Leeds United ran out to a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on the last match of the season. Ryan Edmondson made his debut, Kemar Roofe scored an amazing goal, and Bailey Peacock-Farrell finally got his clean sheet. The end of a season that should have been so much more, but at least the final match was a win.
Leeds went into this match with almost nothing to play for except pride. The relegation and promotion battles were going on all over the country, but at Elland Road, only pride and 14th place were on the line.
The biggest story of this match is not whatever the results would be, although that’s part of it, it’s that Paul Heckingbottom fielded as close to a “full-strength” side as he could, with the pressure of a lack of results rumoured to be breathing down his neck. Unfortunately, this short-sighted thinking is precisely what isn’t needed at this point, as neither Forshaw nor Ayling should have been risked and the youth players, who are literally the future of the club, should have been given a chance.
Leeds had a couple of opportunities early in the match that went begging, and Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a couple plays to deny scoring chances for QPR. The football played wasn’t exactly thrilling, but the recall of Ayling at least made it a bit interesting.
The match was livened up by a wonderful bicycle kick from Roofe after a corner kick that was bounced around in the penalty box. It was a brilliantly taken goal and Roofe seemed up for the match, proving that against QPR at least, he can score well at this level.
Forshaw, whose shown some good energy and leadership in this half, works a pass into Ayling inside the box but the ball runs away from him as he looks to shoot. 1-0 on 45 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 6, 2018
Ayling, Forshaw, and Alioski did some good work on the right hand side to get the ball into the box, but the ball just went past Ayling in the box, which was a shame, as you would have liked to see at least a shot on net from the sequence, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
Leeds went into half-time with a well deserved 1-0 lead over QPR in a match that literally doesn’t matter very much.
The second half started with a substitution and a well-taken goal from Kalvin Phillips as Leeds went to take charge and put the match to bed early in the second half. Phillips made no mistake after getting the ball in an advanced area and burying it past the QPR keeper.
A debut for 16 year-old Ryan Edmondson today to a good cheer from the crowd. Luke Ayling seemed to give him a word before the corner-kick, and it was great to see the teenager, who transferred to Leeds from York City earlier this season, get his league debut. Only wish a few more of the young players had gotten their debut today as well.
Yellow card: Edmondson for a foul on Furlong, who rolls about but then springs to his feet once the card is shown. Aye. 2-0 on 82 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 6, 2018
Edmondson showed he’s Leeds by getting a yellow card on his debut, although in fairness to him, Furlong made an absolute meal of the challenge and seemed to roll around like he had been hit by a train. Edmondson is a load, but it was still an extreme response to a dodgy challenge that seemed more like a youthful mistake than a deliberate attempt to injure.
Leeds got a free-kick in a dangerous position at the start of extra-time, but nothing came of it as QPR and Leeds ran down the clock after four minutes of stoppage time. Not many eyeballs on this match across the country as the promotion and relegation spots were settled elsewhere.
That’s all for 2017-18 folks. There’s always next year.