|Leeds United 2 v 0 Queens Park Rangers|
Sunday, 6th May 2018 Kick-off 12:30
Match Report: Leeds United 2-0 Queens Park Rangers - Roofe downs R's as Whites end strongly
Sunday, 6th May 2018 18:01 by @LucasMonk_
Leeds United concluded their disappointing Championship campaign on a positive note with a deserved home victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Kemar Roofe and Kalvin Phillips were on the scoresheet as Leeds United ended their season on a positive note by defeating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 to claim back-to-back home victories for the first time since December.
Roofe, who will go down in history as having been the club’s top marksman this season, gave Leeds the lead on the half-hour mark with a stupendous overhead kick from close range following Rangers’ failure to clear a corner from the left - the striker’s 11th league goal of the campaign.
And the points were sealed in the second half as Phillips capitalised upon a poor clearance by visiting goalkeeper Joe Lumley to fire home, with his weaker left foot, a crucial second goal that all but confirmed United’s triumph.
R’s boss Ian Holloway was forced to field a hotchpotch side owing to the absence of key first-team players such as Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo and defender Jack Robinson, but he will nonetheless have been profoundly disappointed at his side’s languid showing in a tepid first-half.
His charges did have a smattering of efforts throughout the early exchanges with Matt Smith and John Scowen both trying their luck, but neither of them posed any threat to Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the home goal.
Instead, it would be United who opened the scoring, after the recalled Adam Forshaw earned a corner from Rangers’ Pawel Wszolek. The visitors’ feeble attempts to clear the danger from the ensuing delivery were promptly punished by Roofe, who cracked home a stonking acrobatic effort past Lumley and into the net.
The goal seemed to inject fresh impetus into Leeds’ play, and Lumley had to attentively deal with further efforts from Roofe, Tom Pearce and Ezgjan Alioski to ensure his team went into the half-time interval trailing by just the one goal.
But the 23-year-old undid all his prior good work just two minutes into the second period when his timid clearance fell serendipitously for Phillips, who guided a well-struck, left-footed shot into the bottom corner from outside the box.
Thereafter, Rangers never really appeared capable of perforating the home rearguard and making a contest of the match. Freeman sent a wild effort wide and Smith headed over from a hefty throw-in betwixt Leeds retaining possession confidently.
Indeed, the more presentable chances continued to fall the way of the home side with Roofe firing a curling shot narrowly over the crossbar; Alioski was then denied at point-blank range by Lumley after diligent play by Roofe on the right.
Roofe was then warmly applauded as he made way for 16-year-old Ryan Edmondson, and the latter wasted no time in becoming directly involved in the action, seeing a driven shot deflected narrowly over the bar - following enterprising work by Alioski - before receiving a yellow card for bundling over Darnell Furlong.
Rangers then had their only shot on target with substitute Bright Osayi-Samuel eliciting a comfortable save from Peacock-Farrell with a low effort on 79 minutes, as United negotiated the game’s remainder to end the season on a positive note.
This was a merited win for the hosts, who were much the better side and controlled proceedings from beginning to end in what was, admittedly, far from a compelling spectacle. Led by the excellent Ayling, Leeds' securing of the three points was never in doubt after Roofe's scintillating bicycle-kick handed them the lead.
United head coach Paul Heckingbottom was content with his team’s display, remarking to Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post: "It's nice to finish with a win quite simply so the players can thanks the fans properly. The fans’ support has been superb. Lots of people have been frustrated with how it’s gone and the pattern of the season.”
The result brings to an end a disappointing campaign for Leeds, who have finished 13th in the Championship table following this victory.
For Heckingbottom, focus now shifts to the club's controversial post-season trip to Myanmar next week.
Leeds United (4-3-3): Peacock-Farrell; Ayling, Jansson (Pennington 45’), Cooper, Pearce; Phillips, Forshaw (O’Kane 87’), Vieira; Alioski, Ekuban, Roofe (Edmondson 74’).
Unused Subs: Lonergan, Saiz, Sacko, Lasogga.
Queens Park Rangers (4-2-3-1): Lumley; Wszolek (Smyth 63’), Furlong, Bidwell, Manning; Cousins, Scowen; Chair (Osayi-Samuel 60’), Freeman, Eze (Oteh 73’); Smith.
Match Gallery: 26 photos
Unused Subs: Ingram, Hamalainen, Kakay, Owens.
Match Statistics (Leeds / QPR)
Shots: 13 / 7
On target: 6 / 1
Possession: 54% / 46%
Corners: 9 / 4
Fouls: 19 / 12
Referee: Darren England.
Booked: Phillips, Alioski, Edmondson (Leeds), Furlong, Bidwell, Scowen (QPR).
Man of the Match: Luke Ayling (Leeds).
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Photo: Action Images
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