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Freeman inspires R’s to end winless run against Leeds

PUBLISHED: 21:41 26 February 2019

Queens Park Rangers' Luke Freeman in action with Leeds United's Luke Ayling (Pic: Bradley Collyer/PA)

Queens Park Rangers' Luke Freeman in action with Leeds United's Luke Ayling (Pic: Bradley Collyer/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Championship: Queens Park Rangers 1 Leeds United 0

Queens Park Rangers ended their nine game winless run in the Championship by nabbing a 1-0 win over promotion chasing Leeds United at Loftus Road.

A 49th minute goal from midfielder Luke Freeman guided the R’s to three points and move them up one place to 17th in the league table.

The R’s made two changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Middlesbrough on the weekend.

Luke Freeman returned from a hip injury and Nakhi Wells came back into the starting line-up with Ryan Manning and Tomer Hemed both dropping to the bench.

The visitors got off to a fast start as they looked to put Steve McClaren’s side on the back foot early on.

They got a chance early on as midfielder Mateusz Klich split the QPR midfield open and played it up the pitch for striker Patrick Bamford.

The former Chelsea man combined well with winger Pablo Hernandez but the latter fired wide of the target in the opening minute.

QPR hit right back with a chance of their own as former Stevenage man Freeman drilled an effort from 20 yards that went wide.

The 26-year-old continued to cause danger, this time laying the ball off for Ebere Eze outside the box, but the attacker’s effort is deflected into the arms of goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

The Whites then had a number of chances predominantly through Tyler Roberts although R’s goalkeeper Joe Lumley had to come to the rescue when holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips got his head to an in swinging corner in the 15th minute.

In the 25th minute the hosts were let off as Lumley fired a goal kick out but it hit 20-year-old Roberts and bounced up in the air.

The former Blackpool loanee was then forced to head it clear of danger.

Leeds winger Hernandez then tried to thread the ball across the box for Bamford shortly after, but the striker couldn’t quite get on the end of it at the back post.

The hosts Massimo Luongo tried his luck from 25 yards in the 39th minute but his shot went spiralling over the cross bar.

After going into the half-time all square, it was the hosts who got off to the races in the second-half, as they broke the deadlock in the 49th minute thanks to Freeman.

The former Arsenal youngster got on the end of a Luongo cross and flicked it home after the Australian International raced down the right flank, before pulling back and finding him into the box.

The 26-year-old midfielder Wszolek almost doubled the hosts lead when he got his head to a Jake Bidwell cross but it was straight at Casilla in the 55th minute.

Freeman weaved his way through the Leeds defence before finding Wells, but the loanee attacker was denied by former Madrid shot-stopper Casilla four minutes later.

In the 68th minute Luongo volleyed the ball just over the bar after a Freeman corner was headed down and cleared only as far as the midfielder outside the box.

Leeds kept hunting for an equaliser and very almost had one when Hernandez cut inside from the right, picked out substitute Barry Douglas wide open inside the box on the left, but the defender fired over in the 76th minute.

Two minutes later Lumley was forced to make a triple save as Stuart Dallas broke through the middle, played a one-two with Bamford, but his low shot was kept out before Bamford was also denied twice in a row.

The visitors continued to thrown everything they had going forward but QPR had another glorious chance in the 89th minute when the ball broke to substitute Bright Osayi-Samuel on the left.

The 21-year-old raced clear and fired his effort across the goal but Casilla pulled off a huge save with his finger tips.

QPR (4-4-1-1): Lumley, Hall, Leistner, Boswell, Cousins, Luongo, Freeman (Scowen 86), Wszolek, Eze (Osayi-Samuel 77), Wells (Hemed 83)

Unused subs: Ingram, Manning, Smith, Lynch.

Leeds United (4-5-1): Casilla, Ayling (Dallas 72), Cooper, Bamford, Alioski (Brown 80), Roberts, Jansson, Hernandez, Harrison, Phillips (Douglas 64), Klich.

Unused subs: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Shackleton, Gotts.