Leicester 2-2 Brentford: Josh Dasilva’s late strike seals a remarkable comeback for the Bees at the King Power as the Foxes’ season gets off to a miserable start after a frustrating summer
- Leicester have endured tough summer and will be disappointed to draw
- Goals from Timothy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall put them two ahead
- Ivan Toney halved the deficit in the second half and the Bees pushed for leveller
- Josh Dasilva’s late effort saved the day for Brentford as they secured a point
Sadly for Chelsea and Newcastle, Leicester do not sell their best players as cheaply as they throw away leads.
Wesley Fofana, a target for Chelsea, and James Maddison, the subject of two bids from Newcastle, are valued jointly at about £150million, and they helped Leicester to a two-goal cushion after an hour, thanks to strikes from Timothy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
But Leicester lost their cool in 25-degree heat as Ivan Toney and substitute Josh Dasilva – who scored his first goal since a year-long absence with a career-threatening hip injury – earned a point for their team. It was typical Leicester: decent in attack, fragile at the back.
Josh Dasilva equalised late on for Brentford as Leicester succumbed to the Bees’ pressure
Dasilva’s effort meant Leicester surrendered another lead – something they will have to extinguish from their game
Whether or not James Maddison (pictured) or Wesley Fofana are still here in two weeks remains to be seen
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Leicester (3-1-4-1-1): Ward 7; Fofana 6.5, Evans 7, Amartey 5; Ndidi 6; Castagne 6.5, Tielemans 6.5, Dewsbury-Hall 7 (Daka 73, 6), Justin 6; Maddison 6.5; Vardy 6. Subs not used: Iversen, Soyuncu, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Mendy, Praet, Thomas.
Scorers: Castagne 33, Dewsbury-Hall 46
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 5.5
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya 6.5; Hickey 6.5 (Sorensen 83), Jansson 6.5, Mee 5 (Lewis-Potter 59, 6), Henry 6.5; Janelt 7, Norgaard 7 (Baptiste 73, 6), Jensen 5.5 (Dasilva 59, 6); Mbeumo 7, Toney 6.5, Wissa 6.5 (Dervisoglu 84). Subs not used: Strakosha, Onyeka, Roerslev, Stevens.
Scorers: Toney 62, Dasilva 86
Manager: Thomas Frank 6.5
Referee: Jarred Gillett 6
Whether Maddison and Fofana will still be here for Leicester’s next home game, against Southampton in a fortnight, remains to be seen. The French centre-back wants to leave and a bid in excess of £80million would give Leicester a serious decision to make. Maddison is valued at £60m and Newcastle have yet to go close to that figure.
Yet whether the pair stay or go, early evidence suggests this season will be similar to last for the Foxes, the only club in Europe’s five major leagues still to sign a senior player this summer. Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen may have departed but Brentford have lost none of their resourcefulness. A superb late-season run kept the Bees up comfortably and summer captures Aaron Hickey and Keane Lewis-Potter made promising debuts.
The lack of new players remains an open sore for Rodgers, who revealed the shortage of funds had stopped him signing Ademola Lookman for £14m after a successful loan spell last season. The winger has now joined Atalanta and Rodgers said: ‘I would have loved to sign him but we weren’t able to do that. We wanted to bring in players but we haven’t. Is that about to change? At this moment in time I would say no.’
Boss Thomas Frank made superb use of his substitutes, introducing all five, whereas Rodgers brought on only Patson Daka – an indication of how much he trusts those in reserve. Rodgers would point to bad luck after Youri Tielemans and Fofana hit the post yet the move to bring on Daka for Dewsbury-Hall unbalanced the home side and gave Brentford the encouragement they needed to push for the equaliser.
The worry for Leicester, without injured pair Ricardo Pereira and Harvey Barnes, is that three of their next four are against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Brentford and Southampton at home should be bankers. Instead, despite playing well for an hour, Leicester left the field to a smattering of boos.
Leicester can ill afford for the story of their season to once again become one of surrendering leads
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall doubled Leicester’s lead after the break and they looked to be cruising
Ivan Toney’s goal just after the hour halved the deficit and appeared to panic the King Power
With doubt surrounding their futures, Fofana and Maddison were included in the starting XI along with Danny Ward, now Leicester’s first-choice goalkeeper after Kasper Schmeichel ended his glittering 11-year spell with the club by joining Nice. ‘Fofana and Maddison were outstanding,’ added Rodgers.
Ward was quickly called upon to keep his team level. Tielemans’ poor pass was gathered by Vitaly Janelt and when Bryan Mbeumo volleyed the midfielder’s chip goalwards, Ward saved well at his near post.
Then Tielemans – another who may no longer be here in September – had a 25-yard effort parried by David Raya before his clever angled ball was headed just wide by Maddison.
Ben Mee made his competitive debut for the Bees at the King Power against Leicester
In between those moments, Ward again rescued Leicester by racing out to block Ivan Toney after Pontus Jansson’s hopeful pass had caught Fofana on his heels.
Leicester seized the lead on the half-hour mark. Maddison’s corner was delivered to the near post and Castagne’s run was not tracked, allowing him to plant a header beyond Raya.
Tielemans came within a whisker of doubling the home side’s lead when his 20-yard effort flew past Raya and struck the post, leaving Jansson and Christian Norgaard at full stretch to stop Dewsbury-Hall and Maddison. It was thirsty work on a hot day and before taking the resulting corner, Maddison was thrown a bottle of water by a Leicester fan.
Rodgers has demanded more goals and assists from Dewsbury-Hall and the homegrown midfielder gave his manager the perfect answer barely 25 seconds after the restart.
Dasilva’s effort appeared to be inevitable with Leicester’s back four dropping deeper and deeper
Bees debutant Ben Mee’s poor touch let in Jamie Vardy, who rolled the ball to his left for Dewsbury-Hall to thump in off the post from 25 yards.
Rodgers’ men were in control until Maddison’s attempted reverse pass was read by Norgaard. The Dane fed Rico Henry and when the cross arrived, Toney outmuscled Daniel Amartey and finished firmly.
Moments later, Brentford were rescued by the post once again, this time when Fofana met Maddison’s free-kick. Toney should have equalised when Leicester made a mess of trying to play from the defence, Mbeumo crossed brilliantly and the centre-forward steered his header wide.
Brentford were dominant at this stage and it was no surprise when they equalised. Castagne’s block looped to Dasilva and when the substitute collected the ball, no Leicester player moved towards him, allowing him the space to curl a glorious effort beyond Ward with four minutes left. ‘I got quite emotional,’ said Frank. ‘I have watched him fight so hard to come back. It was a great moment for him.’