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Monday, February 19, 2007

QPR's Last Two Visits to Leeds: Defeats and Dramatic Off-The-Field Events

QPR play Leeds tomorrow (Tuesday) in a crucial relegation match. There have been various rumours and press reports re a coming managerial change. These rumours were unequivocally denied today by Chairman Paladini. Leeds have offered Leeds fans specially low prices so are expecting a big gate. QPR (or Paladini personally?) have paid for three buses of fans to travel up to Leeds.
Past Results between QPR and Leeds

QPR Official Site Preview of Leeds Game- Leed Preview (In August 2006, QPR and Leeds drew 2-2 at Loftus Road:
See Reports) QPR's Team: P Jones, Bignot (Baidoo 76), Rose, Stewart, Milanese, Ainsworth, Lomas, Rowlands (Bircham 89), Cook, Ward, Czerkas (Jones 54). Subs: Cole, Kanyuka.

Just over a year ago: February 2006, QPR travelled to Leeds for what turned out to be Ian Holloway's last game in charge of QPR. After the game, QPR announced they had placed Ian Holloway on "Gardening Leave." QPR lost that game 0-2 with five players making their debut. QPR's team that day: Barnes; Bignot, Shittu, Lowe, Ainsworth (Youssouf 66); Kus (Langley 86), Cook (Nygaard 66), Lomas, Moore; Taylor, Clarke. Subs not used: Milanese, Donnelly.

And a little over a year prior to that, November 2004: QPR travelled to Leeds and got smashed 6-1. But at the time, what equally made the news were the rumours that Holloway was set for Wolves. An ill-Ian Holloway travled to Leeds and ended up recuperating in the hospital. QPR Team that day: Day, Bignot, Shittu, Santos, Rose (Padula 11), Ainsworth, Bircham, Gallen, McLeod (Cook 45), Furlong, Cureton (Bean 45). Subs Not Used: Branco, Miller.

As Ian Holloway described it some months later: (The Independent November 6, 2005 Ian Holloway - In a league of his own by Robert Chalmers)
"....I had this virus. There had been rumours about me going to Wolves. Three days before, I'd bought flowers for some ladies in the office. Gianni assumed they were a leaving present."So you were on the toilet..."And Gianni was going: 'You fucking bastard I am going to kill you. I am going to kill you, you fucking bastard... where are you, you fucking... fucking hell where are you.'"And you said..."I am on the toilet. My wife is in the house. Ask her. He said: 'She could be at fucking Wolves with you.'"In the end, Holloway says, he had to drive up to Leeds, to reassure the Italian. It was a journey he remembers."It was a terrible virus. It was coming out of both ends. I had to stop at every service station. I shouldn't have gone. It was horrendous. I was totally dehydrated. My lips were stuck to my teeth. I ended up in hospital, the following day. I was in for a week. I had six drips put into me.... " Independent
[NB: This of course was before Paladini became QPR Chairman]

Match Report of Leeds 2 QPR 0 - February 2006 - Guardian
Strange Ranger Holloway keeps his mind on the job John Ashdown at Elland RoadMonday February 6, 2006The Guardian
"He's got to stop letting speculation get to him - you've just got to focus on your job," said Ian Holloway of his centre-half Danny Shittu, who was the subject of several bids during the transfer window. With rumours suggesting that the QPR manager may this week take over at managerless Leicester, he was certainly heeding his own advice.
The Bristolian was his usual self after watching his side slip to a third consecutive defeat, picking the bones out of another colourful week at Loftus Road. Five players were given their debuts on Saturday, the result of a desperate scramble to produce a side capable of competing at Elland Road. Training for a new system went ahead on Friday without a goalkeeper. "I was very proud of my Queens Park Strangers side," he said. "I've never known anything like the last couple of days."
If Holloway has one eye on the Leicester vacancy he did not show it, preferring to concentrate on the need for English lessons for his new Polish left-back and his desire to see several senior first-team members out of the treatment room. If Leicester have one eye on Holloway it would be no surprise given his record - promotion in 2004 has been followed by two seasons of stability in the Championship, despite a decidedly unstable boardroom backdrop. If there is one thing needed at the Walkers Stadium it is stability.
Though Rangers offered a dogged performance on Saturday the result was rarely in doubt. With so many new faces there was, understandably, little attacking cohesion. At the back it was the debutant who had a greater vested interest than most in keeping Leeds at bay who did the most to undo his own defence.
The forms allowing the goalkeeper Phil Barnes to join on emergency loan from Sheffield United were only signed at 11.30 on Saturday morning and four hours later he was committing the clanger that allowed his parent club's promotion- chasing rivals to take a lead which had been starting to look unlikely. The keeper totally misjudged Eddie Lewis's outswinging free-kick and Richard Cresswell nodded into an empty net.
What followed was tame, lifted only by Paul Butler's late second and an eye-opening display from Shittu at the heart of the QPR defence. "If I was a Premiership manager I'd have bought him by now," said Holloway. "I don't think there is anything like him around. Where can you find a big fella like that who can run as quick as he can, is as strong as he is, and can head it like that? I would hate to see us without him." Rangers fans should feel the same way about their manager.
Man of the match Danny Shittu (QPR) Guardian

Leeds United 2 Queen's Park Rangers 0: Lewis lives off scraps to feed Leeds' promotion hunger
By Jon Culley
".....Rangers lost their third match in a row but do not look a team on the slide. In the light of the drastic surgery, their manager, Ian Holloway, had performed after losing to Leicester last week, they were probably unlucky not to emerge with a point.
Creatively, they offered too little to win but a defence in which four of the five - the goalkeeper Phil Barnes, the full-backs Marcin Kus and Andy Taylor and the centre-back Keith Lowe - were making their debuts as loan signings showed remarkable coherence.
Danny Shittu again showed why he is among the best central defenders outside the Premiership while the hugely experienced Steve Lomas ensured that Shaun Derry could never impose the grip on midfield he would have liked. Independent

Also Telegraph Report - Telegraph

November 20, 2004 QPR Travelled to Leeds and lost 6-1.
[match report of that game from November 2004)


Leeds 6 QPR 1

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Leeds at last gave their long-suffering fans good reason to cheer by storming to their biggest win for nearly 18 months thanks to Brian Deane's four-goal haul at Elland Road.

Kevin Blackwell's side turned the Coca-Cola Championship table on its head, coming back from Gareth Ainsworth's stunning early opener for the visitors to hit six without reply - with veteran Deane, in his second spell for the Yorkshire club, the star of the show.

Defeat against high-flying QPR would have left Leeds dangerously close to the drop zone.

But they responded in style with David Healy chipping a fine equaliser seven minutes after Ainsworth's opener - his third goal in five games - and Deane tapping home his first four minutes later to give them the lead.

Jermaine Wright swept home a third at the second attempt, and Deane added his second and then completed a first-half hat-trick in the space of two minutes shortly before the interval.

Healy saw his second-half penalty well saved by visiting goalkeeper Chris Day, but Deane added his fourth soon afterwards to complete the rout.

It is the first time Leeds have scored five or more goals in a competitive match since April 2003 when they put six past Charlton in the Premiership.

Ainsworth rocked Leeds when he unleashed an unstoppable rising drive from the edge of the penalty area, leaving goalkeeper Neil Sullivan motionless.

But then Gary Kelly swung over a cross from the right - and when Deane's flick-on found Healy the Irishman's deft first touch gave him time to chip the ball over stranded goalkeeper Day.

Boosted by such a quick response, Leeds swept forward again - and when Wright's drilled cross-shot flashed invitingly across goal Day hesitated and was punished by Deane who tapped home from three yards.

Leeds were rampant. Deane had a further effort ruled out for offside in the 17th minute, and Healy curled a right-footer from 20 yards which Georges Santos did well to clear.

The visitors were rocked again, though, in the 23rd minute when Leeds grabbed a third.

QPR failed to clear a long throw - and although Day blocked Wright's initial effort, the former Ipswich midfielder followed up to fire home the rebound to give Leeds a two-goal cushion.

Deane converted Wright's cross to make it 4-1 just before the interval and then fired home from the edge of the area after being played in by Kelly.

QPR boss Ian Holloway replaced Jamie Cureton and Kevin McLeod with Marcus Bean and Lee Cook respectively during the interval.

Leeds maintained their fine form, though, and could even afford the luxury of a missed penalty midway through the second half when Bean was adjudged to have brought down Simon Walton - Healy's placed spot-kick saved by Day.

But Blackwell's side extended their lead further when Deane claimed his fourth, sweeping home John Oster's cross in the 72nd minute.

The 36-year-old striker left the field to a standing ovation when replaced by Aaron Lennon in the closing stages, with a fourth home win of the season already secured in some style.


Leeds Sullivan, Kelly, Carlisle, Butler, Pugh, Walton (Richardson 90), Gregan, Wright, Oster, Deane (Lennon 86), Healy (Joachim 77).

Subs Not Used: Carson, Kilgallon.

Goals: Healy 9, Deane 13, Wright 23, Deane 42, 44, 72.

QPR Day, Bignot, Shittu, Santos, Rose (Padula 11), Ainsworth, Bircham, Gallen, McLeod (Cook 45), Furlong, Cureton (Bean 45).
Subs Not Used: Branco, Miller. Sporting Life


Rangers face a crucial six-pointer when they travel to Elland Road - home of Leeds United - on Tuesday evening.

Despite a solid start to the campaign, Leeds are currently rooted to the foot of the Championship, with just nine victories to their name all season long.

Dennis Wise's arrival as boss in late November was expected to provide the catalyst for the Clubs revival, but in truth, it's been a season to forget for the Whites.

Poor form, coupled with dressing room unrest and the highly publicised leaking of team news ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace earlier in the month, has made Wise's job a complex one.

However, with an experienced squad at his disposal, the former Swindon boss remains confident his side can beat the dreaded drop.

"We need to win a certain amount of games and if we win them, we're safe,'' said Wise.

"That's all we have to do. We have to concentrate on us and not others.''

The previous fixture between the two sides ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Loftus Road.

Super-sub Shabazz Baidoo came off the bench to bag a last gasp equaliser for Rangers in early August, after Leeds had twice taken the lead in a ding-dong contest in W12.

Rangers will still be minus the services of Marcus Bignot (knee) and Marc Bircham (back), but Sampsa Timoska is expected to shake off the groin injury he sustained in the R's last outing.

Goalkeeper Lee Camp could also figure after joining the R's on loan from Derby County....

Top scorer (league goals only): David HEALY 7

Last league game:
Cardiff City 1, Leeds United 0.
Coca Cola Championship.
February 17th 2007.
Leeds United: Ankergren, Armando Sa, Rui Marques (Foxe 41), Heath, Douglas, Westlake (Cresswell 60), Lewis, Nicholls, Moore, Kandol, Blake (Healy 60).
Subs Not Used: Stack, Howson.

Leeds United boss Dennis Wise: "We have missed a great chance of getting something from this game but when you are down there at the bottom something always seems to happen.
"Crucially they scored on the stroke of half time and after that we were always chasing the game.
"I think it was the best 30 minutes we have played away from home this season but when you are down there no-one will help you and we must pick ourselves up for the next match."

Leeds gaffer Dennis Wise

Superhoopsbet.co.uk match odds:
Leeds United 10/11
QPR 13/5
Draw 9/4

Key player: Alan THOMPSON
Alan Thompson - hero of many Celtic fans for his services to one of Britain's biggest clubs - made the surprising move to Leeds United in January.
A dead ball specialist with a good eye for goal, Thompson has settled in well at Elland Road and bagged the Whites' winner in their victory against Hull last month.
Thompson spent over six years at Celtic (227 appearances with 51 goals) following a £2.75million switch from Aston Villa in 2000. He had previously made over 150 appearances for Bolton before moving to Villa in a £4.5million deal in 1998.

Head to head:
Leeds wins: 15
QPR wins: 14
Draws: 12

Last meeting:
Queens Park Rangers 2, Leeds United 2.
Coca Cola Championship.
August 8th 2006.

Latest News: Wise glad he revealed team leak
Leeds manager Dennis Wise has "no regrets" in revealing that a mole revealed team news to Crystal Palace ahead of last weekend's game. But Wise has condemned the unnamed player for remaining silent.
"I have no regrets, none at all," Wise told BBC Radio Leeds. "That person is the only person who knows.
"He is the only person who can end all the speculation. But if he's not bold enough and brave enough to come forward then maybe we'll never know."
Leeds won the fixture 2-1 but remain bottom of the Championship.
(source: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/)
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