Leeds United were denied a fourth straight league win in brutal fashion as Huddersfield Town fought back from a goal down to earn a 4-1 victory at Elland Road.
Second-half strikes from Harry Bunn, Karim Matmour and Nahki Wells settled a lively derby in Town’s favour as Leeds paid the price for failing to deal with two corners.
United rode the concession of an early penalty to draw first blood through Stuart Dallas on 22 minutes but they failed to capitalise on further pressure and were pegged back by Mark Hudson as half-time approached.
Bunn and Matmour then struck in the space of five minutes to bring an end to Huddersfield’s run of four back-to-back losses at the hands of Leeds and Wells’ strike - redeeming his earlier penalty miss - rounded off a bad day for United.
Leeds were looking to record a fourth league success in a row for the first time since November 2009 and the derby at Elland Road drew an attendance of over 29,000, the club’s largest home crowd of the season.
Huddersfield have felt the rough end of this contest for the past two years but they had the chance to silence a large crowd in the opening stages.
Joe Lolley’s evasive run into United’s box tempted Sol Bamba to fell him with an outstretched leg, giving Wells a 13th-minute penalty.
The striker went for the bottom left corner but was denied by a brilliant one-handed stop from Marco Silvestri and failed to meet the loose ball before Silvestri gathered it.
Leeds steadied themselves and made Huddersfield pay when Liam Bridcutt took control of a counter-attack and crossed to Dallas who headed in at the far post.
The momentum flowed in United’s favour but four minutes before half-time, and after Silvestri had denied Phil Billing with a full-length parry, Hudson equalised by heading home Jamie Paterson’s corner.
The game opened up in the second half and despite Town dominating for lengthy spells, Mirco Antenucci almost put Leeds back in front with a curling shot beyond Jed Steer’s far post.
But the visitors struck for a second time, and again for a corner, after Silvestri was rushed by Wells into slicing a clearance behind on 70 minutes.
The resulting delivery bounced out to substitute Bunn whose fierce volley from 18 yards beat Silvestri and rolled into the net off his right-hand post.
Matmour then finished off a counter-attack as Wells teed him up with a tap-in from a yard out and Wells claimed a goal of his own amid deflated defending on 77 minutes, shooting home from inside the area to end all talk of the play-offs at Elland Road.