Luciano levels against Middlesbrough...
UNITED 1 (Becchio 90+1), MIDDLESBROUGH 1 (Wheater 20)
United: Schmeichel, Connolly, O'Brien, Collins, Hughes (KIlkenny 56), Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass (Watt 77), McCormack, Gradel (Sam 56), Becchio. Subs: Higgs, Bruce, Paynter, Somma.
Boro: Steele, Hoyte, Bates, Wheater, Bennett, Thomson (Robson 25), Arca, Bailey, McDonald (McMahon 79), Lita (Boyd 72), Emnes. Subs: Coyne, Hines, Kink, McMahon, Tavares.
Referee: C Webster
Booked: Hughes, Howson (Leeds), Arca, Robson (Boro)
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United boss Simon Grayson ushered in the New Year with the news that Andy O'Brien had agreed to join the club on a permanent deal, and the central defender was named in a starting line-up that included two changes. Andrew Hughes came in for the departed George McCartney while Luciano Becchio returned in place of Billy Paynter.
The first opening came inside the opening eight minutes when Robert Snodgrass volleyed over the bar after some great play by United.
It was a decent start again by Leeds who were looking to move the ball and get Boro on the back foot.
But it was the visitors who snatched the lead, David Wheater claiming the goal. Julio Arca whipped in a corner and Wheater got enough to turn the ball into the far corner.
United looked to respond and Max Gradel sent an angled shot rasping over the bar shortly before the half-hour.
But it was Boro who went close again when Arca drilled a shot just wide after some good build-up play. O'Brien was also called upon to head clear a teasing cross from Arca as the visitors, looking far improved from the previous meeting between the clubs in October, played some good football.
As the game headed towards half-time, the visitors were looking a real threat, Arca again going close when he bent a free-kick over the bar.
Boro keeper Jason Steele was called into action for the first time in the 41st minute when he gathered a deflected effort from Jonny Howson.
United also had an opportunity right on the stroke of half-time with a free-kick just outside the box. The training ground routine ended wth Bradley Johnson having a shot from a central position, but his effort was wide.
United started the second period with more purpose, but Paul Connolly and Neill Collins both had to be altert as Boro responded on the break.
Just 11 minutes into the half, Grayson introduced Lloyd Sam for Max Gradel, and Neil Kilkenny for Andrew Hughes, Johnson reverting to left-back.
But it was Ross McCormack who came within a whisker of levelling when he curled a free-kick just wide of the upright.
Sam also made an immediate impact, cutting in from the left before delivering a low strike which grazed the wrong side of the post.
United were looking sharper now, and one attack was ended when Barry Robson committed a crude tackle on Snodgrass, bringing the winger down on the flank. Kilkenny swung the free-kick into the box, but Collins couldn't guide his header towards goal.
Grayson's men were now looking the better side, but there was still a scare when young Joe Bennett waltzed his way through the Leeds box before delivering a poor finish which went over the top.
Sam was finding space down the flank for Leeds and his next involvement ended with Howson sending a shot over the bar from just outside the area.
There were a few cynical challenges starting to fly in as well as temperatures started to rise going into the final 20 minutes.
It was turning into a frustrating afternoon for Leeds, and Grayson made his final change 14 minutes from time, Sanchez Watt replacing Snodgrass, who had been kicked from pillar to post.
The sub's first touch was to head a Kilkenny ball wide of the mark, but play was strangely halted for a foul on the Boro goalkeeper despite no Leeds player touching him.
United were piling on the pressure and McCormack drilled an effort wide after some good play, and Boro were having to scramble back to clear their lines.
Watt was denied by Steele who spread himself well in the 89th minute after Howson supplied a great cross.
On the balance of play United deserved an equaliser and five minutes of stoppage time gave hope. Justin Hoyte wasted a great chance to put the game beyond doubt after a quick break in the first minute of added time, and United responded immediately.
Collins and McCormack were involved before Becchio smashed the ball past Steele to make it 1-1.
Sixty seconds later, McCormack almost made it 2-1. Watt delivered a good ball in, but McCormack's header was just wide of the mark.
United were piling on the pressure, but the clock ran out what would have been a remarkable turnaround and Grayson's men had to be content with a third successive draw as the unbeaten run stretched to 12 games.