Leeds missed out on the play-offs but did their bit to spoil the QPR promotion party after coming back from going a goal down early on to win 2-1.

The day started horribly for Leeds. The news that QPR were found guilty on two charges but would not be deducted any points was released almost exactly an hour before kick-off. It was bad timing from the FA and no doubt helped QPR fly out the traps the way they did.

Within thirty seconds QPR won the ball and blitzed forward. Tommy Smith received the ball in the box and shot at Schmeichel who spilled it into the path of Heidur Helguson to tap home. The Leeds defence was static and didn’t seem to know what had hit them. QPR started with pace and Leeds just weren’t ready for them.

After that the game took on the typical feel of the last game of the season. QPR didn’t really move up a gear, though Schmeichel was forced into action a couple of times. Slowly Leeds started to see more of the ball though chances were sparse. There was a brief glimmer of hope as Billy Paynter found himself through on goal only to be brought down by a flailing leg. Inexplicably referee, Mark Clattenburg, waved away the appeals. It would certainly have been a red card and a chance to equalise.

Leeds were starting to push QPR back and finally equalised through Max Gradel. A long ball from Richard Naylor deceived the QPR defence and Gradel’s excellent movement allowed him to flick the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper. The home crowd had been surprisingly muted up until then but that silenced them. The Leeds fans were in great voice as the team saw out the rest of the half reasonably comfortably to head in level.

The Whites started the second half much better than they started the first but QPR were still able to demonstrate their pace coming forward and frightened the Leeds defence on a couple of occasions. After initially flapping at a cross, Schmeichel made a great save from a header back at goal.

Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny were playing very well in the middle of the park and were on hand to keep Adel Taarabt quiet once he was introduced. Leeds were creating chances but nothing clear cut while Paynter was having a nightmare up front and was replaced by Davide Somma who immediately looked sharper than Paynter had all game.

Leeds took the lead through a Ross McCormack deflected shot on 68 minutes. He showed good control on the edge of the box before looking to slide it into the corner, his shot came off QPR defender Kaspars Gorkss and ballooned over Radek Cerny and into the opposite side of the goal. McCormack, who also shaved the post with an ambitious drive later on, will be claiming the goal despite the massive deflection.

There was a huge ovation for the return of Paddy Kisnorbo, complete with head bandage who came on for Richard Naylor. It was great to see him back in action.

QPR threw on defender Danny Shittu up front to try and salvage something from the game but aside from one snap shot that Schmeichel saved comfortably he was ineffective and Leeds held out well to do their part in spoiling the QPR party.

The stand out performers were Kilkenny and Johnson, who passed and tackled superbly. Max Gradel was impressive in the first half but went quiet in the second and was replaced by Sanchez Watt. Eric Lichaj was typically tireless as he busted his guts getting up and down the left flank all game.

Securing a play-off place was always a tall order but Leeds can be happy with how they performed and it rounds off a fantastically entertaining season excellently. How much of this team runs out in August remains to be seen and today may well have been the last time we see some players in the Leeds shirt. It would be fair to say though, that despite our ups and downs this season, most of the players have been good servants for the club. For Leeds fans, all eyes turn to the summer transfer window and the start of a new season.

25 Responses

  1. Batty Shoot

    Nightmare journey down to QPR. We arrived in our seats just after HT after coach broke down. A frustrating day that sums up our season perfectly! Good win that was meaningless at the end of the day. For all the positive aspects,two words sum up our season “MISSED OPPORTUNITY”

  2. Bury White

    Flat end to whats been a great season but definitely a missed opportunity. A least we can look forward to a summer of transfer speculation Can anybody tell me how KB can afford to buy a football club but couldn’t afford £6m to buy back Thorpe Arch……conspiracies a plenty.

  3. CJ

    Hollow victories over Burnley & QPR mean nothing. Why couldn’t we put a bit of effort against when it really mattered against Palace?
    I just hope uncle Kenneth releases the purse strings a bit!
    We needs quality PERMANENT signings with no more loans.
    It’s safe to say we’ve seen the last of George McCartney- GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!
    Bury White- I’m sure most people know who the mystery owner of Leeds United was. The same person will no doubt own the stadium & training ground.

  4. Dje

    The best team won, not that it counted for much.

    Any news of what happened to Snodgrass? I know he had a bad back a few weeks back, but I expected him to at least be on the sub’s bench. Just hope that’s not the last we’ve seen of him in a Leeds shirt.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens regarding Johnson and Kilkenny’s contracts now. Were they playing hardball because they didn’t want to be on Championship wages in the Premiership if we had got promoted, but are happy to sign for us now? If not Grayson will have to pull out an entirely new central midfield, hmm.

  5. kev

    I thought Kilkenny was excellent today,wether he was playing for a new contract or trying to get in the shop window i don’t know,uncle Ken has no excuses now to get some investment in this summer and spend some money coz if he won’t then theres no point in him being chairman of this great club,coz 7th won’t do next year !!

  6. number1inyorkshire

    seasons over thank god .
    7th not good enough for me and i am sure others ,missed chances ,opportunities ,lack of ambition and no quality anywhere .

    A season really which to be fair has flattered us at times ,and there must be some shite in that league if we can ship so many and still finish 7th ,.

    bates is confirmed as owner well he needs to spend some money because at 79 time is running out for him to get back some of his investment he will have to sell because no one will work with him so he needs to spend to get into a position to get into prem .
    grayson needs to sort himself because he was cocky last week saying mission accomplished staying in champs ,he at least has to finish 6th next season ,or bates will sack him ,and to be fair i feel he has gone as far as he can with us ,his management needs to be looked at by him and he needs to improve in all ways not least his post match interviews .
    we need to sign some quality of all the players ,who have donned a leeds shirt this season there are 5/6 worth having next season .sorry but kasper needs to either be replaced or have some serious competition ,he is not his father .

  7. Gryff

    I thought Kilkenny was good today as was BJ. Great to see Kisnorbo again.

    That said, where was Kilkenny through the rest of the season? Is it that he simply can’t play 4-5-1?

  8. Apeman

    I think a lot of Leeds fans have short memories!!!
    At the end of last season after promotion most were going to be satisfied if we stayed up with the squad we had and now 7th place with a slight hope of a play off place is not good enough?? Had we gone up with the lack of serious investment there is every likelyhood that we would have come straight back down!
    So be thankful you aren’t supporting The Blunts.

  9. CJ

    Kev- That’s a very cynical view to suggest that Killkenny is putting in a bit of effort in order to get a new contract. You’re actully dead right!!!!
    Same could be said for Kisnorbo.
    He’ll play through pain barrier today, sign a contract & then he’ll be long-term injured again.
    We can’t afford to waste wages on a lame duck who’s spent most of the last few years in the treatment room.
    Killkenny is too hit & miss. His best performance at Elland Road was when he was playing (on loan from Birmingham)for Oldham against Leeds. How typical is that? I’d send them both on their way.
    With a bit of investment, both will easily be replaced.

  10. Tim Campbell

    Now that the seasons over, let the transfer speculation begin! Can I suggest that Nick Montgomery might sign for us this time round, owing to the blunting of the blades.

  11. Tim Wilsom

    What’s up with Kis’s bandage, is he a slow healer?

  12. CJ

    Tim campbell. I’m sure Leeds will be chasing Sheff Utd’s Nick Montgomery because he’s available on a free transfer. That will certainly appeal to tight-fisted Ken Bates.

  13. Bubionwhite

    The merry go round of comments has already begun and I’m sure will continue all summer but the one that continues to baffle me is that if we don’t spend money we can’t get good players. The question for CJ is, is Nick Montgomery good enough to play for Leeds? If the answer is yes then we should sign him whether he’s on a free or not … if the answer’s “no” then don’t touch him with a barge pole.

  14. Chareose

    Bury White – he can afford it because Ken Bates bought Leeds from Ken Bates………….

  15. Lewis

    buy lichaj in the summer in i will be happy, send mccartney back to sunderland preffarably by donkey ride so he can ride something that is better than him so he might step his game up, would gladly take derry next year from qpr as we needa player like him in our team, 1 more striker in place of paynter as cover for becchio and mccormack as somma is cover for mccormack and a super sub but what is paynte – a shit becchio yup you got it right, defence with lichaj we just need a solid left back maybe see if parkers ready for the challenge, and ship out a few cb’s and bring a few in and were sorted, if we do cash in on schmeichal really the keeper has to be to equal standard so get westwood

  16. Ron

    Thanks to everyone for the commentary this year and to TSS for putting it together. This is a forgettable season for mine and we should at least be in the play-offs. Inexcusable really. The sad thing about getting so close is that all your best players are in the spotlight/shop window all year when you’re flying, so I expect quite a few exits. We should burn ER down if this old c&nt does not spend some money on ‘his’ club this summer.

  17. ellamforengland

    Leeds 4 Preston 6 and doing the double over the champions just about sums the season up for me, frustrating. Having said that I,m still relatively pleased with the season as a whole as at times we played some excellent football, going forward, the less said about the defensive masquerade the better. If we can keep the core players and strenghen with bought players I feel optamistic for next season. Here’s hoping for a summer buy out!!!!! Roll on August.

  18. Ben

    I think 7th is not bad for first season back, a lot of teams that have been in this league for years, experienced grinders like Barnsley and Watford and know all about championship football. We came up with a team that just got promoted from league 1, so pretty happy to be fair.

    Having said that, we need to kick on next season and achieve playoffs as a minimum, think we can with the right players brought in, and the deadwood removed from the squad.

  19. Irving08

    Like Edward Gray, I don’t rate this as any more than a fair season. We came up with sufficient good players to ensure at least a play off place. Our failure to finish any higher than seventh is down solely to managerial deficiencies: tactical confusion; terrible signings; and poor man mangement. A team fielding talents such as Snodgrass, Howson, Gradel, Scheimechel, Killkenny and Becchio (and even Johnson) has no right NOT be in the play-offs. Even our much criticised defence (once Collins was gone) was good enough individually for most of the teams in this Division. The question everyone should be asking is this: why was the sum less than the total of its parts ? Without a QUALITATIVE improvement on the management side, I do not think that this time next year, we will have anything to clebrate either. Sorry everyone, but that’s my conclusion having seen 18 managerial teams in operation during 6 decades of watching my beloved team.

    • ellamforengland

      Qualitative improvement on the managament side. Radabe as a defensive coach ? I know he is untried and there is a thought his cult status could undermind Grayson but, if Grayson has as much belief in is own managerial potential as outside pundits seem to have he should be strong enough to cope with the challenge. Worth a try ? It should’nt be that difficult to counter act aerial bombardment, surely!

    • Mark R

      Yep. Agree with that Irving.
      Summed up well. Disappointing for me as well.

      I’ve said before on this site that the pattern of the last two seasons is that th eteam goes well in the league prior to January, plays extremely well and shows great potential against Premier opposition in the FA Cup, then fails to fulfull that potential by performing poorly and inconsistently until the season’s end in May. Two seasons running now.


  20. Irving08

    Correction – showing my age ! I should have written: why was the whole less than the sum of the parts ! And why is the tone of much local coverage of Leeds generally so unambitious and uncritical ? One reason, I think, is that it is all a bit incestuous – which is one reason why I would always prefer, other things being equal, an outsider as a Manager. [Mind, a part of me wouldn’t say no to John Sheridan ! – a cracking player, one of the best midfielders ever to wear a Leeds shirt, and the kind of man who players will pull out a bit extra for – our Kenny Jackett, if you like. Bates and Sheridan – definitely not a partnership made in heaven !]


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