Huddersfield Town 2-1 Leeds United: Michael Hefele's late strike sends hosts up to fourth
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 07/02/17 2:18pm
Michael Hefele's last-minute strike gave Huddersfield Town a dramatic 2-1 win over rivals Leeds United in Sunday's West Yorkshire derby at the John Smith's Stadium.
The game had appeared to be heading for a draw after top-scorer Chris Wood's 35th-minute goal had cancelled out Izzy Brown's opener, the on-loan Chelsea forward's third in his last four games.
However, as the match entered the final minute, up popped defender Hefele to give David Wagner's side all three points, although both he and opposite number Garry Monk were then sent to the stands following a touchline confrontation after the German had sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate with his players.
As a result, Huddersfield have now leapfrogged their opponents into fourth, just five points off second-in-the-table Brighton & Hove Albion, with Leeds a point behind in fifth place.
Wagner made two changes from the side that beat then leaders Brighton 3-1 in midweek, with striker Collin Quaner coming in for Nahki Wells up front to make his first Championship start.
Kasey Palmer also made his first start since New Year's Day in place of Brown, who was unlucky to drop down to the bench, while Leeds made three alterations from the team that beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 last time out.
Both teams had half chances in what was a frenetic start to proceedings, with the in-form Wood testing Danny Ward at his near post with an early snap shot, before Palmer set Quaner clear.
However, from a tight angle towards the left of the box, the German could not beat Green, although that near miss was soon forgotten as the home side opened the scoring after 27 minutes.
Captain Tommy Smith drilled in an inviting cross from the right from which Brown - only just on as a substitute for the injured Palmer - stretched in the six-yard box to toe-poke the hosts in front.
However, Huddersfield's joy was short lived as Leeds levelled matters only eight minutes later, with that man Wood again their saviour as the frontman latched on to Kyle Bartley's clever knock down to score his seventh league goal already this year.
Like on Thursday night, though, Wagner's team responded brilliantly to conceding, and would have re-taken the lead before half-time but for a brilliant smothering save by Green to deny the impressive Quaner a goal on his Championship debut.
It was the home team, however, who dominated both possession and territory after the break, without testing Green in the visitors' goal, with Leeds coming closest to scoring again when substitute Alfonso Pedraza tested Ward with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box.
But as the contest neared its finale, Huddersfield were awarded a free kick on the left-hand edge of the area, and despite the initial effort striking the wall, Hefele was in the right place to stab home Aaron Mooy's deflected shot from close range.
Wagner's reaction to that dramatic last-gasp strike was to then run down the touchline to celebrate with his players, leading to an ugly face-to-face confrontation with Monk on his way back to the dugout, with Leeds adamant Hefele's goal should have been ruled out for offside.
As a result, referee Simon Hooper sent both men to the stands, while Pontus Jansson, Liam Bridcutt and Elias Kachunga were also all booked as both sets of players embarked in a nasty-looking melee.
There were eight minutes of stoppage time after that bad-tempered end to the contest, but Huddersfield held on to record just their second league double over their rivals in 86 years.