Leeds 0-0 Preston: 10-man North End hold on
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/08/17 6:50pm
Leeds failed to make a man advantage pay as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Preston.
The visitors played the last 30 minutes with one man less after Ben Pearson was sent off for a second bookable offence. It swung the course of the game as the Yorkshiremen dominated the closing stages in front of a sell-out crowd.
But despite their possession the Whites were unable to make it count, with last season's top scorer Chris Wood off-target with a number of good chances.
Until the red card came, the visitors had enjoyed the better of the chances and perhaps should have given themselves a lead to defend. Tom Barkhuizen failed to make the most of a chance at the back post after Daniel Johnson picked him out on six minutes.
Leeds had shouts for an early penalty turned away when Ezgjan Alioski's shot was blocked a minute later. Wood's touch let him down three minutes later as the Leeds striker sniffed a chance on goal. Alioski fired wide from the edge of the box on 21 minutes after a great run which saw him beat two men.
Barkhuizen fired narrowly wide from 25 yards after a surging run towards the home goal created an opening.
Leeds nearly chucked a goal away when Jordan Hugill stole the ball off Pontus Jansson on the byline. But Luke Ayling rescued his side with a brilliant block to keep out Alan Browne's effort on 32 minutes.
Callum Robinson fired just over from 30 yards as Preston continued to try their luck from range. Browne had an effort saved by Felix Wiedwald two minutes after the restart following good build up play by Hugill.
Tommy Spurr had a volley deflected wide for a corner on 53 minutes as Preston continued to look the likeliest to score. Greg Cunningham then headed wide at the back post from Johnson's corner, before he was denied a 57th-minute opener by the linesman's flag.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Pearson was given a second yellow card for pulling back Kalvin Phillips on 60 minutes. Leeds should have made that count minutes later when Wood headed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's cross over. Wood then failed to direct a volley on target as Borthwick-Jackson created another chance for the Yorkshiremen.
Chris Maxwell superbly denied Wood in a one-on-one after Pablo Hernandez played him in on 73 minutes. Stuart Dallas was denied by a great save from Maxwell on 83 minutes as Leeds desperately pushed for a winner. The inspired Preston shot-stopper then kept a Hernandez header out seconds later.
Thomas Christiansen: "I have a mix of feelings. It was great to see how many fans came to the game and I would have liked to have got the three points. We have to settle for only one point and a clean sheet, which is also important.
"When you play for that amount of time with one player more and do not win, it is an opportunity lost. You have an opportunity and you believe you can get the goal. It was a difficult game against a good team. Preston showed they are a good team. Preston won the challenges in the first half and that is frustrating."
Alex Neil: "The red card stopped the momentum of the game and that is frustrating," he said. For 60 minutes I thought we were great and were the better side. We controlled the ball, we were aggressive. I thought we dominated which was really pleasing. This is not an easy place to come in front of a full ground with these fans. I thought we deserved the three points.
"With 11 men we were the better team. Once we went down to 10 men we had to change our approach. They had a man more and that makes it more difficult for us to press. The lads worked extremely hard and kept their shape and discipline. They showed just how much it means to them individually and collectively.