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Match Recap: Leeds win 1-0 over Reading after Peacock-Farrell saves a 90th minute penalty

Leeds United v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Leeds should have been in front within the first 90 seconds after Barry Douglas had a wide open header from about six yards out that somehow did not go into the back of the net. Leeds had the lion’s share of the ball in the first few minutes of the match, as Reading FC were closed down in their own half almost immediately by the Leeds players.

Leeds fans paid tribute to former Leeds, Newcastle, Bolton Wanderers, and Everton player Gary Speed. The ex-Wales player was the manager of his national team when he passed away 11 years ago today.

It says a lot about a player that everywhere he went he was remembered fondly by the fans and never received the abuse that many other players got when coming back to their old stomping grounds.

Kemar Roofe had another great chance to take the lead in the 16th minute after a wonderfully worked cross that fell to Roofe, who took an excellent bicycle-kick that was blocked by a Reading defender.

Reading got a couple chances right before the half-hour mark, with one shot being deflected off one of their own players and Chris Gunter’s hard shot from outside the box being blocked after yet another well worked attack by Reading.

The end of the first half featured an embarrassing dive by Gjanni Alioksi in the Reading box. Even though Leeds hasn’t had a penalty in over a year and Brentford’s Ollie Watkins got a penalty for a ridiculous dive on that end of the pitch earlier this season, Alioski’s dive was completely unnecessary.

Marcelo Bielsa hauled off both Alioski and Lewis Baker at half-time, and replaced them with Samu Saiz and Jack Clarke. Clarke’s cross to Saiz was almost turned in within the first shot of the second-half, but it was not to be.

Leeds opened the scoring with Stuart Dallas scoring a fine goal poaching in the six-yard box after Roofe’s initial shot was blocked by the Reading keeper. The goal was created by a great pass by Adam Forshaw, a remarkable move by Hernandez to back-heel the ball to set Douglas free to cross the ball, and then Dallas was just waiting in the box for the right opportunity.

Reading came close to drawing level soon afterwards, but Loader’s effort went straight to Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Leeds brought on Jamie Shackleton for Mateusz Klich in the 72nd minute. Peacock-Farrell was called on again, as he came out to deny a good ball as a Reading player was charging down the pitch.

Leeds came very, very close yet again, as Jack Clarke once again put a cross in that Roofe was able to direct to goal, but his shot was once again saved very well by Anssi Jaakkola, the Reading keeper.

And then the final big event of the match.

Barry Douglas drug down Joshua Sims in the box and Reading was awarded a penalty, but as luck would have it, Peacock-Farrell guessed correctly and saved the spot kick. A big moment for the Northern Ireland international who was publicly called out for his lack of form by Bielsa, with the manager indicating that he would have gone with Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman had Blackman not broken his leg during a U23 match against Birmingham City.

Leeds saw the rest of the game out to carry on to a 1-0 win over Reading and moved into second place in the table, with only a single point separating them from Norwich City and a full six points ahead of Nottingham Forest in seventh place.

In the end, it was probably a just three points for Leeds, but Reading looked far livelier than their league position would have indicated going into the match, although they stayed out of the relegation places as Hull City also lost and has a worse goal differential.

Leeds have no time to rest, however, as they travel to Sheffield United on Saturday for a Yorkshire Derby.