A QUALITY 55th-minute strike from Aaron Mooy secured three precious derby points for second-tier leaders Huddersfield Town, who claimed their second win at
Elland Road in 2016 to remain ahead of the pack in the Championship table.
Mooy’s cracking twenty-yard strike lit up an otherwise drab derby, but what could not be doubted was that a well-drilled Huddersfield side deservedly took the spoils to pile the pressure upon the shoulders of Whites head coach Garry Monk.
Leeds produced a poor display throughout the piece, with their second-half efforts in particular, which showed a distinct lack of self-belief, urgency and conviction, provoking plenty of frustration from home supporters in the 28,514 crowd.
They created next to nothing and could have few complaints with the game’s outcome.
For their part, Town produced a thoroughly professional performance, with it fitting that the game’s best player in Mooy had the final say.
An underwhelming and tentative first-half devoid of opportunities hardly represented classic derby fare in a cagey opening half played out almost entirely free of incident.
In terms of possession, leaders Town held sway, but posted few problems for United in the final third.
Leeds manufactured the best chance of the half on 38 minutes when Chris Wood’s glancing header flashed wide following Kalvin Phillips’ inswinging corner.
Town also had a scare just before the interval after Marcus Antonsson went down under pressure following an untidy challenge from Chris Schindler, but referee Roger East was unmoved.
The first effort came from Leeds, who made three changes with Alex Mowatt, Phillips and Pontus Jansson handed starts, arrived on 28 minutes when Mowatt wastefully blazed into the South Stand.
At the other end, Town had the first genuine goal threat with the ball working its way to Aaron Mooy, who dragged a low shot not too far wide.
Kyle Bartley then had to make a timely interception to block Jack Payne’s shot after good work on the right by Harry Bunn, one of two changes for Town.
Wood then headed wide when well placed as Leeds endeavoured to up the ante in the build-up to the break.
Mooy received the first caution just before the break following a heavy-looking challenge on home captain Liam Bridcutt.
The restart followed the same pattern as the first half, but crucially it was Town who conjured the one moment of quality when it matters.
The ball found its way to Mooy twenty yards out after Town pressed and the Aussie was afforded time and space before dispatching a rasping strike which beat Robert Green.
Town proceeded to see out the game in relative comfort, with the response from Leeds being abject.
Indeed, it was the visitors who had the best chances as they sought to add to their tally.
Substitute Kasey Palmer fired over, with United’s only chance being a pretty routine one when Danny Ward gathered Chris Wood’s header easily from Mowatt’s cross.
Green had to be alert to tip over an audacious dipping 40-yard effort from Palmer late on, with Town handed next to no alarms during what amounted to ten minutes of added-on time, with the hosts afforded boos from home fans at the final whistle.
Leeds United: Green; Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor; Bridcutt, Phillips; Sacko (Roofe 76), Antonsson (Doukara 67), Mowatt; Wood. Substitutes unused: Silvestri, Coyle, Cooper, Vieira, Hernandez.
Huddersfield Town: Ward; Smith, Hudson, Schindler, Lowe; Hogg, Mooy; Bunn (Hefele 90), Payne (Palmer 80), Van La Parra; Kachunga (Wells 78). Substitutes unused: Coleman, Whitehead, Cranie, Stankovic.
Referee: R East (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 28,514 (2,721 Huddersfield Town supporters).
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