Leeds 0-0 Middlesbrough: Boro miss chance to go top of Championship
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 16/02/16 7:58am
Middlesbrough missed the chance to go top of the Championship as a 0-0 draw at Leeds made it five games without a win.
Boro have scored just twice during that run and drew another blank at Elland Road on Monday night, despite a first start for Jordan Rhodes, although the striker did have a goal controversially ruled out before half-time.
Both sides might have won it during an increasingly open second half, but a third straight draw leaves Boro a point behind leaders Hull and with suspensions pending after Ben Gibson's late red card and a 10th booking of the season for Adam Clayton.
As for Leeds, their cushion on the bottom three now stands at 11 points, but an increasingly secure position did not prevent further protests against owner Massimo Cellino on the night.
On the pitch, it took a goal-line Giuseppe Bellusci clearance to deny Gaston Ramirez an early opening goal, while replays suggested the officials were wrong to call the ball out of play before Emilio Nsue crossed for Rhodes to head in.
Leeds had their own first-half moments, Boro's Ritchie De Laet prodding a corner against his own bar and Souleymane Doukara clearing the frame by inches from a long way out.
Not long into the second half, there was a touching moment of solidarity in memory of the late BBC Tees broadcaster Alastair Brownlee, with his picture displayed on the screen and mobile phone torches held up by the visiting fans.
The fans were creating an impressive atmosphere, although the home support were momentarily quietened as Bellusci again had to save his team-mates.
Aitor Karanka's men were beginning to up the ante, with Cristhian Stuani hitting an effort into the ground and over from close range before heading over shortly afterwards.
Doukara thought he had scored minutes later, with a downward header from Charlie Taylor's long free-kick, but Dimi Konstantopoulos clawed the ball out one-handed.
Rhodes missed two chances to win it for Boro as the game went on, hitting one straight at Marco Silvestri and heading the other past the post with the goalkeeper flapping.
Gibson's second yellow card, for a trip on Leeds substitute Lee Erwin, left Boro to defend four added minutes a man short and they almost paid as Doukara went clean through, only to hit Konstantopoulos' legs.