Queens Park Rangers beat Leeds United 1-0 in the Championship on Saturday.
The R’s welcomed 2nd-place Leeds on Saturday, and took all three-points thanks to a controversial goal from QPR striker Nahki Wells – Ebere Eze’s free-kick towards goal was blocked by the standing wall, when it appeared to hit both of Wells’ arms before he fired into an almost empty net.
Leeds’ fans, players and staff were left outraged at the goal, which would no doubt have been chalked off if VAR were present in the Championship.
Nevertheless, QPR gave a solid account of themselves as they continue their bright start to 2020, and moved up to 14th with the win – they’re now 14 points ahead of Barnsley in 22nd, and seven from Swansea in 6th.
But there were still some cracks in QPR’s performance, and here we look at two aspects which the West Londoners could make even better after the win:
Defend higher up the pitch
Leeds were, in the second-half, dominating QPR. Marcelo Bielsa’s side had 17 shots throughout the game, but only troubled QPR goalkeeper Liam Kelly when Patrick Bamford stepped up, and missed from the spot.
QPR allowed Leeds the freedom in the second-half and although they put in what might’ve been their best defensive display of the season, on another day, Leeds would’ve scored a handful of goals – Warburton’s side looked to run out of gas a bit in the second, inviting Leeds into their half rather than trying to defend from the top.
Conor Masterson came in for his first league start on Saturday, and alongside Grant Hall in the heart of the defence, looked as solid a pair as QPR have had there in years. Kelly also came in for his first league start since November, and he too looks set to have that no.1 spot on lock-down for the remainder of the season.
Don’t settle for one
One goal was enough for QPR to win it on Saturday, but as stated above, Leeds could’ve and probably should’ve scored a few goals on the day. Warburton’s side almost looked like they’d settled for the one goal and instead of trying to double it and secure the win, looked as though they were happy just defending a single goal lead.
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That’s a dangerous game to play against a team like Leeds, but on this occasion it worked out for them. QPR should’ve pushed for a second goal on Saturday, and look to have utilised their pace on the break to do so. Players like Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ebere Eze showed the odd glimpses in the second-half, but neither could break free and mount a proper counter-attack.