Leeds United 2 (Roberts 39, Harrison 82)
This was a very un-Bielsa Leeds performance, with QPR actually recording a slightly higher percentage of possession than we achieved; only marginally of course, but none the less, that’s been a pretty rare thing since we adopted the Bielsaball MO.
Having said that, this was a far more efficient Leeds performance than we have seen recently; we saw little of the sparkle and guile we grew used to back in August but, instead, we saw a ruthless and hardworking display that maybe, just maybe, will be far more useful as the first half of the season morphs into the second. We fashioned 18 shots and, again unusually for us, got 6 of them on target, while the visitors, despite seeing more ball, could only register 6 attempts with one hitting the target.
Although much was made pre-match of the Hoops’ free scoring front-line of Hugill, Wells and Eze, only Eze caught the eye with his many mazy dribbles, while Hugill and Wells were kept quiet by a defence that is now the most miserly in the Football League. It is to be hoped that the now expected loss of Kiko Casilla for the next couple of months will not jeopardise that status. Not for the first time in our history, a moment of madness is again going to place additional stress on an already difficult challenge.
A goal in each half did the trick today, with Tyler Roberts showing that the power of the strike is not as important as getting the damn thing on target; you never know what will happen if, first of all, the ball is travelling towards the net and not into the stand behind it! We still managed a few of those as well, but let’s hope Roberts has shown the way forward! Jack Harrison was my pick of the Leeds players today for another non-stop performance and he’s showing us all how it is possible to play through a poor spell and come good if you are prepared to put in the work. He maybe got lucky with his one-two off a QPR defender but he deserved that! Was it my imagination or was he more effective without the constant distraction of Alioski around him? I’ve thought for a few weeks that the two were actually getting in each other’s way when they are both on the pitch at the same time.
So, maybe temporarily with other games to come over the next two days, Leeds are back in pole position and maybe this time we can now power ahead and start to put some distance between ourselves and the rest of the pack. If QPR really are one of the better outfits in the division then we saw today how very average the quality level is this year. We have to make our strengths tell this season or we may be destined to plough a furrow in Championship for ever more! This is our time, let’s take it; three more points against Blackburn on Saturday to start with.
Leeds Utd Q.P.R.
Possession 49% 51%
Shots 18 6
On Target 6 1
Corners 6 2
Fouls Committed 18 20