Late David Nugent goal the difference at Elland Road...
UNITED 0, LEICESTER 1 (Nugent 87).
United: Kenny, Byram, Pearce, Lees, Warnock, Brown, Austin, Kebe (Peltier 85), Stewart, McCormack, Varney (Diouf 85). Subs. Cairns, Wootton, Mowatt, Murphy, Poleon.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Wasilweski 64), Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan, James, Vardy (Phillips 75), Dyer (King 79), Moore, Knockaert, Nugent. Subs. Hammond, Logan, Mahrez, Wood.
Referee: M Dean
Booked: Byram (Leeds), Knockaert, Morgan, Vardy (Leicester).
United manager Brian McDermott made no fewer than four changes to his starting line-up for the visit of the Championship leaders. There were recalls for Stephen Warnock, Michael Brown, Sam Byram and Luke Varney, who joined newly-appointed club captain Ross McCormack up front with Matt Smith serving the first of his three match suspension.
There was also a change in formation for United as the boss went for a traditional 4-4-2 line-up with Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart operating on the wings.
United started brightly and the home crowd really got behind their team following good pressing play by Rudy Austin and Brown.
During the opening 10 minutes of the match both sides had a real sight of the goal. Firstly, following persistant build-up play from Varney a McCormack header struck the post and moments later Jamie Vardy showed great pace to beat the United defence to the ball but his shot hit the post.
Before the opening 10 minutes were up McCormack was at the heart of another United attack. The Scot's chipped effort had to be cleared off the line and then Kasper Schmiechel was called upon to make a great save as McCormack smashed the clearance goalbound.
United continued to show an attacking threat and on the quarter-hour mark Kebe came close to marking his home debut with a goal. The chance came from a deep Austin cross and United had a number of players at the back post waiting but it was Kebe who connected but his header went into the side netting.
Moments later United had a great chance to take the lead when McCormack was through on goal after some good closing down by the midfield. McCormack was through one-on-one with Schmeichel, but the former United stopper made himself big and as McCormack went to chip him he reached out to parry the ball to safety.
As the half went on United continued to dominate the league leaders and midway through the first half Tom Lees could have put his side ahead. Following a cleared corner Warnock swung a cross into the penalty area which Lees met in the six-yard box, but his header went inches over the bar.
As the 30 minute mark past the away side began to settle into the game and that brought their second chance of the afternoon. Leicester hit United on the counter and releashed Anthony Knockaert, who struck at goal from outside the box but his shot went over. Although the midfielder's shot went over Paddy Kenny's crossbar it just showed the threat that the away side possess on the break.
With the opening half drawing to close the game was a much more even contest, both sides had their chances in the first half as both teams struck the upright, but the game remained goalless at the break.
United started the second half on the front foot and saw early chances come their way in the form of a McCormack free-kick and a Brown shot from the edge of the area, both were dealt with well by the away defensive lines.
As the half went on the away team showed a more attacking side of their game as they had a good spell of possession after United early shots at goal. The best of Leicester's chances fell to Matty James whose curling effort went just wide of Kenny's post.
Following the hour mark Stewart showed good pace to release two strikes at goal. The first was blocked my Wes Morgan who pressured the young winger and the second, that was also blocked, went wide of the mark. Moments later United had a penalty shout turned down after McCormack and Kebe combined well in the away area.
The next 10 minutes of the match saw very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities but as the game went into the final 10 the away side had a good chance. Kevin Phillips was found at the back post but instead of shooting for goal the veteran striker pulled the ball back for Andy King. The midfielder's first time effort went just over the bar.
With five minutes remaining the United boss made a double change by introducing Lee Peltier and El-Hadji Diouf in the place of Kebe and Varney. The change saw Byram move forward to the right wing with Peltier slotting in at full-back and Diouf played up front with McCormack.
And minutes later the deadlock was broken when the away side took the lead with just three minutes of the match remaining. David Nugent was the man who got the goal after he latched onto Phillips step-over following a Liam Moore cross. Nugent beat Lees to the ball and controlled it in fornt of the United defender the striker poked the ball past Kenny to give his side a 1-0 away win.