Leeds United 0 Nottingham Forest 0: Stalemate sees Leeds lose ground on promotion rivals

LEEDS UNITED found themselves frustrated for the second time in three days when they were held to a goalless draw at home by managerless Nottingham Forest.

Leeds United's Liam Cooper gets clear of Nottingham Forest's Kieran Dowell.

Warburton’s nine-month spell in charge of the club was ended on New Year’s Eve, with the club languishing in mid-table, and academy boss Gary Brazil was placed in caretaker charge for the trip to Elland Road.

Neither side was able to make a breakthrough although Leeds came close through Pontus Jansson in the first half and then Kemar Roofe after the interval, and they remain in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.

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It was the hosts who made the brighter start in the pouring rain in West Yorkshire, with Pablo Hernandez’s early strike producing a smart save from Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith, who held well.

Forest defender Kieran Dowell then cleared Jansson’s goal-bound header off the line, with Roofe scooping the rebound over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.

Forest threatened midway through the opening period when Dowell marauded deep into the Leeds half before unleashing a 20-yard shot which drifted wide of the post.

Back came Leeds, and they came close when an outstretched Jansson only just failed to get a telling touch to a whipped-in free-kick from Hernandez.

Roofe fired in a shot which Smith parried away impressively, but the score remained goalless at the interval.

Former Leeds United captain Liam Bridcutt clears as Samuel Saiz closes down.

Leeds began the second period purposefully, with Kalvin Phillips finding space just outside the Forest box, only to then drag a shot well wide.

The hosts kept the pressure on and Phillips tried his luck again from distance, this time his effort whistling narrowly past the angle of the post and crossbar.

Forest were opened up in the 55th minute as Spanish midfielder Samuel Saiz charged at the heart of the visitors’ defence before releasing Roofe, who could only side-foot a shot against the crossbar.

Roofe was guilty of another disappointing miss three minutes later. This time the former Oxford striker blazed over wildly after taking a shot from the edge of the box.

Former Leeds United captain Liam Bridcutt clears as Samuel Saiz closes down.

Substitute Pierre-Michel Lasogga was making a useful impact for Leeds after coming on and he was denied by a well-timed tackle from ex-Leeds man Eric Lichaj.

At the other end Forest came close to an opening goal in the 67th minute, with Ben Osborn firing in from distance, only to be denied by a terrific diving save from Felix Wiedwald.

The German keeper was then called upon to make a super save to keep out Dowell’s drive.

Leeds pushed on late in the game and Hernandez ought to have done better when he failed to beat Smith from eight yards.

Lasogga missed a couple of decent chances late on for Leeds as Forest hung on to earn a point.

Leeds United: Wiedwald, Ayling (Anita 26), Jansson, Cooper, Berardi, Phillips, O’Kane, Alioski (Lasogga 46), Saiz, Hernandez, Roofe (Sacko 80). Unused substitutes: Lonergan, Shaughnessy, Klich, Cibicki.

Nottingham Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne, Traore, Bridcutt, Osborn, Cash, Dowell, McKay (Carayol 75), Brereton (Walker 60). Unused substitutes: Fox, Clough, Vaughan, Henderson, Bouchalakis.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).