Adam Le-Fondre came on to score two vital goals and send Reading top of the Championship. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
A late Adam Le-Fondre double late on was enough to give Reading all three points. But the truth is Leeds made it difficult for the home side and did well to hold on for 80 minutes.
The Whites were in a 4-4-2 formation for the first time since Warnock took charge, not down to tactics but purely down to desperation. Leigh Bromby, Danny Pugh and Zac Thompson were all thrown into the starting eleven in place of Paul Connolly, Adam Clayton and Aidy White.
Reading started the game well with Noel Hunt going close from a header after one minute. The Leeds defence were slow off the blocks with Hunt leaving Robinson in his wake.
Moments later Gorkss went close from yet another header. Ian Harte's dead ball skills were still ever-present and Gorkss went flying in but couldn't keep his header down.
After 12 minutes the game plan was turned on its head when Zac Thompson was dismissed following a rash challenge. Thompson lost the ball on the line and to try and recover his error flew in. In all honesty it wasn't a red card I don't think, stupid decision to go in but not a red. Replays showed he missed the ball and man but still silly silly boy.
Neil Warnock got his point across afterwards and it didn't look pretty.
Ex-Leeds man Ian Harte was causing problems with his passing and crossing. Another cross of his hit the upright and bounced into the box but Leeds managed to clear.
Then another poor tackle from the 'Dirty Leeds' brigade with Danny Pugh going in over the ball and catching Jem Karcaran. Comparing the two tackles from Pugh and Thompson - Pugh should have gone, Thompson a yellow.
As the half time break approached, Leeds found themselves controlling the game and neutralling any Reading attack. Michael Brown was brilliant in the centre of the park with some perfectly timed tackles. One of them caught Karcaran and the Turk was replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu.
The Leeds fans were once again in full voice and shouting loud above the home support for most of the first-half.
At Half-time Leeds will have gone in the happier side, despite losing ten men they managed to hold out and nullify the home attack.
After the interval Robert Snodgrass went very close from a free-kick a minute into the second-half and won a corner. At the other end Andy Lonergan was throwing himself about like a ninja for some reason and Reading nearly scored, but for a Robert Snodgrass clearance.
The game started to open up and Alex Pearce nearly scored when he pulled away at the back post but once again Reading failed to keep their headers down. Reading were building the pressure thanks to Ian Harte's superb deliveries, but Andy Lonergan was just doing enough to thwart the crosses.
After 70 minutes Ross McCormack nearly turned the game on its head. Jimmy Kebe slipped on the edge of the box, McCormack found space and his curling shot just clipped the post. Two minutes later McCormack was causing chaos again, he managed to square it to Snoddy who placed the ball straight at Federici.
McCormack went close again when his long range free-kick was spilled by Federici and no Leeds player was in site to follow it up.
The Leeds players were looking tired and the introduction of Adam Le-Fondre was giving the Leeds defence some new problems. Le-Fondre had a goal disallowed in the 81st minute for offside - a decision the linesman got spot on.
But just two minutes later Le-Fondre struck to make it 1-0. Hal Robson-Kanu got up above Tom Lees and his header found an unmarked Le-Fondre who couldn't miss.
This caused Neil Warnock to make some changes, Robbie Rogers and Danny Webber coming on for Robert Snodgrass and Ross McCormack. A few seconds later Luciano Becchio came off for Forssell.
Reading were piling the pressure on and Leigertwood had a shot palmed away by Lonergan. Lonergan could do nothing though when Le-Fondre tapped home to make it 2-0 on the 90th minute. Jason Roberts did well to hold up the ball and before his shot could be stopped, Le-Fondre knicked in to send Reading top of the league.
Overall I'm feeling quite surprised and pleased at how we managed to hold Reading out. You can never be pleased with a defeat but the lads must take some pride from holding out a Reading side in top form!
For me Leeds' best players were Ross McCormack and Michael Brown. McCormack did some damage when he could with the ball but Brown was fantastic in the middle. His tackles were strong and fair and he never gave up in the middle.
In the end it shows how clinical we need to be next season. We need to look for next season now and I don't see the point in going with the same players we are doing. People like Rogers, Nunez, Webber etc need a chance to show they've got what it takes for next season. Thompson will learn from today and his tackle made it harder for us but in hindsight harder for them too. Who knows what could have happened if Snoddy's shot had gone in, or Ross'.
Derby on Monday will be no easy task and we'll face a difficult game. We also face a battle to stay in the top-half of the table with others around us hunting us down.
Today's Man of the Match?
Ian Harte (0 votes)
Michael Brown (4 votes)
Jason Roberts (7 votes)
Adam Le-Fondre (3 votes)
Ross McCormack (0 votes)
14 total votes