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                                                         LEEDS UNITED........6 QPR........1
                                                                    Leeds United badge       Queens Park Rangers badge

Leeds went goal crazy at Elland Road, completely blowing QPR away in spectacular style and hopefully getting the season back on track.

Brian Deane was the man who handed out most of the punishment, scoring four - including a first half hat-trick - to defy his critics who had written him off at the tender age of 36!

It was the first time United had won by the same scoreline since that famous away win over Charlton Athletic in April 2003, when another big Leeds striker scored a hat-trick, Mark Viduka.  At Elland Road, it was the first six goal haul at Elland Road since the 6-1 thrashing of Bradford City in the penultimate game of the 2000/2001 season in which Robbie Keane also hit a hat-trick.

Team News

Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell named an unchanged side for the third game running, which means he continues to play with three men forward and three in midfield.

The visitors made just one change, welcoming back midfielder Marc Bircham after suspension.

The Match

Leeds had been looking for a good start against Rangers, but it was the visitors who stunned Elland Road with an early goal after just two minutes.

Former Wimbledon man Gareth Ainsworth gained possession 30-yards out from goal, approached five yards and smashed a right footed shot into the back of the net with a glorious strike.

It was a bitter pill for the Whites to swallow, and the outcome of the game would depend on how they responded to such an early setback.

The response itself was good and instead of the usual panic Leeds were measured and patient.

The first chance to equalise came two minutes after the goal. Wright took a free-kick on the left, Brian Deane met it inside the area before the defender could get there and Clarke Carlisle was nearly on the end of the loose ball to score against his old team, Danny Shittu just covering in time.

Then Wright went for goal himself with a shot from 16-yards out but QPR keeper Chris Day just managed to push it over the bar at full stretch.

The pressure continued on the visitors goal when Pugh cross brought down by Deane but the striker fluffed his shot.

The breakthrough finally came on nine minutes and it was a goal to savour for David Healy, his first for United at Elland Road since his move from Preston.

Wright's ball forward was headed down by Deane towards his partner in the centre and Healy met it with a first time half-volley that flew right over the keeper and nestled itself neatly in the back of the net.  It was as precise a lob as you are ever likely to see.

The visitors problems then began when defender Matthew Rose was forced off with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Gino Padula.

From being a goal down Leeds had suddenly awaken and showed their potency by taking the lead just three minutes after their equaliser.

Jermaine Wright was at the heart of it again as he surged forward and sent a virtually undefendable ball across the face of the area for Deane to tap home.   Wright was in inspirational form and Leeds were reaping the benefit.

It could have been 3-1 just seconds later when Oster's shot was only parried by the keeper and Deane was there to tap it in but the flag went up for offside.

The third goal came after 23 minutes, and at this point Leeds were rampant. Having threatened to take someone apart this season they finally appeared to be doing it.

The goal came from a mistake by the big Rangers central defender Georges Santos who, holding the line and defending a free-kick on the edge of the area, sliced his clearing header into the penalty area. Jermaine Wright was onto it in a flash, the keeper saved first shot and then a race was on between Wright and Simon Walton to get to the loose ball and tuck away the rebound - Walton wisely let experience win the day and Wright made it 3-1.

Leeds could sense more goals in this game and there was no let up from them with half time quickly approaching.  Indeed, they somehow find the time and the confidence to score twice before referee Colin Webster could call a halt to the first half proceedings!

With five minutes left Brian Deane scored his second when Wright again drilled a low ball across the face of the area and nobody inside the six yard box dared to intercept the ball for fear of an own goal, but Deano was there for another simple tap-in.

It was comedy defending by the visitors and they were nearly punished again straight from the kick-off when Leeds won back possession and Healy broke free, but his shot was just tipped away by the keeper as the crowd were off their seat ready to celebrate a fifth goal. 

They didn't have long to wait though for number five.  On the stroke of the end of normal time, Gary Kelly delivered a deep cross and there was Deane at the back post to slam it home for his hat-trick.   It was actually Brian Deane's first hat-trick in 169 appearances for Leeds.

Nobody inside Elland Road could quite believe it and as soon as the chants of Deano, Deano, Deano died down up came another, "we want six" they all sang.

It so nearly could have been six too as inside the last seconds of extra time Pugh delivered a corner and Carlisle was there with the header but showing some mercy towards his former team-mates sent the ball just wide.

If a repeat of the first half was expected in the second, it never quite happened. 

Rangers had no doubt received the biggest rollicking they've ever received from manager Ian Holloway and came out after the break, with two changes in the side, more resolute and certainly tighter at the back.

Leeds were obviously going to have to work hard for the sixth goal. Deano was presented with a chance to get it after 55 minutes but the  ball would not sit down for him and the visitors scrambled it clear.

Evergreen striker Kevin Gallen could have reduced the arrears just past the hour make but he shot straight at Sullivan and the save was easy.

Whites fans had been given little to shout about until the 67th minute when they were out of their seats applauding a penalty decision.

Simon Walton was fouled in the area by substitute Marcus Bean and the ref took an age to point to the spot. Healy stepped up to take it and hammered it to his left but the keeper made a great save. Leeds would have to wait for that magical sixth goal.

Number six nearly came when John Oster broke into the penalty area to receive the through ball from the marauding Sean Gregan but the flag was up for offside.

It finally came on 71 minutes and it owed as much to QPR's poor defending again as another good header from Deane.

Having scored his first hat-trick, the striker was on cloud nine when a cross from Kelly was headed straight up into the air by Shittu, allowing Deane to muscle his way in and get great contact on the ball with his header, sending it flying into the far corner.

And still the chances continued to come, Wright was nearly there for number seven and with nearly a quarter of an hour left to play the opportunity was there for Leeds to completely embarrass QPR.

Blackwell gave the visitors some respite when he took David Healy off as a precaution and put Julian Joachim on. Healy had been feeling his ankle after a heavy challenge but did not look as if it would cause a problem in the future.

And still the chances continued to come, Wright was nearly there for number seven and with nearly a quarter of an hour left to play the opportunity was there for Leeds to completely embarrass QPR.

Blackwell gave the visitors some respite when he took David Healy off as a precaution and put Julian Joachim on. Healy had been feeling his ankle after a heavy challenge but did not look as if it would cause a problem in the future.

When Brian Deane was taken off with five minutes remaining he was rightly given a hero's reception by the United fans, who then burst into "Deano for England" chants." There could be no bigger accolade. Aaron Lennon was the man who came on in his place. 

By this time two thirds of the 3,500 QPR fans that made the trip to Elland Road were half-way back down the M1.

When the full-time whislte went, Glory, Glory Leeds United rang out and the old song never seemed so apt.   Hopefully this is just the start of things to come.

Leeds United

Starting XI

1Sullivan, Neil

2Kelly, Gary

4Carlisle, Clarke

6Butler, Paul

12Pugh, Danny

18Walton, Simon

8Gregan, Sean

7Wright, Jermaine

14Oster, John

30Deane, Brian

9Healy, David


13Carson, Scott

11Joachim, Julian

15Richardson, Frazer

25Lennon, Aaron

26Kilgallon, Matthew

Queens Park Rangers

Starting XI

1Day, Chris

2Bignot, Marcus

5Shittu, Danny

23Santos, Georges

7Rose, Matthew

11Ainsworth, Gareth

8Bircham, Marc

10Gallen, Kevin

18McLeod, Kevin

29Furlong, Paul

15Cureton, Jamie


3Padula, Gino

16Bean, Marcus

17Cook, Lee

19Branco, Serge

21Miller, Adam

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