Leeds United collapse to lose West Yorkshire derby
Three goals in eight minutes in the second half saw Leeds United fall apart after they had earlier led as they suffered an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.
Town could even afford to miss a first half penalty as they earned revenge for the 3-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Whites earlier in the season.
In front of their biggest home crowd of the season, Leeds were one up four minutes before half-time and there was little sign of the heavy defeat to come as they appeared to be coping well with their opponents better passing style.
It still looked comfortable well into the second half until midway through when Harry Bunn’s volley from the edge of the box proved the big turning point.
United made two changes from the side that made it three wins on the spin at Blackburn, bringing back Luke Murphy and Stuart Dallas for Lewis Cook and Toumani Diagouraga with striker Chris Wood staying on the bench.
They started poorly and looked set to go behind in the tenth minute when Town were awarded a penalty as Charlie Taylor clipped Joe Lolley as the tricky winger showed good feet in the box.
But Marco Silvestri pulled off a stunning save to keep out Nahki Wells’ spot-kick and reacted quickly to catch the rebound.
Boosted by this, Leeds threatened to go ahead as Sol Bamba sent a header over from Stuart Dallas’s free-kick.
Several more promising positions came to nothing before the hosts went in front on 22 minutes as Liam Bridcutt won the ball in his own half and followed up after Souleymane Doukara’s surging run had been stopped, crossing the ball to the far post where Dallas got above Tommy Smith to head home his first goal at Elland Road.
Huddersfield looked to hit back as Philip Billing forced Silvestri into a good save to push away his low strike from 25 yards out.
Dean Whitehead shot over soon after a corner was only half-cleared.
For all their reasonable approach play United did not create another chance and it was the visitors who equalised four minutes before half-time when Murphy reckoned he was pushed in the area as a corner came in and the ball fell nicely for centre-back Mark Hudson to score from close range.
A minute later Riding’s looping header landed on top of the net as another corner was not dealt with.
Leeds had a couple of half-chances in injury-time, but Giuseppe Bellusci hit an angled free-kick over and Dallas saw one powerful shot well blocked before putting the rebound wide.
They started the second half poorly, however, as Riding hit a 20-yard shot into the ground to make it a comfortable save for Silvestri.
Leeds did come up with a good breakaway when Antenucci hit a low curling shot inches wide.
But the game then became more niggly and referee Graham Scott infuriated both sides with his inconsistent decisions and yellow cards.
It seemed to drifting out to be a draw when Huddersfield went ahead from a needlessly conceded corner. The ball was only cleared to substitute Bunn on the edge of the box and his well struck volley went in off the post.
Four minutes later Huddersfield went 3-1 up as Bellusci gave the ball away and Wells’ clever low cross gave another sub Karim Matmour a tap-in.
It became even worse for Leeds within another four minutes as Wells was given too much space in the box and fired in a powerful shot that was too hot for Silvestri to handle.
The three-goal blast killed the game and in a flat finish Leeds never looked like saving face as heads dropped.
It was Town who came closest to two more goals through Bunn and Husband and the full-time whistle came as a relief to the home fans.
Head coach Steve Evans was an unhappy man after the game and blamed the defending for the defeat - his third in Yorkshire derbies this season.
He said: “We were second best today. You can’t defend like that - you’ll get punished against any team in the Championship.
“You have to be able to play in front of this kind of support and entertain the fans. We go away very disappointed.
“We’ve let the fans down today after three good performances. You’re never going to get anything if you defend like that.
“It just looked as if they wanted it more than we did, or much more than we did in certain areas.
“There’s no way of dressing it up - we weren’t good enough today.
“We’ll now go back to Thorp Arch and work on it over the international and we’ll be back ready to fight another day when we go to Rotherham in a fortnight.”
Leeds United 1
Huddersfield Town 4
(Hudson 41, Bunn 69, Matmour 73, Wells 77)
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Leeds: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor, Bridcutt, Murphy (Cook 65), Mowatt, Dallas (Wood 74), Doukara (Carayol 79), Antenucci.
Huddersfield: Steer, Smith, Hudson, Lynch, Husband, Lolley, Whitehead, Billing (Hughes 66), Van La Parra (Bunn 45), Paterson (Matmour 63), Wells.
Referee: Graham Scott.