Leeds crowned champions as Brentford slip lets West Brom back in

Date published: Saturday 18th July 2020 2:26

Thomas Frank

Brentford suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Saturday – in a result that leaves West Brom second and sees Leeds crowned winners of the Championship.

Thomas Frank’s side went into the game knowing a draw would see them overhaul the Baggies into the automatic promotion places.

Having won eight games in a row, seven since the restart, the Bees were heavy favourites to claim another win.

After West Brom’s shock 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield on Friday evening, a point would have seen them edge Slaven Bilic’s side with just a game to play.

However, Stoke defended manfully and Lee Gregory’s goal proved enough. The striker fired in from close range after Sam Clucas’ shot was parried – and it proved decisive.

 

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Bryan Mbeumo was denied by Potters goalkeeper Adam Davies prior to Gregory’s finish, and Josh Da Silva shot wide of the hosts’ goal just before the hour mark.

Substitute Emiliano Marcondes and Ethan Pinnock subsequently had strikes saved by Davies late on as Brentford continued to endure frustration.

Thomas Frank’s men remain a point behind West Brom in third spot. They host rock-bottom Barnsley on Wednesday, while the Baggies take on QPR at the Hawthorns.

Leeds, whose promotion was already confirmed following Albion’s 2-1 loss at Huddersfield on Friday, are now uncatchable at the top, sitting five points clear.

Meanwhile, the win for Michael O’Neill’s Stoke in their last home match of the campaign left them eight points above the relegation zone in 17th.

After a low-key start to the contest in pouring rain, the first real goalscoring opportunity arrived in the 17th minute when Said Benrahma sent a cross towards the far post and Mbeumo’s header was well saved by Davies.

Josh Dasilva

Three minutes later Brentford were on the attack again, with Ollie Watkins heading wide, before Sam Vokes nodded over the bar at the other end.

Pinnock went down in the Stoke box under pressure from Bruno Martins Indi, but nothing was given by referee Geoff Eltringham.

Having kept their opponents fairly quiet, Stoke then grabbed the lead as Raya’s parry from Clucas’ strike left a simple tap-in for Gregory.

Rico Henry fired off target in the opening moments of the second half, before decent chances were passed up by both sides, with Vokes directing a header wide and Da Silva then prodding the ball the wrong side of the post.

Watkins subsequently saw an attempt blocked by Danny Batth, and as the clock ticked down, Brentford’s efforts to rescue something continued to be in vain, with Marcondes sending a free-kick over the bar and then seeing a shot pushed behind by Davies.

Another substitute, Sergi Canos, sent a delivery across the danger zone in stoppage time but Benrahma was unable to get on the end of it, and Davies then produced another good save to keep out Pinnock’s strike.

 

See how the game unfolded on our Live Centre.

 

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