Brentford 2 Leeds United 0: YEP Jury give their verdicts

United's Marco Silvestri watches Brentford's James Tarkowski hammer his penalty over the crossbar.
United's Marco Silvestri watches Brentford's James Tarkowski hammer his penalty over the crossbar.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on United’s 2-0 reverse at Brentford


Darko Milanic and David Hockaday may be poles apart in terms of coaching pedigree but they both have one thing in common, both have started their Leeds United careers with disappointing 2-0 defeats in the capital.

In a match at which Leeds were barely at the races, Brentford sealed victory with a goal in each half.

And but for some poor finishing and another outstanding goalkeeping display by Marco Silvestri, it could have been a very chastening day for United’s new head coach.

Milanic was certainly not scared to change one of football’s most sacred cliches: never to change a winning team.

And although the return of Sam Byram was forced upon him by the suspension of Gaetano Berardi, there were a few eyebrows raised with Alex Mowatt’s selection in place of Casper Sloth.

With the diamond formation retained, Brentford had plenty of joy down the flanks, and the Whites were under pressure from the off.

Midway through the half Jason Pearce conceeded a penalty but under pressure from the massed ranks of United supporters behind the goal, Jason Tarkowski blazed the ball into the top tier of the stand.

The 1,500 strong travelling support had their numbers boosted as Leeds owner Massimo Cellino joined their ranks shortly afterwards, deciding to forego the hospitality of the Brentford boardroom to enjoy chance to be a little more vocal from the stands.

Despite a slight improvement in the second half and a switch to 4-4-2, Leeds never seriously threatened an equaliser, and faded away completely once Alan McCormack fired in a second with 12 minutes remaining. The result has certainly left the new head coach at Leeds with plenty of things to work on, but not a lot of time.

Two home matches in the next week, both against sides above the Whites will provide a stiff test, and he will need a good result in those games to ensure the momentum gained under the stewardship of Neil Redfearn is maintained.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.


Darko Milanic’s first game ended in 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

It ended Leeds’ run of four games. The Slovenian head coach made two changes to his first line up, Sam Byram replacing the suspended Berardi and Alex Mowatt in for Casper Sloth. Adyran and Billy Sharp didn’t make the 18 players picked. Interesting, especially Sharp’s omission.

Leeds started brightly and Austin’s shot was well gathered by Button but from then on it became another masterclass from Marco Silvestri. Around the half-hour mark Brentford missed the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot after a foul by Pearce, Tarkowski hitting the ball over the bar from the spot. The home side got the opener in first-half injury time, Jota with a smart finish inside the box.

Leeds had two good chances to equalise, Antenucci’s effort going over the bar and Jason Pearce’s effort superbly saved by Button. Silvestri saved his team-mates again when he foiled Gray twice. Brentford though went two up when full-back McCormack beat Silvestri with a good finish. That was it and Leeds tasted defeat for the first time since Bradford City in the Capital One Cup.

Leeds have the chance of another run on Wednesday when Reading visit Elland Road. Milanic will have plenty to ponder before his Elland Road baptism.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.


As opening gambits go, it wasn’t the most promising from Darko Milanic in his first game in charge. United huffed and puffed and in the end didn’t really trouble Brentford.

The system clearly wasn’t working but it remained rigid for 90 frustrating minutes. Ending the game with the trio of Austin, Tonge and Murphy in midfield was a further cause for concern. That particular combination has surely been tried, tested and discarded by now? More positively, there were some neat passages of play, a lot of hard work, and some solid defending but when you lose 2-0 and your goalkeeper is your best player then it tells its own story.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.


United were brought crashing down to earth as a very poor display saw them beaten in Darko Milanic’s first game in charge. A goal just on half-time was a killer blow. And if it hadn’t been for goalkeeper Marco Silvestri the damage could have been far worse.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.


A disappointing day down in London is how I see it. Nothing went for us on Saturday, we just didn’t click.

We got overrun in midfield with former White Jonathan Douglas having a field day. He did what he wanted.

On Twitter after the game, I saw a lot of fans having a go Darko Milanic; he needs to be given time with this job.

Cellino has got to stick with his man and let him see out his plan for the club.

I understand that a change was needed desperately midway through the second half but Milanic has only had a few days with his team; he’s still getting to know them.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.


It was a case of forget and move on for Leeds in the capital, as Darko Milanic begins his reign with a defeat. Had it not been for Marco Silvestri the result could have been much worse. Players who were fantastic last week just didn’t turn up this week.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.

Paul Heckingbottom.

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