Leeds United’s unbeaten start to the season was ended as they found the going tough as usual at Millwall.
After a brilliant start in their first seven games in the Sky Bet Championship head coach Thomas Christiansen and his players were forced to learn some lessons at what happens when opponents get in their faces.
They struggled to create chances and it was a sign of how poor their football was that two substitutions were made at half-time with the total ineffective wide men Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski replaced.
Making the needed replacements came back to bite Leeds as they finished with 10 men after Pontus Jansson was taken off with all three subs already on the field.
United defended well, however, and for all their domination Millwall were made to wait 73 minutes for their only goal, scored from close range by Aiden O’Brien to end a run of almost 10 hours without conceding a goal for the Whites.
Despite the defeat Leeds remained top of the table, but they will be unhappy at their display.
Perhaps three games in a week was too much for the players as Christiansen named a team showing just one change with injured centre-back Liam Cooper out and Conor Shaughnessy in for only his second league start.
Leeds looked to have gone behind early on when their former player, Steve Morison, netted after keeper Felix Wiedwald spilled Conor McLaughlin’s shot, but he was given offside.
Shaughnessy blocked a Morison shot off the line and Shaun Williams went close with a deflected free-kick while there was little in the way of response from United.
Morison threatened again with a header, but Wiedwald dived to save well and it remained goalless to half-time.
Wiedwald came to Leeds’ rescue again early in the second half when saving with his legs to deny Shaun Hutchinson, who had been left unmarked and seemed sure to score.
United finally fashioned an opening of their own when Kalvin Phillips flicked Stuart Dallas’s free-kick wide.
But Millwall were back on top again as Jed Wallace’s well struck volley beat the visiting keeper only to rebound off the post.
The home team did finally break the deadlock when Fred Onyedinma found O’Brien, who was left to finish from close in.
Leeds had by then thrown on Jay-Roy Grot to try to add more attacking threat, but they could not battle their way back and it was Millwall who could have scored again when George Saville blazed over when well placed late on.
It was Millwall’s eighth win in their last nine home games against Leeds, who must now regroup for their Carabao Cup tie at Premiership Burnley.
Leeds United 0
Saturday, September 16, 207
Sky Bet Championship
Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin, Meredith, Hutchinson, Williams, Onyedinma (Cooper 90+4’), Wallace (Tunnicliffe 90), Webster, Morison, O’Brien (Ferguson 81), Saville.
Leeds: Wiedwald, Ayling, Shaughnessy, Jansson, Anita, Alioski (Roofe 45), O’Kane, Phillips, Saiz (Grot 71), Hernandez (Dallas 45), Lasogga.
Referee: Tim Robinson.