Leeds' play-off hopes continue to fade after they were held to a goalless draw at mid-table Middlesbrough.

Luke Murphy sent a rasping drive just wide for the visitors, while Leeds new on-loan goalkeeper Jack Butland kept out Jacob Butterfield's dipping shot.

Danny Graham twice went close after the break, Butland comfortably saving his overhead kick then watching a half-volley fizz over the bar.

Goal-shy Boro

Middlesbrough's goal drought now stretches to six games and more than 10 hours.

Butland also denied Albert Adomah after the forward found himself one-on-one.

The result means Leeds are now seven points off the play-offs while Boro are three worse off.

The frustration was perhaps more pronounced for Brian McDermott's side, given they felt they should have had a penalty for a challenge on Noel Hunt by Kenneth Omeruo as the Leeds man looked to get on the end of Cameron Stewart's cross.

They also went close when Murphy's strike from 25 yards flashed just past Middlesbrough keeper Shay Given's left-hand post.

At the other end, Leeds debutant Butland did well to tip Butterfield's dipping shot from 20 yards over the bar just before half-time.

The goalkeeper, on loan from Stoke City, was again called into action shortly after the break as he prevented Stephen Warnock's attempted clearance going into his own net.

Graham's overhead kick from close range was also straight at Butland as Middlesbrough continued to press for the opener.

Leeds, who failed to get a shot on target, were reduced to half-chances with Jimmy Kebe and Hunt both directing headers well wide, while Graham fired a half-volley just over the crossbar from a tight angle.

The best two chances of the half fell to substitute Adomah who, after being played in, saw his close-range half-volley superbly blocked by the onrushing Butland. He later sliced a shot wide after again finding space in the box.

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka:

"Yes it is six games without a goal and for that I am disappointed.

"I am always disappointed if we do not win. But if we play like we did today every week then the goals will arrive.

"We can not become obsessed by the goal. We must just continue to play the best way we can as a team and will create chances and the moment will come.

"Last week at Watford I was not happy because the team did not function as I asked. This week they did so for that I am happy.

"We had good chances, the team was good. I am not saying we deserved to win but we played well."

Leeds boss Brian McDermott:

"That's a positive point for us.

"Middlesbrough made it difficult for us and had some good chances.

"But Jack Butland was outstanding, the back four were excellent and the whole team put in a good shift.

"When we become a good side, a side capable a challenging in this division, then maybe we could have nicked that game 1-0 but we are not quite where we want to be as a team yet.

"But we kept a clean sheet and showed resilience, we just need to find that bit extra in the final third."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (4)

Middlesbrough

  • 12 Given
  • 08 Varga
  • 03 Friend
  • 07 Leadbitter Booked
  • 39 Woodgate
  • 25 Omeruo
  • 24 Chalobah
  • 06 Butterfield (Ledesma - 77' )
  • 09 Graham
  • 23 Main (Adomah - 72' )
  • 29 Kamara (Tomlin - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 10 Tomlin
  • 11 Ledesma
  • 13 Konstantopoulos
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 27 Adomah
  • 28 Morris
  • 36 Atkinson

Leeds United

  • 30 Butland
  • 02 Peltier
  • 15 Warnock
  • 06 Murphy
  • 22 Wootton Booked
  • 05 Pearce
  • 38 Kebe
  • 08 Austin
  • 44 McCormack
  • 10 Hunt (Smith - 82' )
  • 28 Stewart

Substitutes

  • 17 Brown
  • 18 Tonge
  • 20 Smith
  • 24 Zaliukas
  • 26 Poleon
  • 33 Cairns
  • 36 Mowatt
Ref: Anthony Taylor
Att: 20,424

Match Stats

Shots

11 7

On target

3 0

Corners

6 2

Fouls

7 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Leeds United 0.

90:00 +3:19 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Leeds United 0.

90:00 +2:22

Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

90:00 +1:07

Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:07

Foul by Jimmy Kébé (Leeds United).

88:49

Attempt missed. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Albert Adomah.

86:52

Offside, Leeds United. Luke Murphy tries a through ball, but Jason Pearce is caught offside.

86:02

Foul by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma (Middlesbrough).

86:02

Cameron Stewart (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

82:23

Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:23

Foul by Matt Smith (Leeds United).

81:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leeds United. Matt Smith replaces Noel Hunt.

80:52

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by George Friend.

78:21

Attempt saved. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma with a through ball.

76:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Emmanuel Jorge Ledesma replaces Jacob Butterfield.

75:33

Offside, Leeds United. Lee Peltier tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

74:19

Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).

74:19

Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:20

Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Stephen Warnock.

72:00

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

71:42

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

71:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Albert Adomah replaces Curtis Main.

71:02

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

71:02

Foul by Noel Hunt (Leeds United).

68:01

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Lee Peltier.

66:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lee Tomlin replaces Kei Kamara.

66:22

Attempt missed. Curtis Main (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.

64:47

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

63:19

Delay in match Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) because of an injury.

60:23

Attempt missed. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a through ball.

59:32

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

59:32

Foul by Jimmy Kébé (Leeds United).

58:55

Attempt missed. Jason Pearce (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Murphy with a cross following a corner.

58:29

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by József Varga.

54:25

Attempt missed. Noel Hunt (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

52:22

Attempt saved. Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kei Kamara.

51:26

József Varga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

51:26

Foul by Luke Murphy (Leeds United).

49:53

Attempt missed. Jimmy Kébé (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lee Peltier with a cross.

46:43

Attempt missed. Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by George Friend.

45:00

Second Half begins Middlesbrough 0, Leeds United 0.

45:00 +2:04 Half time

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

45:00 +1:06

Danny Graham (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +1:06

Foul by Noel Hunt (Leeds United).

44:42

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

44:42

Foul by Cameron Stewart (Leeds United).

43:37

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jack Butland.

43:15

Attempt saved. Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

42:49

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Scott Wootton.

42:25

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

42:25

Foul by Rodolph Austin (Leeds United).

39:51

Attempt missed. Luke Murphy (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Wootton following a set piece situation.

39:15

Foul by Jacob Butterfield (Middlesbrough).

39:15

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

38:29 Booking

Booking Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:21

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

38:21

Jimmy Kébé (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

36:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

35:26

Delay in match Lee Peltier (Leeds United) because of an injury.

35:02

Offside, Middlesbrough. Kei Kamara tries a through ball, but Jacob Butterfield is caught offside.

32:19

Offside, Leeds United. Scott Wootton tries a through ball, but Cameron Stewart is caught offside.

30:04

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

30:04

Jimmy Kébé (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:15

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Stephen Warnock.

26:11

Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).

26:11

Rodolph Austin (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:42

Offside, Middlesbrough. Grant Leadbitter tries a through ball, but Jacob Butterfield is caught offside.

15:00

Attempt blocked. Ross McCormack (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Noel Hunt.

11:57

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

10:55

Delay in match Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) because of an injury.

9:42

Attempt missed. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter with a cross following a corner.

9:25

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Lee Peltier.

8:40 Booking

Booking Scott Wootton (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.

8:31

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jimmy Kébé.

5:01

Attempt missed. Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jacob Butterfield.

1:49

Foul by Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough).

1:49

Stephen Warnock (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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