Brentford vs Leeds recap: Ivan Toney bagged a hat trick with a penalty kick, a fantastic free kick and a stunning long-range chip as the Bees beat the Whites 5-2 at Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.
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Toney opened the scoring from the spot right on the half-hour mark and made it 2-0 in the 43rd, but Luis Sinisterra pulled the visitors back to 2-1 in stoppage time. Toney’s hat trick was complete on 58 minutes, following by insurance goals from Bryan Mbeumo (80th) and Yoane Wissa (91st).
The victory sends Brentford (9 points) up to 7th in the Premier League table after six games, now two places and one point above Leeds, who are suddenly winless in their last three games after a red-hot start to the 2022-23 season.
What we learned from Brentford vs Leeds
Ivan Toney producing like one of PL’s best (goal video)
Six games into the season, Toney has five goals and two assists to his name after tallying 12 and five last season. There’s plenty more that Toney does for Brentford, much of which doesn’t show up without digging deep into the advanced stats, and while it’s all well and good that he’s aerially dominant and able to hold the ball up against any defender in the Premier League, it’s the “putting the ball in the back of the net” part of his job which separates the Bees from other sides in the bottom half of the PL hierarchy. He’s virtually automatic from the penalty spot, he’s a marksman on free kicks and he’s as composed and confident as anyone from anywhere on the field — all of which were evidenced in his first PL hat trick on Saturday.
Leeds lacking balance amid all the chaos
It’s all well and good to have nearly 70 percent of possession as Leeds did on Saturday, but it matters very little how much possession you have if every time you lose the ball you’re so badly exposed on the counter-attack. When you’ve got that much of the ball, it’s hard to not creep further forward and leave a bit too much space at the bank, and great counter-attacking sides (like Brentford) will patiently wait for that imbalance to arrive. The high press was hardly a bother for Brentford, who see it every day in training as they prepare their own furious tempo, at which point Leeds lacked a Plan B or a tactical change to pick the lock as the Bees defended deeper and deeper as their lead grew and grew.
How to watch Brentford vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
TV: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Furthermore, each side has already hammered one of the PL’s big six sides, as Brentford battered Manchester United in matchweek 2 and Leeds did the same to Chelsea the next week. Whereas sides like Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Brighton defend by attacking possessing the ball for long periods of time, both Brentford and Leeds attack by first defending to win the ball back in advantageous parts of the field, making for a potentially thrilling, back-and-forth encounter in west London.
For Brentford, the still-young season has been a tale of comeback after comeback, having erased a deficit in four of their five games thus far — back from 1-0 down to draw Everton and Crystal Palace; back from 2-0 down to draw Leicester City; back from 2-0 down to Fulham, only to lose 3-0 in the 90th minute. The only lead(s) the Bees have held all season came in the 4-0 victory over Man United.
Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Christian Norgaard (ahilles), Ethan Pinnock (knee), Sergi Canos (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Kristoffer Ajer (hamstring), Pontus Jansson (foot)
🚨 𝙏𝙀𝘼𝙈 𝙉𝙀𝙒𝙎 🚨
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) September 3, 2022
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Rodrigo (shoulder), Stuart Dallas (thigh) | QUESTIONABLE: Luke Ayling (knee), Liam Cooper (calf), Junior Firpo (knee)
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 3, 2022