Mo Barrow succumbed Leeds to their third straight defeat as his 84th minute strike earned Reading the three points in front of 33,900 at Elland Road.
Barrow’s goal came moments after Pablo Hernandez had appeared to be dragged down on the half way line. Despite not getting the decision, the Spaniard found himself with the chance to rescue Leeds a point ten minutes later, deep into injury time, from the penalty spot.
Samuel Saiz won a penalty after another contentious decision from referee Jermey Simpson, who didn’t have the best of afternoons. But Vito Mannone in the Reading goal was equal to Hernandez’s weak effort.
The first half more or less set the tone for what kind of game we could expect from the two teams, who both looked short on confidence and struggled to get their key men into the game.
Whilst a sold out Elland Road was growing increasingly frustrated with United’s fruitless attempts at trying to play out from the back, referee Simpson awarded Reading a freekick after Lasogga was called offside, only for him to allow the away side to take it in Leeds’ half. One of those days you felt it was going to be.
Andy Lonergan, who replaced Felix Wiedwald in goal, looked assured when called upon and he made a really good save down low to his right to deny Sone Aluko and keep the scores level.
The Whites meanwhile, were struggling to really create much. Pierre-Michel Lasogga coming closest with a tame header.
Leeds started the second half much brighter and were building attacks with a bit more fluidity.
Barrow was introduced for Beerens just after the hour mark and he looked like a man with a point to prove. His first effort flashed past the post and then saw Lonergan again equal to his next.
The home side made a couple of changes of their own and the introduction of Hadi Sacko put United back on the front foot with his pace and direct running. It was the Frenchman then who closed down a clearance which fell into the path of Saiz, he rolled the ball across goal to the freshly-introduced Jay-Roy Grot, who looked for all the world he was about to break the deadlock with his first touch, but for a brilliant challenge from Leandro Bacuna.
The resulting corner saw Hernandez dance into the box before pulling back to Jansson who came closer to hitting the back of the Kop than the net.
But it was The Royals who would secure that all important first goal which always looked likely to be enough to win it. The former Leeds loanee finished off a nice through ball from Dave Edwards late on to put a bit of pressure on Thomas Christiansen after four defeats in his last five league outings, leaving United in 6th place, four points off top.
Reporter | Alex Mulvey