Leeds United stumble in Championship title race against QPR as Patrick Bamford misses penalty and Kalvin Phillips sees red
Jan. 19, 2020
Leeds United missed the chance to go top of the Championship table after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
After Fulham claimed all three points at home to Middlesbrough on Friday night , the Whites knew they could push away from the dreaded Play-Off places and leapfrog West Bromwich Albion before their game with Stoke City on Monday.
However, Marcelo Bielsa’s men made the worst possible start at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as Nakhi Wells opened the scoring in the 20 th minute as he tapped home after Ebere Eze’s free-kick was deflected into his path.
The Leeds players protested furiously as replays showed the ball may well have come off the arm of the former Huddersfield striker before he slotted it into the net.
The visitors responded well to the set-back, but could not find an answer before the break as chants of ‘you’re not fit to referee’ rang out from the away stand.
Leeds had the perfect opportunity to equalise in the second half after Liam Kelly felled Bamford in the box, but the former Chelsea striker saw his tame penalty tipped round the post.
And to compound the misery of the away side, Kalvin Phillips saw a straight red for an awful Geoff Cameron.
With the midfielder now set for a three game ban and two home games in a row, Bielsa will have to rally his troops to ensure his side do not fall by the wayside in their quest for promotion.
With the likes of Brentford and Fulham breathing down their necks, and having run out of steam in last season’s promotion race, the Yorkshire side have every reason to be worried.
They certainly had reason to be angry about Wells’ winner.
Luke Ayling attempted to block Ebere Eze’s free-kick and the Leeds defender inadvertently headed it towards Wells, who controlled the ball on his arm before firing past Kiko Casilla from close range.
The goal – Wells’ 14th of the season and fifth in his past three matches – would certainly have been ruled out if VAR were operating in the Championship.
But luck was on Leeds’ side when Wells missed a great chance to double Rangers’ lead as he miscued after being found unmarked by another Eze free-kick.
Bamford then missed a chance for the visitors, shooting over with just Kelly to beat after Conor Masterson had misjudged keeper Casilla’s long punt forward.
And Bamford was unable to score from the spot just after the hour mark.
Danny Mills predicts 'tough times' for Leeds if they fail to win promotion this season
He latched on to Ayling’s pass and went down after minimal contact from Kelly, who had the last laugh by diving to his left and pushing away the striker’s penalty.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side dominated much of the second half but the penalty was by far their best chance to draw level.
Kelly held a long-range strike from Phillips and was relieved to see Pablo Hernandez’s free-kick flash narrowly wide.
Rangers remained a threat on the counter-attack, with Eze and the in-form Bright Osayi-Samuel always a problem for the visiting defence.
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