Kalvin Phillips red card in the 23rd minute proved fatal for Leeds as Brighton went top of the Championship (albeit briefly) on Friday night defeating their promotion chasing rivals 2-0 at the Amex stadium.
Philips saw red for blatantly handling the ball off the line to prevent a Brighton goal but paid a double price as a penalty followed and the ensuing match ban.
Glen Murray duly dispatched the penalty but Leeds started to find their feet as the game progressed despite being reduced to 10 men.
However, Leeds conceded another penalty late on thanks to a Kyle Bartley foul on Lewis Dunk in the 83rd minute and this time Israeli Tomer Hemed doubled the seagulls lead to send them to the top of the table for one night at least.
Leeds head coach Gary Monk was left to rue the early sending off telling the BBC – “I’m frustrated. Brighton are a very good side but had we kept 11 men on the pitch it could have been different.”
Friday’s disappointment has been brushed aside as Leeds welcome fellow high flyers Reading to Elland Road on Tuesday night.
The Royals (managed by former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam) have had a strong first half the campaign and sit third place in the Championship after beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at the Madjeski stadium on Saturday.
Reading have been passing ‘out from the back’ all season in a style similar to the Premier League and so far, it appears to be working.
Despite having no particular ‘star names’ Reading have been quietly going about their business and find themselves with a very real possibility of promotion.
Last weekend’s shock 5-0 loss away to Fulham was a blip which ended the Royals run of five straight league wins but they followed that with victory on Saturday to keep their grip firmly on the play offs.
Leeds will have to make do without Philips who will be suspended but will look to use the game against Reading as a chance to cement their status as play-off contenders ahead of a Christmas period which sees them take on Brentford and Preston in some very winnable games.