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Watch: Leeds Promotion Hopes Hanging By A Thread After Brentford Loss

Watch: Leeds Promotion Hopes Hanging By A Thread After Brentford Loss
By Gary Connaughton

Despite the optimism that has surrounded Leeds United for the vast majority of the season, it is looking increasingly likely that they will miss out on automatic promotion.

Friday's shock loss to Wigan meant a win in today's clash with Brentford was a must, considering Sheffield United's easier run-in. The Blades would make short work of Hull earlier today, with goals from Irish internationals David McGoldrick (two) and Enda Stevens giving them a 3-0 victory.

That piled further pressure on Leeds, and you could see it on the pitch. They didn't perform anywhere near their best, but were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty in the first half when Patrick Bamford was brought down in the box.

That was about as good as it got for them however, with Brentford striker Neal Maupay giving his side the lead just before half time, his 24th goal of the season.

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Some highly questionable defensive positioning there. Leeds dominated the possession stats throughout the game, but they never really troubled the Brentford defence.

Things would soon get worse. Sergi Canos would double the lead, with this one again featuring some very poor defending from the visitors.

Brentford would see out the result comfortably, and in truth probably should have added another couple of goals to their tally. That result leaves their automatic promotion hopes hanging by a thread.

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Considering their vastly superior goal difference, three points for Sheffield United over their final two games against Ipswich and Stoke. Leeds meanwhile will host Aston Villa before a trip to Ipswich on the final day.

Taking into account their start to the season, finishing outside the top two will be a massive disappointment for Marcelo Bielsa and his team. The playoffs now look like their only route to the Premier League, and that is a path that is far from certain.

The team with the best momentum heading into the playoffs often comes out on top, and that team certainly isn't Leeds. West Brom have secured their spot, while Aston Villa look all but certain to join them. The final place will come down to Derby, Middlesbrough and Bristol City, with Derby holding a slight advantage at the moment.

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Best of luck Leeds fans.

SEE ALSO: Watch: David McGoldrick Scores 25-Yard Screamer For Sheffield United

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