Leeds won against Queens Park Rangers 3-1 at Loftus Road in London today, with Kemar Roofe grabbing a second-half hat trick to finish off an overall good team performance, despite an absolute howler of a mistake by the German goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald for Leeds. Leeds will be glad to keep the pressure on the top six, as the club now looks forward towards the next match against Norwich City next week sitting only four points behind Sheffield United, who lost at home to Bristol City on Friday night.
Leeds started to put on some early pressure, with Caleb Ekuban chasing down a bad back pass to harass the QPR keeper. Soon after, some good Leeds pressure resulted in a corner, but Gjanni Alioksi’s corner kick was too deep and was headed out away from danger.
9' Pawel Wszolek gets the better of Gaetano Berardi, he gets to the byline before crossing, but Luke Ayling makes a super challenge to prevent Matt Smith from opening the scoring 0-0— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 9, 2017
Luke Ayling made a terrific tackle after Gaetano Berardi had gotten beaten by a QPR winger as QPR started to enjoy a good spell of attacking possession. They put some pressure on the Leeds goal, and Leeds might have been saved by the offside flag after they won possession right in front of the Leeds penalty box.
QPR had another good chance in the 16th minute after Freeman found Washington near the side of the Leeds penalty box, only for the QPR forward to hit the side netting after Ayling had put him under some pressure. Caleb Ekuban had a chance for Leeds in the 18th minute, but he was unable to steer his header into the back of the net after beating the defender to the ball in the air.
QPR’s Scowen received a yellow card for a bad foul on Kemar Roofe in the QPR half, but Alisoki’s resulting free kick went for nowt. Leeds and QPR continued to trade a few chances back and forth, with the best being from QPR’s Matt Smith on a headed attempt from a Bidwell cross and Freeman’s shot that rose above the net off of a low cross into the box from Wszolek.
Ekuban waving to the bench. Looks injured.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 9, 2017
Ekuban got treatment at the 37th minute and had to come off, giving Pawel Cibicki his league debut for Leeds United. Roofe shifted up to playing his natural position of striker, and Cibicki came in on the wing to replace Roofe. Cibicki was involved a few times near the end of the half as Leeds finally looked to put some pressure on the home team, but the match ended up 0-0 at the half.
QPR 0-0 Leeds HT:— Chris Taylor (@LUFCDATA) December 9, 2017
All square but far from pretty. Yet to test Smithies and our midfield have been unable to take a firm hold of this game yet. Passing has been pretty poor, completing just 60% which is our lowest average in any game this season. Big chance for Cibicki now. #LUFC
The second half started much like the first half ended, with Leeds getting a chance off of a corner that was put just wide and the only chance for QPR coming off of a terrible shot from Scowen that sailed somewhere towards the Thames.
Right in the balance this game. Leeds have had the better of the second half. 0-0— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 9, 2017
Despite a pair of questionable yellow cards on Leeds players, Leeds enjoyed much more of the attacking presence in the 2nd half up to the 60th minute, with the only real chance for QPR coming off of a terrible Berardi back-pass that Felix Wiedwald couldn’t control that went out for a corner kick.
Kemar Roofe put the ball into the back of the net off of a header after a wonderful cross put into the box by Alioski in the 63rd minute. Soon after, Leeds won another corner that QPR did just enough to clear out of the box, but not all the way out to the Leeds half.
Luke Ayling did well to pass the ball out to Pawel Cibicki who delivered a brilliant cross right into Kemar Roofe that the striker put past the QPR keeper for his second goal. Ayling did very well to keep the ball in the attacking area and picking out an open Cibicki absolutely helped to provide the chance that he created for Roofe to put past the QPR keeper.
Eunan O’Kane came on for Gjanni Alioski and Matthew Pennington came on for Ronaldo Vieira late in the match to help kill the game off as Leeds looked to win their first match in London since 2015 and collect all three points to keep pace with the teams in the playoff places.
Cibicki's caught the eye today. Moving around like TC's three like to, a pin-point cross for Roofe's goal and a few clever touches. Back in the frame you'd say.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 9, 2017
The biggest story from the match, besides the result, was the performance of Pawel Cibicki. The Swedish winger, who transferred to Leeds from Malmo FF right before the end of the summer transfer window had barely featured for Leeds, not appearing in the league and only appearing in the League Cup. His assist for the Roofe goal was quite good.
90' Idrissa Sylla goes through and Wiedwald makes a super save 1-2— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 9, 2017
And because this is Leeds, instead of making this match easy on supporters, because we can’t have nice things, had to suffer from another dodgy goalkeeping blunder from Wiedwald misjudged a simple bouncing ball and failed to clear it, giving QPR a lifeline back into the match. And of course the difficult save is made to look easy by Wiedwald from a shot by Idrissa Sylla.
And Kemar Roofe scored his third goal for a hat-trick in the dying embers of the match as QPR chased the game looking for an equalizer, a week after putting two goals past Brentford in injury time the previous week. Roofe sealed the game off for good on a well-taken counter attack and he took a few extra touches to get a clean shot off on net that might have deflected off of a QPR defender on the way into the net.
While it was probably more interesting at the end than it should have been, a Kemar Roofe hat trick leaves him with five league goals on the season, joint top scorer for Leeds in the league with Alioski and the “injured” Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
So all is well that ends well, as Leeds take all three points on their trip to London. MOT.