Leeds battle to 1-0 Elland Road win...
LEEDS UNITED 1 (Johnson 84), SHEFFIELD UNITED 0
United: Higgs, Hughes, Bruce, Collins, McCartney, Gradel (Kilkenny 72), Howson, Johnson, Sam (Snodgrass 60), Becchio, Somma (McCormack 77). Subs: Brown, Naylor, Faye, Watt.
Sheff United: Simonsen, Jordan, Calve, Ertl, Nosworthy, Bartley, Britton, Montgomery, Quinn (Ward 59), Cresswell, Evans (Yeates 81). Subs not used: Wright, Taylor, De Laet, Bogdanovic, Lowton.
Referee: A Taylor
Booked: McCartney, Snodgrass, Kilkenny (United)
Sent-off: Snodgrass (United) Ward (Sheff United).
Reaction on LUTV (extended highlights from 5pm Sunday) and all the stats, scores, and tables on our Matchday Console...
Simon Grayson handed new loan signing George McCartney his debut, while Lloyd Sam and Luciano Becchio were also recalled to the starting line-up for a game that attracted the biggest Football League crowd of the season.
It was quite a frenetci opening to proceedings, Sheffield United having a couple of early free-kicks blocked. Max Gradel also sent a free-kick wide, although TV pictures suggested referee Anthony Taylor could have awarded a penalty with Davide Somma being brought down right on the line.
Leeds were making the early running and a great cross from Gradel almost picked out Sam at the far post.
The opening 20 minutes were played at a fast pace, but both sides saw quick moves break down in the opposite third of the field. The ball was going from penalty box to penalty box but it was Leeds who looked to play the better stuff and were the biggest threat.
Shortly before the half-hour one passing move ended with another decent Gradel cross picking out Bradley Johnson, but Steve Simonsen reacted well to make a good save.
Gradel was again proving the biggest threat on the park, and when he released McCartney, Luciano Becchio couldn't quite make a proper connection with his head.
It was turning into a good first half performance from Leeds, who were starting to take a grip on the game, but as the game edged towards the break the visitors did mount a couple of attacks which were dealt with. Shane Higgs had his first save to make on the stroke of the break from a Stephen Quinn free-kick, and as Leeds went down the other end, McCartney sent a shot over the bar.
The half-time entertainment came courtesy of an appearance by special guest Lucas Radebe who brought the whole ground to their feet with a terrific reception.
It was the visitors who started the second half brightly, though, and put Leeds under some early pressure. Alex Bruce and Neill Collins were both called upon to make a couple of timely clearances.
Sheffield United looked to capitalise on Leeds failure to hold the ball, and on the hour Grayson made his first change with Robert Snodgrass replacing Sam.
But the Blades were still enjoying the better of proceedings. One free-kicked fizzed through a packed goalmouth and when Richard Cresswell won a corner, the striker was penalised at the set-play to give United the chance to get the ball forward.
It took almost 70 minutes for United to force an opening in the second half and on that occasion an offside flag denied Somma when through on goal.
Moments later, Grayson made his second change, Neil Kilkenny replacing Gradel for the final 18 minutes of the contest.
Tempers were also bubbling under and there was an altercation between Jonny Howson and Kyle Bartley.
With 13 minutes left on the clock, Grayson made his final change, Ross McCormack coming on for Somma.
But it was Johnson who popped up to score the all-important goal six minutes from time. Snodgrass picked up a long ball forward, advanced down the right, and his cut-back was perfect for Johnson to smash the ball home from close range.
There was still drama, though, when Snodgrass was amazingly red-carded with two minutes remaining for what looked like a harmless block on Leon Britton, who went to ground clutching his face.
Four minutes of stoppage time was added for the 10 men of United to dig deep, and in the second of those minutes, the woodwork came to the rescue when Jonny Ertle headed over Higgs. The keeper reacted quickly to smother the ball.
Amazingly, there was another red card, this time for Jamie Ward, following an apparent stamp on Kilkenny.
And that proved the final key moment as United picked up a hard-fought victory to move back up the Championship table.