Bamford marks return with late equalizer for Leeds in EPL
Patrick Bamford marked his first appearance in more than two months with an equalizer in the fifth minute of added time to earn Leeds a 2-2 draw at home to Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday.
The England striker came off the bench in the 68th minute and prodded in off his outstretched knee from close range after latching onto a flick-on from Luke Ayling following a corner.
Brentford struck twice in seven second-half minutes, through Shandon Baptiste and Sergi Canos, to turn the game on its head following Tyler Roberts’ 27th-minute opener.
For the second straight game, Leeds scored in time added on — with Raphinha having scored a penalty to seal a win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
Leeds was dealt an early blow when captain Liam Cooper hobbled off in the 13th minute holding his hamstring after an awkward fall. Manager Marcelo Bielsa switched Junior Firpo into central defense and sent on Jack Harrison to slot in at left back.
Leeds' players had lived dangerously on several occasions prior to Cooper’s withdrawal without conceding any clear-cut chances, but began to make headway themselves soon after and took the lead with their first effort on goal in the 27th.
Raphinha popped up on the left and, after his initial cross was headed straight back at him by former Leeds defender Pontus Jansson, the Brazilian sent in another ball, this time low, and Roberts slid in to turn home his first goal since the next-to-last game of last season.
It was Roberts’ first goal at Elland Road since July 2020 and appeared to boost his confidence.
He fired in a drive at the end of another sweeping Leeds attack, with Brentford goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez tipping the shot over, and then sent in a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
Kalvin Phillips lashed a shot over the crossbar as Leeds continued to push the visitors back and the same pattern resumed at the start of the second half.
Fernandez’s one-handed save kept out Ayling’s header following Raphinha’s excellent free kick but, Leeds was soon pegged back.
Rico Henry wriggled free on the left and, when Canos’ cross was deflected to Baptiste, the Brentford forward found the bottom corner with a neat finish.
Leeds had another injury setback as Phillips was forced to withdraw and Brentford then went ahead in the 61st.
Bryan Mbeumo’s deft pass inside the box wrong-footed the home defense and Canos pounced to unleash an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
Leeds had been in complete control and all of a sudden was floundering. Bamford, back from injury, made his first appearance since mid-September off the bench and the hosts began to reassert themselves.
Stuart Dallas’ curling effort was saved by Fernandez, who then held Roberts’ long-range shot, but Bamford rescued Leeds with seconds left.
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This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .