Aitor Karanka suffered defeat in his first game as Middlesbrough manager as a Jason Pearce header earned Leeds a fourth successive win.

The former Real Madrid assistant manager saw goalkeeper Jason Steele sent off in the first half, before Ross McCormack put Leeds ahead.

Mustapha Carayol finished smartly to bring the 10 men level, but Pearce quickly restored the home advantage.

The win moved Brian McDermott's side into the Championship play-off places.

Ex-Real Madrid defender Karanka, who also spent three years as Jose Mourinho's number two at the Bernabeu, described his arrival at Middlesbrough as a new era.

Win or bust for Leeds

  • Leeds United have not drawn in 15 outings

But hopes of a winning start and just a third Middlesbrough victory in 14 outings were dealt a blow when McCormack netted his ninth goal in seven matches.

The 27-year-old pounced on a header across goal by team-mate Tom Lees to head home from close range for his 13th goal of the season.

The Scot had been frustrated when two penalty appeals were turned down, but his goal and the decision by referee Philip Gibbs to dismiss Steele gave Boro an uphill challenge.

Steele saw red for fouling McCormack's strike partner Dexter Blackstock outside the area, prompting the introduction of substitute goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler at the expense of striker Marvin Emnes.

Boro are yet to beat a side above them in the league this season, but rallied in the second period and levelled when Carayol swept past Paddy Kenny after a defence-splitting pass by Albert Adomah.

Leutwiler pulled off a superb diving save from Alex Mowatt but could not deny Pearce minutes later when he leapt to head home captain Rudolph Austin's cross.

Mowatt and Austin both went close late on, as Boro were consigned to their third consecutive away defeat.

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott:

"Sometimes you are better playing against 11 men. We have found that in the past. It is psychologically harder against 10.

"We couldn't get that third goal but the result was the most important thing.

"It's good to be in the top six but I would rather be even higher. There is much more to come from the team."

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka:

"It would have been better if we had won, but I am happy because we played very well in the second half when we were down to 10 players.

"I have had just 10 days with the players but they have shown a good attitude and with that we can build.

"Even so, there may be changes for the next game, depending on what I see on the training ground."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Leeds United

  • 01 Kenny
  • 02 Peltier
  • 16 Pugh Booked (Byram - 81' )
  • 05 Pearce
  • 24 Zaliukas
  • 04 Lees
  • 06 Murphy (Brown - 88' )
  • 08 Austin
  • 09 Blackstock (Smith - 81' )
  • 44 McCormack
  • 36 Mowatt

Substitutes

  • 11 Varney
  • 17 Brown
  • 18 Tonge
  • 20 Smith
  • 25 Byram
  • 26 Poleon
  • 33 Cairns

Middlesbrough

  • 01 Steele Dismissed
  • 05 Richardson
  • 03 Friend Booked
  • 07 Leadbitter
  • 39 Woodgate Booked
  • 26 Ayala Booked
  • 27 Adomah
  • 33 Smallwood (Jutkiewicz - 82' )
  • 29 Kamara
  • 10 Emnes (Leutwiler - 44' )
  • 19 Carayol (Main - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Williams
  • 06 Butterfield
  • 09 Jutkiewicz
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 22 Gibson
  • 23 Main
  • 32 Leutwiler
Ref: Phil Gibbs
Att: 30,367

Match Stats

Shots

19 9

On target

7 4

Corners

5 2

Fouls

13 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Leeds United 2, Middlesbrough 1.

90:00 +5:10 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Leeds United 2, Middlesbrough 1.

90:00 +4:17

Attempt missed. Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

90:00 +3:44

Attempt missed. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

90:00 +2:22

Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

90:00 +2:22

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +0:53

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

89:04

Foul by Frazer Richardson (Middlesbrough).

89:04

Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

88:29

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

88:29

Sam Byram (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leeds United. Michael Brown replaces Luke Murphy.

87:04 Booking

Booking George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86:52

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

86:52

Marius Zaliukas (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:33 Booking

Booking Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

83:11

Foul by Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough).

83:11

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:56

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82:56

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

82:46

Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:46

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

81:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lukas Jutkiewicz replaces Richard Smallwood.

80:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leeds United. Sam Byram replaces Danny Pugh because of an injury.

80:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leeds United. Matt Smith replaces Dexter Blackstock.

78:36

Attempt missed. George Friend (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Richard Smallwood.

77:23

Curtis Main (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:23

Foul by Luke Murphy (Leeds United).

74:27

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:27

Foul by Luke Murphy (Leeds United).

73:10

Attempt missed. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Murphy with a cross.

72:21

Attempt saved. Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Pugh with a cross.

69:09

Offside, Middlesbrough. Frazer Richardson tries a through ball, but Albert Adomah is caught offside.

68:11

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

68:11

Lee Peltier (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Curtis Main replaces Mustapha Carayol.

64:41 Booking

Booking Danny Pugh (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

64:30

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:30

Foul by Danny Pugh (Leeds United).

63:01

Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:01

Foul by Danny Pugh (Leeds United).

61:28

Offside, Leeds United. Tom Lees tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

59:06

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:06

Foul by Rodolph Austin (Leeds United).

58:11

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:11

Foul by Dexter Blackstock (Leeds United).

56:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 2, Middlesbrough 1. Jason Pearce (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Lee Peltier with a cross following a corner.

56:09

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Mustapha Carayol.

55:30

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Jayson Leutwiler.

55:24

Attempt saved. Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross McCormack.

53:27

Attempt blocked. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Murphy.

51:38 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 1, Middlesbrough 1. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top left corner. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

49:45

Foul by Richard Smallwood (Middlesbrough).

49:45

Luke Murphy (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:57

Attempt blocked. Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

45:29

Attempt saved. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins Leeds United 1, Middlesbrough 0.

45:00 +3:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Leeds United 1, Middlesbrough 0.

45:00 +0:37

Offside, Leeds United. Marius Zaliukas tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

45:00 +0:04

Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

44:40

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

43:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jayson Leutwiler replaces Marvin Emnes.

42:48

Delay in match Dexter Blackstock (Leeds United) because of an injury.

42:12 Dismissal

Dismissal Jason Steele (Middlesbrough) is shown the red card.

42:06

Foul by Jason Steele (Middlesbrough).

42:06

Dexter Blackstock (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:51

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

37:51

Tom Lees (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:02

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Albert Adomah.

34:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Leeds United 1, Middlesbrough 0. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tom Lees with a headed pass following a corner.

34:09

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Jonathan Woodgate.

33:58

Attempt saved. Danny Pugh (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

31:40

Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

30:46

Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:46

Foul by Marius Zaliukas (Leeds United).

29:56

Jason Steele (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:56

Foul by Dexter Blackstock (Leeds United).

28:24

Attempt saved. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

27:49

Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

27:49

Foul by Lee Peltier (Leeds United).

25:37

Attempt blocked. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Pugh.

25:31

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

25:31

Jason Pearce (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

24:24

Foul by Frazer Richardson (Middlesbrough).

24:24

Ross McCormack (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

22:36

Attempt missed. Dexter Blackstock (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

21:27

Attempt blocked. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

20:48 Booking

Booking Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

20:20

Hand ball by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

19:09

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

19:09

Marius Zaliukas (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:02

Attempt saved. Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

17:12

Attempt saved. Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Mowatt.

16:28

Offside, Middlesbrough. Richard Smallwood tries a through ball, but Albert Adomah is caught offside.

15:39

Attempt missed. Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough) header from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a corner.

15:08

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Lee Peltier.

12:43

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tom Lees.

12:06

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

12:06

Luke Murphy (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:48

Offside, Leeds United. Rodolph Austin tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

9:02

Foul by Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough).

9:02

Jason Pearce (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:15

Attempt missed. Jason Pearce (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marius Zaliukas with a headed pass following a corner.

7:30

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Frazer Richardson.

4:25

Foul by Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough).

4:25

Jason Pearce (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

3:04

Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

3:01

Attempt blocked. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

1:54

Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:54

Foul by Lee Peltier (Leeds United).

1:26

Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

1:20

Attempt blocked. Alex Mowatt (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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