'The race is not over' says defiant Leeds United boss Daniel Farke despite QPR horror show

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Leeds United boss Daniel Farke has not given up on automatic promotion for his team, but their hopes have been left hanging by a thread after an all too familiar failure at Queens Park Rangers’ Loftus Road ground.

The simple fact is that Leicester City are now definitely up and Ipswich are very definitely in the driving seat with three games remaining and only needing five more points needed to clinch second place.

They may need just one more win as in their current form Leeds could well struggle to gain a victory in their last game at home to Southampton.

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With just two wins from their last seven matches the Whites are limping to the end of the season and manager Farke now has a big job to lift the players for the play-offs that are likely.

Illan Meslier was beaten four times as Leeds United were beaten in their crucial game at QPR.Illan Meslier was beaten four times as Leeds United were beaten in their crucial game at QPR.
Illan Meslier was beaten four times as Leeds United were beaten in their crucial game at QPR.

Too many of the key players have gone off form at the wrong time, several look tired and there are others being patched up to play as the rigours of a long and tough Championship season are beginning to take effect.

It certainly did not help that Sky TV decided to put the game at Middlesbrough back 48 hours then moved the next fixture at QPR forward 24 hours and it is little wonder that Leeds fans continue their loud rage at the sports station.

Farke was unhappy at the short turnaround for such a crucial game, but did not make it an excuse for his team’s defeat, which was not entirely a surprise with their most recent record at the ground so poor. Even Marcelo Bielsa found it hard here and it nearly broke him.

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However, the 4-0 scoreline certainly was a shock. Even if it flattered the hosts whose goalkeeper made more saves than Illan Meslier, the United manager accepted Rangers had been good value for a victory that ensured they remain in the Championship for another year.

He said: "First of all I think it's important to say congratulations to QPR for a well deserved win and Leicester for promotion.

The first 20 minutes were decisive. We didn't do the basics and this means to win duels, to be there with aggression, to invest in movements. We didn't show it enough and QPR used it to be 2-0 up.

"We woke up, started to play our game, but then obviously a side fighting for each and every point, then it's of course difficult. They concentrated on being compact, defending really well. We were chasing the first goal to come back, then they scored out of two set-pieces and the game was done and we had to concentrate on not conceding any more.”

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Farke added: "I would have loved to take the pressure away with already being promoted.

"Right now it's not in our hands, we have to be honest. The race is not over. Congratulations to Leicester, promoted, well deserved, but nothing is over with Ipswich.

"If they win the next two I'm the first one to congratulate them but if they don't we have a lot to play for on the last game day.

"We've been in the chasing role since game day one and we never give up until it's done. We have the second bullet (play-offs) and perhaps it's a bit more realistic to speak about, but I'm far from giving up.

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"As long as we have a chance we try everything, even if it's on the last game day. If this is not possible, then we go for the second bullet."

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It was an uphill struggle for the Whites once they went behind to a long range shot from Ilias Chair that deflected in off Joe Rodon.

Before they could hit back – as they had done at Middlesbrough – the hosts doubled their lead when Lucas Andersen all too easily found space in the area to fire an unstoppable shot into the net.

Leeds had the better of the chances in the rest of the half, but Rangers goalkeeper Asmir Begovic made good saves to deny Joel Piroe and Crysencio Summerville and too often some decent approach play by the Whites was let down by wrong options taken in the final third.

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The second half followed the same pattern with Farke’s men huffing and puffing without threatening enough. It seemed there was not enough belief in a comeback and Georginio Rutter missed a decent chance when dragging his shot wide.

The hosts’ time wasting tactics frustrated further, as did petty fouls that allowed Rangers the chance to slow the game down.

It was effectively all over as Lyndon Dykes got away with a nudge on Mateo Joseph as he got on the end of a near post corner and his header found the net underneath Meslier.

Joseph came close to scoring with a clever flick well saved by Begovic, which somehow resulted in a goal kick. But it was 4-0 when Sam Field took advantage of poor defending from another set piece and his header was helped into the net by Meslier.


(Chair 8, Andersen 22, Dykes 73, Field 86)

Friday, April 26, 2024


Attendance: 16,677

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Rangers: Begovic; Field, Dunne, Cook, Clarke-Salter (Fox 81); Colback (Hayden 81), Paal; Willock (Adomah 88), Andersen (Smyth 59) Chair; Dykes (Armstrong 87).

Leeds: Meslier; Byram (Joseph 63), Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gray, Gruev (Kamara 88); Gnonto (Shackleton 88), Rutter (Gelhardt 79), Summerville (Anthony 79); Piroe.

Referee: Darren Bond

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