Goals in either half seal the three points for the visitors...
UNITED 0, BIRMINGHAM 2 (Gray 31, Maghoma 90+1)
United team: Silvestri, Berardi (Byram 73), Cooper, Bamba, Taylor, Murphy, Cook, Mowatt (Antenucci 67), Buckley (Botaka 57), Dallas, Wood. Subs: Turnbull, Wootton, Bellusci, Adeyemi.
Birmingham team: Kuszczak, Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Davis (Spector 75), Cotterill (Maghoma 63), Donaldson, Gray (Solomon-Otabor 81). Subs: Legzdins, Brown, Toral, Brock-Madsen.
Referee: P Tierney
Booked: Cooper, Cook, Antenucci (United), Davis (Birmingham)
Att: 24,601 (898 Birmingham)
The visit of Birmingham City saw United head coach Uwe Rosler make four changes from the previous weekend's defeat at Middlesbrough, handing a debut to latest signing Will Buckley on the wing, while also bringing Liam Cooper, Luke Murphy and Chris Wood back into his starting line-up.
It was a lively start to proceedings and Birmingham had the game’s first sight of goal after just seven minutes as Demarai Gray worked his way into the area before dragging a low effort wide of Marco Silvestri’s far post.
But Leeds soon started to see more of the ball and, after Wood had ambitiously shot wide from distance, Rosler’s men looked to force an opening with some fine combination play down both flanks. Buckley was just unable to get the desired connection on Stuart Dallas’ cross, turning the ball into the arms of his former Brighton team-mate Tomasz Kuszczak.
The visitors then threatened through David Davis, drilling over the bar after David Cotterill’s free-kick had fallen into his path, while Gaetano Berardi’s low effort was comfortably held by Kuszczak in an end-to-end opening 20 minutes at Elland Road.
The following 10 minutes passed without incident, but the deadlock was broken on the half-hour mark by Birmingham. Clayton Donaldson’s powerful run caused problems within the United defence, before the ball fell to Gray who hammered an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net.
United looked to respond and could have equalised through Dallas on the stroke of half-time, only for a fine, sprawling save from Kuszczak to push away his goalbound effort and preserve his side’s lead going into the break.
There were no changes for either manager at the interval, and Birmingham had the second half’s first sight of goal as Stephen Gleeson’s ambitious volley bounced well wide after a corner was cleared into his path. Kuszczak then held Mowatt’s low attempt from inside the area after some good wing play from Dallas down the right.
Captain Sol Bamba was agonisingly close to an equaliser on 56 minutes, towering a header inches wide of the post following Mowatt’s inch-perfect corner.
Rosler was prompted into his first change of the afternoon soon after, with Buckley making way for fellow home debutant Jordan Botaka following an encouraging first outing in Leeds colours six days earlier at the Riverside Stadium.
Botaka’s introduction lifted the home crowd following some inventive play from the winger within minutes of entering the pitch. Leeds were being urged forward and Rosler went for a two-pronged attack as the game entered the final 20 minutes, replacing Mowatt with Mirco Antenucci to partner Wood.
The Birmingham defence was holding firm, though, and Kuszczak was also playing his part to keep United at bay; this time beating away a stinging strike from Lewis Cook from inside the area.
Sam Byram was also introduced, but United's frustrations remained and, in the first of four minutes added time, substitute Jacques Maghoma wrapped things up for Birmingham with a precise finish into the bottom corner.