jota lashed wide in the 71st minute and Monk then hauled off his captain for his final change in bringing on Souleymane Doukara.
But Whites head coach Garry Monk’s search for something new was summed up when he took off captain Liam Bridcutt for Souleymane Doukara in the 71st minute.
But Brentford then went close to making it 3-0 on three occassions as first Green tipped a Jota free-kick over the bar.
Green then produced an outstanding double save to deny Vibe when one-on-one before smothering the ball at the feet of Florian Jozefzoon.
Roofe briefly threatened for Leeds when his effort in the 82nd minute forced Bentley into a good save.
But Green, easily United’s best player as part of a miserable night, then made one more excellent final save to deny Vibe in the 88th minute.
Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Bridcutt (Doukara 71), Phillips, Barrow (Roofe 66), Hernandez, Dallas (Pedraza 58), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Taylor, Vieira, O’Kane.
Brentford: Bentley, Clarke, Dean, Barbet, Henry, Yennaris (McCormack 68), Woods (Kerschbaumer 84), Jota, Sawyers, Canos (Jozefzoon 74), Vibe. Subs not used: Bonham, Hofmann, Egan, Field.
Referee: David Coote.