Brentford boss Thomas Frank felt his side paid the price for not replicating their first-half display at Leeds after paying tribute to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
A tight first half at Elland Road swung Leeds’ way after the break with Bielsa’s introductions of summer signings Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah in the 65th and 77th minutes respectively proving key to their 1-0 win. The pair combined to devastating effect to take the Whites back to the top of the Championship and Bielsa hinted after the game he may have to find room in his side for the Arsenal loanee.
The Bees had some joy going forward in the opening 45 minutes and almost took the lead, but Bryan Mbeumo’s 25-yard effort hit the post.
But the quality of Bielsa’s side paid dividends in the end and they had the visitors penned back for large periods of the second half as their system – and perhaps ultimately their fitness – showed.
“We know Elland Road is always a difficult place to play, especially with Bielsa and the way they press, not only high intensity but the different way of doing it,” Frank said.
“First half I think we play a top away performance, pressing high and causing Leeds problems, having good opportunities. An even game.
“Second half, for whatever reason, they stepped up and we couldn’t keep the level of intensity.
“We lost the ball too easy and didn’t run at them as much as we did in the first half. Defensively, it was a top defensive performance, but for one moment.”
Much of the attention before the game was focused on the return to West Yorkshire of Pontus Jansson, and while the Swede had a decent game, he finished on the losing side.
Nonetheless, Frank was keen to pay tribute to the centre-half, saying: “He showed throughout the game he is all that we need in our side.
“Everybody knows we are good going forward, always creating chances, but one of the weaker spots is defence.
“He is a top defender. He looked forward to coming here.”
Get the latest personalised Whites products on our new TEAMtalk Leeds United shop!