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Full-time - Leeds United 1 Brentford 1: Pontus Jansson snatches point in controversial clash

Leeds United's Gjanni Alioski shields the ball against Brentford at Elland Road.
Leeds United's Gjanni Alioski shields the ball against Brentford at Elland Road.
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Pontus Jansson’s 88th-minute header rescued Leeds United from a controversial defeat as a lively battle with Brentford ended in a 1-1 draw.

Jansson nodded home in the closing stages at Elland Road to cancel out a disputed penalty from Neal Maupay which put Marcelo Bielsa’s league leaders on course for a second Championship loss.

Maupay converted his 10th goal of the campaign on 62 minutes but the spot-kick given by referee Jeremy Simpson was mired in controversy after Ollie Watkins appeared to dive under a challenge from Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Watkins went down after trying to guide a chip over Peacock-Farrell as a mistake by Liam Cooper left United wide open at the back.

The visitors clung to their lead until Jansson met a free-kick from Alioski with a thumping back-post finish. Luke Ayling was then sent off for a second bookable offence in injury-time.

United knew the threat posed by Brentford’s pace and it almost told in the 14th minute as Bielsa’s side were caught short after losing the ball on the halfway line.

Sergi Canos slipped a pass wide to Maupay who tried to find the far corner of Peacock-Farrell’s net but was denied by the goalkeeper’s fingertips.

United’s first chance of note fell to Mateusz Klich who drove an effort across goal and wide from 20 yards and Tyler Roberts was denied by Luke Daniels when he turned and shot inside box but Canos and Maupay both saw opportunities at the other end as Brentford committed bodies forward.

Their pressure nearly told in the 29th minute as another break ended with Watkins’ strike deflecting onto the top of the bar and Peacock-Farrell blocking Maupay’s finish on the rebound.

Samuel Saiz almost broke the deadlock in the last minute of the half as Leeds belatedly clicked but his left-foot strike flashed into the crowd.

United were thwarted by a brilliant save from Daniels on 57 minutes as Kalvin Phillips tried to smack in the loose ball from a corner and saw it come back off a post but Bielsa’s players fell behind four minutes later after Peacock-Farrell was penalised for bringing down Watkins inside his box.

Replays suggested Watkins had gone to ground without contact but Simpson pointed to the spot and Maupay sent Peacock-Farrell the wrong way. The striker ran to celebrate in front of the South Stand and was pelted with missiles from the crowd.

Leeds tried to fashion an equaliser and a free-kick from substitute Lewis Baker scraped the side-netting 12 minutes from time but Brentford could do nothing when Jansson arrived to meet Alioski’s free-kick and hung on when Baker glanced an injury-time header just wide.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Dallas (Clarke 70), Phillips, Harrison, Saiz (Baker 76), Klich (Forshaw 63), Alioski, Roberts. Subs (not used): Blackman, Pearce, Shackleton, Edmondson.

Brentford: Daniels, Odubajo (Barbet 76), Mepham, Canos (Benrahma 77), Yennaris, Maupay, Watkins (Judge 84), Mokotojo. Sawyers, Dalsgaard, Konsa. Subs (not used): Bentley, MacLeod, McEachran, Jeanvier.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)