Hill strike gives QPR narrow win at Leeds
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Championship: Leeds United 0 QPR 1
Clint Hill scored the only goal of the game as QPR made it back-to-back away wins with three points against Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday.
Rs captain Hill, a key figure in last week’s win over Bolton, fired into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box on 75 minutes, after the Leeds defence failed to clear a Joey Barton free-kick.
Barton himself had a goal ruled out for offside – incorrectly – earlier in a match where chances were at a premium but QPR defended well to register another valuable three points.
The win sent Harry Redknapp’s side back to the top of the Championship ahead of the day’s 3pm kick-offs, with four wins from their first five league matches.
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Redknapp reverted to the side which defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium seven days ago, while winger Junior Hoilett returned to the bench following his recovery from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of Rangers’ last two matches.
Leeds had the first sight of goal, as forward Ross McCormack laid the ball off to Paul Green, but the midfielder’s shot was always rising and flew into the crowd behind the QPR goal.
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Rangers thought they had made the perfect start with the opening goal on nine minutes. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Andy Johnson combined well, and when the ball fell to Gary O’Neil he played in Barton, but the midfielder’s neat finish was ruled out by the linesman’s flag. Replays suggested that Barton was onside, but the home side survived.
Wright-Phillips had another sight of goal, getting his head to Danny Simpson’s cross, but the winger was under pressure from Lee Peltier and the ball bounced tamely wide.
The home side won several corners, all of which were dealt with by the QPR defence, while Rangers’ neat and tidy passing was let down by little end product.
Rs striker Austin had been quiet in the first half, but might have broken the deadlock within two minutes of the restart. Stephen Warnock’s back-pass was poor and seized on by Austin who raced in on Paddy Kenny, but the Leeds keeper saved well at the near post.
A mistake from QPR centre-back Nedum Onuoha allowed Dominic Poleon a chance, but his initial shot struck Onuoha and his follow-up was saved with ease by Rob Green.
Redknapp brought on Hoilett for O’Neil just past the hour mark, with the Canadian immediately giving the visitors an added attacking dimension on the left wing. Austin had another half-chance; his low shot from inside the penalty area held by Kenny.
The breakthrough for QPR arrived 15 minutes form the end. Barton’s free-kick caused panic in the Leeds penalty area, eventually falling for skipper Hill to rifle into the net.
Hoilett flashed a header wide shortly afterwards, as QPR pressed for a quick second goal.
At the other end Poleon did well under pressure from Onuoha to force a save from Kenny while Peltier saw his shot deflected wide.
With almost the last kick, Rodolph Austin volleyed a shot onto the top of the bar, but Leeds were unable to find a response as QPR recorded their first win at Elland Road since 1995.
QPR: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Onuoha, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Henry (Faurlin), O’Neil (Hoilett), Johnson, Austin.