Queens Park Rangers 1 Leeds United 3: QPR undone by Kemar Roofe hat-trick for Whites
PUBLISHED: 16:56 09 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:56 09 December 2017
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Championship: Queens Park Rangers 1 (Wszolek 90) Leeds United 3 (Roofe 63, 68, 90+4))
Queens Park Rangers slipped to a sixth Championship game without a win after going down 3-1 at home to promotion-chasing Leeds United.
The first half was hardly one that would live long in the memory, with the sides unable to muster a shot on target between them.
White forward Kemar Roofe netted a hat-trick for the Whites after the break, and though Pawel Wszolek scored a fortuitous late go, there was little to cheer for QPR.
The west Londoners made three changes to their starting XI following last weekend’s loss at Preston North End, with recalls for Nedum Onouha, Luke Freeman and Matt Smith.
Onuoha, who was making his first appearance since September 12 after overcoming a hamstring injury, replaced the suspended Alex Baptiste.
Matt Smith was another to come in for a player who was banned, taking over up top from Jamie Mackie, who was serving the first game of a three-match ban.
Luke Freeman was suspended for last week’s trip to Deepdale, but was available for selection to face Leeds and came in for David Wheeler, who dropped to the bench.
Joining Wheeler among the substitutes was Grant Hall, appearing in his first matchday squad since April.
The opening period of the match had a quick tempo to it, though the best either side could muster were a couple of half-chances.
In the 16th minute, a lovely dinked ball from Freeman found Conor Washington in the box.
Controlling the ball on his chest with his first touch, the Northern Ireland international shot with his second, but dragged his effort just wide of the post.
Two minutes later, a good passage of play from Leeds ended with Caleb Ekuban narrowly nodding a Luke Ayling cross over the bar.
Massimo Luongo had the ball in the net with a superb curling finish from 18 yards less than 60 seconds later, but the goal was ruled out after Washington was ruled offside earlier in the move.
A quick break down the left for the hosts in the 26th minute resulted in Jake Bidwell crossing for Smith, but the forward could not get his header on target against his former side.
An equally-slick counter down the right a minute later saw Wszolek slide the ball across the box, finding Freeman, whose close-range effort under pressure went over.
In the final minute of the half, Roofe broke clear for the Whites, but Bidwell tracked back well to snuff out the threat, before the hosts cleared.
Referee Chris Kavanagh signalled the end of the first period soon after, as the sides went into the break with neither stopper being fully tested.
Eight minutes into the second half, the first shot on target finally arrived, but QPR stopper Alex Smithies was comfortably behind substitute Pawel Cibicki’s pea-roller from the edge of the box.
The deadlock, though, was finally broken in the 63rd minute when Roofe headed home a cross from the left by Ezgjan Alioski.
QPR went close to a quick riposte, with Luongo heading a Bidwell cross into the side netting two minutes later.
The visitors, though, doubled their lead in the 69th minute when Roofe bundled home a cross from the right by Cibicki.
In the final minute of normal time, the Rs pulled one back in bizarre fashion through Wszolek.
A long punt forward from the Poland international looked harmless, and Leeds stopper Felix Wiedwald allowed the ball to bounce in the area.
However, the ball went over the United keeper and into the net to give the home fans something to cheer.
That gave QPR some hope, which was quickly extinguished when Roofe completed his hat trick in stoppage time.
The Rs’ quest for a win takes them to Birmingham City next weekend as they look to avoid a seventh game without success.
QPR (4-3-3): Smithies; Wszolek, Onuoha, Robinson, Bidwell (Sylla 71); Luongo, Scowen (Hall 78), Freeman; Washington, Smith, Chair (Osayi-Samuel 64).
Subs: Lumley (GK), Cousins, Manning, Wheeler.
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Wiedwald; Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Berardi; Phillips, Viera (Pennington 80); Saiz, Roofe, Alioski (O’Kane 70); Ekuban (Cibicki 38).
Subs: Longergan (GK), Borthwick-Jackson, Anita, Shaughnessy.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
Attendance: 15,506 (including 3,149 Leeds fans).