Jack Harrison’s late goal sent Leeds top of the Championship as they beat Reading in an uninspiring encounter.
Leeds broke from a Reading free-kick and Ezgjan Alioski found Helder Costa, whose deflected cross evaded the Royals’ defence and allowed Harrison to head home at the far post.
The visitors dominated possession but created few clear-cut chances, although Patrick Bamford chested over from a teasing cross and Stuart Dallas struck the crossbar on 63 minutes.
Michael Morrison almost put Reading ahead midway through the second half, but his effort from six yards flew over after John Swift’s ball caused confusion in the Leeds defence.
Leeds moved a point clear of West Bromwich Albion, who have a game in hand and face Bristol City on Wednesday.
Reading, who had taken 10 points from new manager Mark Bowen’s first four games in charge, stay 18th, having lost for a second successive game.
The Royals could have gone ahead with the only chance of a poor first half when Yakou Meite’s header from a corner was saved by Kiko Casilla.
But, while both sides only hit the opposition’s target twice, Leeds did create more half-chances as they tried to break down a stubborn home defence.
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds:
“It was a tight match. They have good players and they are able to create danger even if they don’t command the match.
“It’s a signal of the maturity and experience of my team. In the second half we kept our intensity and we achieved the difference in this sense.
“Three dynamic players were involved in the goal; Alioski, Costa and Harrison. They have the ability to surprise the opponent and they did it with the last chance.
“When you are the top of the league, of course it is better than other positions. But it’s also true that today it doesn’t mean a lot.”