Brentford punished by two Leicester wonder strikes as complacent Bees lose 2-1
King Power Stadium, Leicester
Leicester City 1-2 Brentford
Brentford’s unprecedented two-game victorious run in the Premier League came to a halt after losing 2-1 to Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon..
Two unanswered first-half stunners by Timothy Castagne and James Maddison enabled the Foxes to do the double over Bees this campaign after the impressive 2-1 win in the reverse fixture at Brentford Community Stadium in October.
But after a dreadful first half they pulled one back on 86 minutes.
Yoane Wissa, fed by Bryan Mbeumo, skipped past two Leicester players before finding the bottom corner from 20 yards out to give the visitors a lifeline but it was too little too late as the Foxes hung onto the three points.
Brentford remain 15th in the table and eight points clear of third-from-bottom Watford, but having played a game more and with fixtures against Europe-chasing sides Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham and Man United still to come.
A positive second half may have placated some angry fans after a terrible showing but it still wasn’t enough to get something from the game.
Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel repelled both Pontus Jansson and Mbeumo’s headers from set-pieces at a critical time in the game, around the hour-mark, before thwarting the Frenchman again on 88 minutes to safeguard the three points.
The Bees looked complacent after two crucial wins against Norwich and Burnley and really struggled to gain a foothold in the game in the first period.
After only four minutes Maddison sent an effort wide from a good position outside the box after a neat inter-play before Castagne scored a cracker to put Leicester in the driving seat on 20 minutes, firing his effort into the top corner after Harvey Barnes superbly pulled the ball back.
The Foxes were in confident mood after progressing to the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League on Thursday and really sensed that they could open Brentford’s defence up at will.
But only three minutes later, Schmeichel had to make a fine save to keep out Mathias Jensen after an on-a-plate assist by Yoane Wissa.
Not long after Bees stopper David Raya has had to pick the ball out of his own net another time when Maddison curled an Andrea Pirlo-esque free-kick over the wall and into the top corner after 33 minutes to make it 2-0.
While being overrun in midfield, the Bees also struggled to threaten Leicester’s steely defence as Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey proved hard to break down.
In the 39th minute Christian Norgaard gave possession away in a dangerous position but Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall didn’t make the most of it, shooting wide.
Raya then kept Brentford in the game on the stroke of half-time when he denied James Justin a near-post cutback for one of his teammates in the six-yard box.
Brentford had a first 45 minutes to forget as they struggled to cope with Leicester’s relentless pressing and excellent movement off the ball all while unable to play their usual game.
And things didn’t look much better after half-time. Leicester kept forcing the issue and Maddison had a glaring opportunity to add to his and Leicester’s tally five minutes on but Raya did well to save it.
Another chance went begging for the East Midlands outfit when the powerful and bustling Kelechi Iheanacho swivelled and held off an Ethan Pinnock challenge near the halfway line before breaking forward at pace. But instead of slotting the ball past Raya, he attempted a chip which didn’t come off and went wide.
After escaping a third goal on three occasions either side of half-time the Bees then had chances of their own to reopen the game.
Pontuss Jansson first had an effort deflected out for a corner on 54 minutes in a rare moment of respite. And only one minute later the lanky Swedish centre-back was denied by Schmeichel’s fingertip save at the far post.
The 2016 Premier League champion in Leicester's goal then crucially saved from Mbeumo’s point-blank header on the hour-mark.
Brentford sensed that Leicester’s defence could be had and started to attack in numbers in search for a potential goal to set up a grandstand finale. And they reduced the deficit through on 85 minutes thanks to an angled effort by Wissa outside the box.
With the score tied at 2-1, Mbeumo didn’t make the most of an inch-perfect cross by heading over as Brentford will rue a number of missed opportunities in the second half.
Schmeichel may have saved the day for Leicester but Brentford only got themselves to blame for their poor opening 45 minutes and wastefulness in front of goal.
1 Kasper Schmeichel- 2 James Justin- 4 Caglar Soyuncu- 7 Harvey Barnes- 8 Youri Tielemans- 10 James Maddioson- 14 Kelechi Iheanacho- 18 Daniel Amartey- 22 Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall- 24 Nampalys Mendy- 27 Timothy Castagne
6 Jonny Evans- 17 Ayoze Perez- 20 Hamza Choudhury- 21 Ricardo Pereira- 23 Jannik Vestergaard- 29 Patson Daka- 33 Luke Thomas- 35 Eldin Jakupovic- 42 Boubakary Soumare
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
1 David Raya- 3 Rico Henry- 5 Ethan Pinnock- 6 C?mhristian Norgaard- 8 Mathias Jensen- 11 Yoane Wissa- 17 Ivan Toney- 18 Pontus Jansson- 19 Bryan Mbeumo- 20 Kristoffer Ajer- 27 Vitaly Janelt
7 Sergi Canos- 15 Frank Onyeka- 22 Zanka- 24 Tariqe Fosu-Henry- 26 Shandon Baptiste- 29 Mads Bench Sorensen- 30 Mads Roerslev- 40 Alvaro Fernandez- 43 Nathan Young-Coombes
Manager: Thomas Frank