FULL TIME: Luke Freeman's goal settles the game, as QPR walk away with a 1-0 win at Loftus Road pic.twitter.com/EFwJm20dHW— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 26, 2019
Leeds were by far the better side in the first half but didn’t create enough good chances, and the ones the did create they missed. In the second half Leeds were objectively poor and in the end Luke Freeman’s goal three minutes into the second half was enough to give QPR the win, and leave Leeds wondering if they are blowing their best shot at promotion to the top flight since the play-off final against Watford in Cardiff.
Leeds had the first chance in the opening minutes, good work from Mateusz Klich, Tyler Roberts and Patrick Bamford found Pablo Hernandez, but his left foot shot was weak and wide.
Eberechi Eze had the hosts first effort on target in the 8th minute following good skill from Luke Freeman to beat Kalvin Phillips but his shot was saved easily by Kiko Casilla.
In the 12th minute, a good ball from Hernandez found Tyler Roberts’ run, he laid it off for Bamford whose shot was blocked. There was a strong handball appeal from the Leeds players but nothing was given.
Leeds got a succession of corners after the appeal, the second of which was met by Kalvin Phillips but Joe Lumley tipped his header over well. Roberts forced Lumley into another, easier save a minute later with a curling effort from the edge of the box.
QPR got into a few good crossing positions but Leeds dealt with them well, Jansson and Cooper doing very well in the air. Then Luke Freeman had a strike from 25 yards that was well hit, but hit his teammate Eze in the back.
Leeds got in down the right in the 24th minute with Hernandez finding Ayling in space but his driven cross had too much on it for Bamford to connect with.
Tyler Roberts showed good determination to charge down a clearance from Lumley, unfortunately the ball fell kindly for the QPR defence and they were able to clear the ball from danger.
Hernandez and Ayling combined down the right again in the 28th minute, and again the cross found Bamford, but it was behind him and on his weak foot and his volley went over the bar.
Leeds went incredibly close in the 33rd minute. Ayling and Klich combined in midfield, before Klich found Hernandez on the right hand side. Hernandez played a fantastic ball across goal but it was inches in front of the despairing slide of Bamford.
CHANCE: Close.....Ayling robs Freeman and Leeds counter, Hernandez puts a perfect ball across goal a yard or so out but Bamford sliding in can't reach it. 0-0 on 33 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 26, 2019
Leeds were firmly on top at this point and the frustration was starting to show among the fanbase.
Good lord. Convert one ffs! The floodgates will open.— Simon O'Rourke (@simon_orourke) February 26, 2019
Liam Cooper went down the tunnel with 7 minutes to go in the 1st half to get a head injury taken care of. QPR had a decent effort from distance through Massimo Luongo soon after and QPR came into the game during the time Leeds had 10 men.
Darnell Furlong got in down the Leeds left having beaten Jack Harrison too easily, he put in a good cross but Casilla came out well to punch clear.
Leeds finished out the half with 10 men without ever being in any danger. It did halt the momentum that Leeds had built though and allow QPR to get a bit of a footing in the match. Leeds were left wondering if they would be punished for their profligacy.
Then they were.
QPR took the lead three minutes into the second half. Leeds allowed Luongo in down the QPR right hand side, he put in a low cross and it was turned in by Luke Freeman.
Leeds had an effort a few minuted later from Alioski from 25 yards but it was a poor effort when he had other options available.
QPR had the next effort of note, a good cross from Jake Bidwell was headed towards goal by Pawel Wszolek but it was straight at Casilla.
Casilla then got Leeds out of jail with a great save to deny Nahki Wells who had been left in acres of space at the far post and was found after more good work by Luke Freeman.
Leeds had another succession of corners, mostly coming down the Leeds left, most of the deliveries were poor unfortunately. Cooper managed to get his head on one but it was comfortably wide.
Leeds the brought on Barry Doulgas for Kalvin Phillips, pushing Alioski further up the pitch. The sub wasn’t greeted with much approval.
When Roberts and Harrison have been so poor , what is the point of Izzy brown— gary hall (@garyhall19) February 26, 2019
Casilla was then forced into another save from Luke Freeman, and from the resulting corner Luongo hit a volley from the edge of the box that went just over the bar.
Alioski forced Lumley into a save with an inswinging cross that looked like it may curl under the cross bar. From the corner Tyler Roberts found space on the right but put his cross straight into Lumley’s arms.
Leeds second change was Dallas for Ayling - people still curious as to the whereabouts of one Izzy Brown.
Where’s Izzy???— Liam (@liamhall86) February 26, 2019
Leeds had a chance to shut up the ciritcs of the substitutions after 75mins. Barry Douglas had the freedom of Loftus Road on the edge of the penalty area having been found by Hernandez, on his strong left-foot, but he blazed the ball over the bar.
Then, early season Leeds kicked in again. One-two between Dallas and Hernandez, then Dallas and Bamford gave Dallas a great chance, but his shot was poorly struck. Then. Bamford’s header on the rebound was even poorer than the Dallas shot. Joe Lumley did very well in the QPR goal, but if the finishing is up to standard he has no chance.
Bielsa did the bring Izzy Brown on for Alioski, 10mins left - save the game - no pressure lad.
Barry Douglas then swung a corner to the far post, Jack Harrison had got free but volleyed the ball at Izzy Brown’s head for his introduction to 1st team football at Leeds. His second act was to fly into a tackle trying to make up for Klich’s loss of possession and pick up a yellow card. Brown then immediately clattered into Tomer Hemed and was let off with a warning. It was a fairly inauspicious start for the Chelsea loanee.
Casilla was forced into another good save by Bright Osayi-Samuel in the final minute of normal time following a good left-foot strike across goal.
Leeds forced a couple of corners at the end but never looked like scoring. The second half was very poor. Not the performance of a side gunning for promotion.