FROM GTECH COMMUNITY STADIUM – Brentford missed the chance to move into the Premier League’s top six after being held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Leicester.
The Foxes remain only a point outside the relegation zone but fought hard to take their share of the spoils back to the East Midlands.
The hosts were on top during the opening stages, peppering the visitors’ box with several teasing crosses, often thwarted by the towering figures of Daniel Amartey and Harry Souttar.
Leicester had the first real half-sight of goal, though. Harvey Barnes managed to ride a strong challenge from Aaron Hickey and curled a strike towards the far corner, with the ball just whistling past the post.
A cross from Ricardo Pereira was then headed into the side-netting by Patson Daka as the Foxes took more control of the first half.
Brentford sought to play slower in an attempt to wrestle back possession, eventually seeing Rico Henry switch play for Bryan Mbeumo, with the Cameroonian firing wide in similar vein to Barnes.
And the Bees broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark. A cleverly-worked corner saw Mbeumo’s ball back across goal only half-cleared, and Mathias Jensen’s deflected strike trickled past Daniel Iversen at the near post.
James Maddison and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall both saw frustrated strikes from range sail off target at the end of a testing first half for Leicester.
But the Foxes were level soon after the restart. Maddison managed to split the Brentford defence with a wonderfully weighted ball to Barnes, who dinked over the onrushing David Raya to equalise.
Towards the end of a quiet second half, substitute Shandon Baptiste was sent off for two bookable offences, with the Bees seeing out the rest of the game with ten men.
GK: David Raya – 5/10 – Little to do in terms of saves but distributed the ball well and even managed to dribble past Barnes when coming to clear a ball over the top.
RB: Aaron Hickey – 5/10 – Put to work by the busy Barnes.
CB: Ethan Pinnock – 6/10 – Only real blemish on his game was how slow he and Mee looked trying to catch up to Barnes for the equaliser.
CB: Ben Mee – 6/10 – Ditto. Otherwise the duo were solid, only caught out by their high line.
LB: Rico Henry – 8/10 – The best Brentford player who didn’t get on the scoresheet, stretching play and taking control of his flank.
DM: Christian Norgaard – 6/10 – Made several key interceptions and one cynical foul which yielded a booking.
CM: Mikkel Damsgaard – 6/10 – Drove through midfield with his trickery and guile, though is still learning the ropes of his new role.
CM: Mathias Jensen – 8/10 – Brentford’s creator-in-chief. Now scored in four of his last five home games.
RW: Bryan Mbeumo – 7/10 – Continually got in behind Castagne and was often left alone. Major criticism is he didn’t exploit this enough with his delivery.
CF: Ivan Toney – 5/10 – Eaten up by Amartey, Souttar and Ndidi for the most part.
LW: Yoane Wissa – 5/10 – Failed to get the ball out of his feet and utilise his pace enough.
Josh Dasilva (61′ for Damsgaard) – 5/10
Kevin Schade (61′ for Wissa) – 5/10
Shandon Baptiste (74′ for Jensen) – 2/10
Pontus Jansson (90′ for Mbeumo) – N/A
Thomas Frank – 5/10 – Brentford looked more inclined to take the point rather than go for three.
GK: Daniel Iversen – 4/10 – Deflection or not, the ball was travelling so slowly for Jensen’s opener.
RB: Ricardo Pereira – 5/10 – Looked very rusty in his duels with Henry.
CB: Daniel Amartey – 6/10 – Helped keep Toney quiet but was also a little clumsy.
CB: Harry Souttar – 8/10 – Impressive with his defending in the air and on the floor.
LB: Timothy Castagne – 5/10 – Didn’t offer a lot at either end.
CM: Wilfred Ndidi – 6/10 – Played his part in marking Toney but didn’t contribute a lot when in possession.
CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – 7/10 – Cut a frustrated figure in the first half but brought great energy after the break.
RM: Tete – 5/10 – Had a stinging shot blocked shortly before being substituted but that was all he really offered.
AM: James Maddison – 6/10 – Nullified for the most part, though did crucially grab an assist.
LM: Harvey Barnes – 8/10 – Leicester’s most threatening player by far, grabbing a deserved ninth goal of the season.
CF: Patson Daka – 5/10 – Looked promising early on but was largely thwarted by Mee and Pinnock.
Dennis Praet (65′ for Tete) – 5/10
Jamie Vardy (65′ for Daka) – 5/10
Boubakary Soumare (74′ for Ndidi) – 5/10
Kelechi Iheanacho (90′ for Maddison) – N/A
Brendan Rodgers – 5/10 – Leicester were left with a little too much to do after a poor first half.