MK DONS 0, LEEDS UNITED 1 (Snodgrass 90)
MK Dons: Gueret, Lewington, Doumbe, McCracken, Gleeson, Wilbraham (Ibehre 78), Johnson, Gobern (Leven 45), Puncheon, Powell, Chadwick (Howell 80). Subs: Searle, Partridge, Davis, Swailes.
United: Higgs (Ankergren 62), Crowe (Michalik 9), Bromby, Kisnorbo, Hughes (Robinson 55), Snodgrass, Doyle, Howson, Johnson, Beckford, Grella. Subs: Naylor, Prutton, Kilkenny.
Referee: A D'Urso
Booked: Lewington, Gleeson, Johnson, Doumbe, Powell (MK), Snodgrass (Leeds) Sent-Off: Puncheon (MK)
Att: 16,713 (4119 Leeds)
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Leeds United boss Simon Grayson made two changes from the side which performed heroically against Liverpool in midweek as attentions returned to league action.
Striker Luciano Becchio is about to become a father and was replaced by Mike Grella while Leigh Bromby returned in place of Lubo Michalik.
MK Dons was the setting for the nadir of United's season in 2008/09, but Grayson's men headed for the stadium known locally as the "Moo Camp" on the back of an unbeaten start in the league.
It was the hosts who threatened first when Aaron Wilbraham forced Shane Higgs into make an early save, but Leeds also had a couple of early efforts blocked, including a Bradley Johnson free-kick.
Worryingly, Jason Crowe pulled up inside the first seven minutes with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, but the defender still managed to make a good block to deny Jemal Johnson before being replaced by Michalik.
Bromby moved to right-back and after he got in a good challenge to halt Luke Chadwick, Wilbraham again tested Higgs with a low strike.
As they did last season, MK played with two wingers and looked to move the ball out wide quickly, and there were early suggestions that it could be a physical contest.
Both Jermaine Beckford and Robert Snodgrass went down in the box, and on 27 minutes, following a free-kick awarded to Leeds after an altercation between Dean Lewington and Snodgrass, Bradley Johnson was caught by a flailing arm.
United started to enjoy the better of possession as the half wore on, but chances were few and far between, Johnson sending one speculative shot wide after a free-kick was half-cleared.
But it was United who were defending shortly before half-time, Michalik making a good clearance to thwart Chadwick after good work by one-time Leeds loan man Johnson.
At the other end, Grella skinned David McCracken and pulled back for Snodgrass to try his luck with a shot which fizzed just wide. Paddy Kisnorbo also headed a Snodgrass free-kick over the top after Johnson was felled outside of the box.
The final word of the opening period appeared to go to Higgs, though, who got down well again to save from Jemal Johnson.
But there was still time for Jason Puncheon to see a straight red card following an horrendous challenge on Michael Doyle. Thankfully, Doyle escaped unscathed, but the immediate aftermath saw players from both sides clash as Puncheon left the field.
United also had a near miss in stoppage time when Michalik headed on to Beckford, who shot over the top from a tight angle.
And it was Leeds who started the second half on the front foot. First, Grella was denied by some good defending, then Beckford sent a shot just over the bar. On 51 minutes, Bromby headed into the side-netting, following a Snodgrass free-kick.
MK's first chance of the half came when Peter Leven got on the end of a breakaway and lifted a shot over Higgs and over the bar.
Grayson made his second change just 10 minutes into the second half when he introduced Andy Robinson, no doubt in the hope of getting in behind the MK defence.
The United bench were soon angered - along with Robinson and Grella - after a break appeared to be halted by the hand of an MK player, but referee Andy D'Urso waved play-on.
When Leeds were awarded a free-kick, Michalik had a shot on the turn blocked and when the ball was returned forward, Grella lifted a shot over the top from the tightest of angles after rounding MK goalkeeper Willy Gueret.
Shortly after the hour, Grayson made his third change of the afternoon when Casper Ankergren replaced Higgs in the United goal.
Ankergren's first real taste of the action was to watch a free-kick fizz over the bar, but on 70 minutes United had the ball in the net.
Jonny Howson played in Beckford with a delightful ball, but the assistant referee flagged for offside as the striker tucked the ball home.
As the minutes ticked on, both sides were enjoying spells with the ball but meaningful chances were few and far between and the game appeared to be heading for a 0-0 draw.
MK did fashion out an opening on 83 minutes when Mathias Doumbe escaped down the right, but Jabo Ibehre fired his near post cross into the side-netting.
A point of concern was a knock picked up by Beckford, reducing his mobility for the closing stages, and with MK having two players booked for delaying tactics at a free-kick, the home side appeared to be signalling their intentions.
MK's finale was summed up with two minutes left on the clock when Ibehre had the ball on the right with no one other than Johnson advancing forward to threaten.
In contrast, Grayson threw Michalik forward for Leeds at every opportunity and United looked to make the most of the four additional minutes at the end of the 90.
And so it was that in the third minute of stoppage time, Johnson whipped in a free-kick from the left and Snodgrass rose well to deliver a bullet header to secure the points.
The goal proved the cue for delirious celebrations with the Leeds players heading en mass to the dug-out for a celebratory huddle.