No breakthrough as Reading keeper takes MOM...
LEEDS 0, READING 0
Leeds: Schmeichel, Connolly, O'Brien, Naylor, Lichaj, Johnson, Livermore (Kilkenny 46), Snodgrass, Howson (Watt 81), Gradel, Paynter (Somma 81). Subs: Higgs, Bannan, Bromby, McCormack.
Reading: McCarthy, Mills, Harte, Griffin, Khizanishvili, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Hunt (Church 70), Karacan, Long, Robson-Kanu (Manset 81). Subs: Tabb, Federici, Pearce, Antonio, Howard.
Referee: E Ilderton
Booked: Livermore, Naylor (Leeds)
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United boss Simon Grayson made four changes to his starting line-up, following the draw with Watford, and club skipper Richard Naylor returned for his first start since October in place of Leigh Bromby. Billy Paynter replaced the injured Luciano Becchio, Paul Connolly took the place of the injured George McCartney, and Jake Livermore came in for Neil Kilkenny.
Reading arrived on the back of an eight-game winning streak in the league while Leeds kicked-off in seventh place, having dropped out of the Play-Off places for the first time in almost six months following Nottingham Forest's win against Leicester earlier in the day.
Both sides boasted a reputation for attacking football and both looked to move the ball quickly. From one such early move, Kasper Schmeichel had to save from Jobi McAnuff after good work by Shane Long.
But it was Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy who pulled off a quite brilliant save to deny the first serious Leeds attack. Jake Livermore delivered a cross from the left and McCarthy made a superb reaction save to claw away a Robert Snodgrass header.
Reading shaded the opening half-hour in terms of possession, but there was little in the way of decent chances with the majority of play being in the middle third of the field.
McCarthy was called into action again when he made a hash of a dealing with a Gradel strike and was relieved to see the ball bounce the just wide of the upright. It was a good effort from Gradel and came within a whisker of opening the scoring.
United created the next chance too when Paynter did well down the left and Jonny Howson headed his cross into the arms of McCarthy.
At half-time, Grayson made a change, bringing on Kilkenny for Livermore, who was walking a tightrope after his early booking.
And United started on the front foot, after thwarting one attack, a Snodgrass free-kick was deflected for a corner. Kilkenny also had a shot blocked, but the Aussie won a free-kick when he was caught in the face by a Reading defender after taking aim.
United threatened again when McCarthy had to take evasive action to deal with another Snodgrass free-kick, and it was Leeds who were threatening to take control of the game.
But Reading threatened on the hour when Andy Griffin cut in from the right and drilled in a low shot which flew wide.
It was United who went close again on 67 minutes, though, when Bradley Johnson advanced from midfield and clipped the bar with his shot.
As the game headed towards its final 10 minutes, Grayson lined up a double change with Davide Somma and Sanchez Watt poised to join proceedings. As the duo waited to come on, United pressurised again and McCarthy was called upon twice.
The visitors created the next chance, though, when Mikele Leigertwood sent a shot wide from distance. Leeds replied with another spell of pressure, United looking to up the tempo in search of a winning goal.
And McCarthy had to make two good saves, first from Gradel then he managed to get back to save a Snodgrass effort as Leeds continued to apply the pressure.
United were the more deserving of the two sides as the game headed into the three minutes of stoppage time, but Reading goalkeeper McCarthy was proving the difference between three points and one point.
In the final minute of that time added on, Watt managed to get past the Reading goalkeeper, but was unable to turn and get a shot-in when the goal was beckoning.
And that proved to be the final opportunity of the game as United had to be content with a point, despite dominating much of the contest and ending Reading's winning streak.