Eddie Nketiah scored on his Championship debut to earn Leeds United a late but deserved win at home to Brentford.
The 20-year-old, on loan from Arsenal, tapped in from Helder Costa’s square ball within four minutes of coming on as a substitute.
The hosts had the better of the game and victory gave them 10 points from a possible 12, seeing them top the early Championship table on goal difference.
For Brentford, the defeat was their second from their opening four league games and their first away from home, leaving them six points behind the strongest starters.
After a relatively quiet first half, Leeds applied significant pressure in the second and finally found a way past the visitors’ defence thanks to two of their substitutes.
Wolves loanee Costa – who was introduced with 25 minutes remaining – made a good run down the right and played the ball across perfectly for Nketiah to slot home in the middle.
The England Under-21 international, who joined Leeds on a season-long loan deal from the Gunners on transfer deadline day, also scored at Salford City in the Carabao Cup on his Leeds debut on 13 August.
His goal saw pace-setting Leeds add to their early-season away league wins over Bristol City and Wigan, as they claimed their first home victory of 2019-20 after drawing with Nottingham Forest.
The Bees’ best chance to level arguably fell to Said Benrahma in second-half stoppage time, but he blazed well over the bar after the ball had fallen nicely for him just outside the area.
Forward Bryan Mbeumo had hit the post for the visitors in the first half with a left-footed effort from 25 yards out.
Sweden centre-back Pontus Jansson – who scored for Leeds in this fixture at Elland Road last term – captained Brentford against his former club following his July move to Griffin Park for an undisclosed fee.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds:
“We deserved to win the game because we dominated the game. We didn’t create a lot of chances but we created enough chances to make a difference.
“It was a physical, demanding game and we took control in the best moment of the game.
“Helder Costa is a balanced player who can play on both sides, and Eddie Nketiah can make an impact in the middle. We defended well and our opponents did not have enough clear chances.”
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank told BBC Radio London:
“The first half was a top away performance where we pressed high, caused them problems and created opportunities. We did everything more or less right.
“Second half, they put more pressure on us and we were not good enough to keep the ball. We had big desire defending, good organisation and a high line.
“We got through the most stormy parts of the second half and you thought our opportunities would start to come. And then they scored a goal.
“I can’t imagine, going forward, a more difficult away ground to go to than this one.”
- 15DallasBooked at 63minsSubstituted forBerardiat 78′minutes
- 10AlioskiBooked at 35mins
- 19HernándezSubstituted forNketiahat 77′minutes
- 22HarrisonSubstituted forHélder Costaat 65′minutes
- 17Hélder Costa
- 5PinnockSubstituted forMarcondesat 89′minutes
- 6NørgaardBooked at 39mins
- 19MbeumoSubstituted forDasilvaat 67′minutes
- 7CanósSubstituted forBenrahmaat 79′minutes
- Andy Davies
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Leeds United 1, Brentford 0.
Second Half ends, Leeds United 1, Brentford 0.
Attempt missed. Saïd Benrahma (Brentford) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Pontus Jansson.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Pontus Jansson.
Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford).
Substitution, Brentford. Emiliano Marcondes replaces Ethan Pinnock.
Foul by Liam Cooper (Leeds United).
Ollie Watkins (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Patrick Bamford (Leeds United).
Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Leeds United 1, Brentford 0. Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hélder Costa.
Attempt saved. Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Brentford. Saïd Benrahma replaces Sergi Canós.
Substitution, Leeds United. Gaetano Berardi replaces Stuart Dallas because of an injury.
Delay in match because of an injury Stuart Dallas (Leeds United).
Substitution, Leeds United. Eddie Nketiah replaces Pablo Hernández.
Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).
Mathias Jensen (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mateusz Klich with a cross.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ollie Watkins (Brentford).
Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Liam Cooper.
Substitution, Brentford. Josh Dasilva replaces Bryan Mbeumo.
Substitution, Leeds United. Hélder Costa replaces Jack Harrison.
Attempt missed. Ollie Watkins (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Bryan Mbeumo following a fast break.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Julian Jeanvier.
Attempt blocked. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Harrison.
Adam Forshaw (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Rico Henry (Brentford).
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Ethan Pinnock.
Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Mathias Jensen (Brentford).
Attempt missed. Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Ollie Watkins.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Julian Jeanvier.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Bryan Mbeumo.
Attempt saved. Adam Forshaw (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pablo Hernández.