LEEDS United dropped into the Championship dropzone as Aaron Mooy’s second-half peach sealed a 1-0 win for Huddersfield Town in Saturday’s Championship derby at Elland Road.
A scrappy derby featured six yellow cards and ten minutes of second half injury time in which Leeds were unable to fashion a single chance.
The defeat leaves Garry Monk’s Whites with just four points from their first six games ahead of Tuesday night’s home clash with bottom of the table Blackburn Rovers.
Leeds were presented with an early potential opening in the third minute when Luke Ayling earned a free-kick on the right hand touchline but deliveries from first Alex Mowatt and then Ayling caused Huddersfield no problems.
A seventh-minute Huddersfield corner then no doubt had United’s faithful fearing the season’s sixth goal conceded from such a set piece but new centre-back Pontus Jansson headed clear in no-nonsense style on his league debut, in place of the dropped Liam Cooper.
Chris Wood was then denied a clear passage through to goal after 18 minutes as Chris Schindler cleared before United wasted their first corner when Ayling conceded a foul in the area.
Huddersfield, meanwhile, were enjoying plenty of possession but without really threatening and it wasn’t until the 28th minute that the game’s first attempt on goal arrived when the wrong call from Alex Mowatt saw him balloon the ball over the bar from 25 yards.
Much more dangerous was an effort from the impressive Aaron Mooy just before the half hour mark which fizzed just wide of Rob Green’s right-hand post.
Town’s Elias Kachunga was then greeted by an offside flag when threatening to burst clear but Leeds then went mightily close to scoring at the other end when Chris Wood’s header was glanced just wide from a 38th-minute corner taken by Kalvin Phillips.
Mooy then wasted a potentially dangerous free-kick for Huddersfield but Leeds were then left incensed at two controversial refereeing decisions towards the end of the half.
First Marcus Antonsson was sent tumbling over in the Huddersfield area by Schindler but referee Roger East waved away strong claims for a penalty.
Then, seconds later, Mooy went flying into Liam Bridcutt with studs shown but was only shown a yellow card when a red looked possible.
There were no changes during the interval, after which Jonathan Hogg was lucky to escape a yellow card for a late tackle on Jansson.
Bridcutt then slid in late to bring down Mooy but also avoided a booking.
But Mooy then provided the perfect response by firing Huddersfield into a 1-0 lead ten minutes after the break.
Mooy’s initial cross was headed out by Mowatt but Mooy regained possession and unleashed a fine effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards out past a sprawling Rob Green.
Leeds attempted to rally but two Phillips corners were wasted, either side of Tommy Smith getting booked for arguing with the linesman.
Monk then called for Souleymane Doukara as a 66th-minute substitute for Antonsson, a change which was greeted by boos inside Elland Road.
Doukara immediately looked lively and fed Mowatt whose shot from a very acute angle was smothered by Danny Ward.
Huddersfield’s Harry Bunn was then booked for a late tackle on Charlie Taylor but yet another poor delivery from Phillips saw another chance wasted.
Rajiv Van La Parra was then yellowed for a foul on Mowatt, after which Jansson earned the game’s fifth booking for dissent.
Monk then brought on Kemar Roofe for Hadi Sacko with 15 minutes left with Town boss David Wagner reacting by bringing on the dangerous Nahki Wells for Kachunga and then Kasey Palmer for Jack Payne.
And it was Huddersfield who continued to look more threatening with Chris Lowe very nearly doubling Town’s lead when his rasping drive from the edge of the box whistled over the bar.
At the other end, Mowatt’s cross provided Wood with a free header but the striker’s effort was weak and into the ground allowing Ward to make an easy save which was made to look dramatic.
But only a superb save from Green then denied a Huddersfield a second as Van La Parra’s lob from miles out was brilliantly tipped over the bar.
After Huddersfield were denied a last-minute penalty for Ayling’s shove on Van La Parra, Leeds were then given eight minutes injury time to save themselves.
But United were unable to fashion one single chance in those eight minutes which were actually extended to ten.
Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Jansson, Bartley, Taylor, Bridcutt, Phillips, Mowatt, Sacko (Roofe 75), Antonsson (Doukara 66), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Coyle, Cooper, Vieira, Hernandez.
Huddersfield Town: Ward, Smith, Hudson, Hogg, Kachunga (Wells 78), Mooy, Bunn (Hefele 90), Lowe, Payne (Palmer 80), Van La Parra, Schindler. Subs not used: Coleman, Whitehead, Cranie, Stankovic.
Referee: Roger East.
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