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Sunday, December 19, 2010

QPR Report Sunday: Compilation of Leeds Reports and (New Grandfather) Neil Warnock Comments...Ron Hunt Turns Sixty-Five

- QPR's 1967 Hero Ron Hunt Turns Sixty-Five

- For QPR and Football Updates and perspectives throughout the day, visit the QPR Report Messageboard. All QPR and football perspective welcome...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- QPR Points at This Stage, Compared to Past Few Seasons (An Improvement!)
-December 2010: after 21 games, 41 points
-December 2009 after 21 games, 29 points
-December 2008, after 24 games, 36 points
-December 2007: after 23 games, 24 points
-December 2006, after 23 games, 24 points
-December 2005, after 24 games, 32 points

- Ron Hunt Turns 65

- Six Year Flashback: QPR's Then CEO Talks about QPR Youth Development

- Supposed QPR Target, Jason Roberts Limped off After 10 Minutes

- Briefly QPR Coach Tim Flowers profiled and Interviewed

- QPR Youth Director, Steve Gallen in India...Previously QPR-India Update re QPR's Chairman and Vice Chairman in India


[Congratulations to Neil Warnock on becoming a Grandfather!]

- VIDEO Snippets From Yesterday's Leeds-QPR Game

QPR 21 22 41
Leeds 22 4 38
Cardiff 21 13 37
Swansea 22 9 37
Norwich 22 5 36
Coventry 22 4 34
Reading 21 7 30
Nott'm Forest 20 7 30

Telegraph - Warnock unhappy with defending
QPR boss Neil Warnock lamented his side`s defending following the 2-0 loss at Leeds.

By PA-
"It was a good game, too, but if we defend like we did today we will get beaten by any team in the division. It is disappointing because that part of our game has definitely been our strength this season," Warnock said.
"I thought the (Leeds) celebrations in the tunnel were premature because we are not at Christmas yet. You would think they were already there, but I think anybody could go up. Leicester and Portsmouth are two decent sides, for example.
"We have played nine of the top ten sides in the division away from home so we just have to keep going and stop feeling sorry for ourselves after two defeats in a row.
"If you had told me we would be top at Christmas after losing only two games I would have snapped your hand off."

".... On the win over Rangers, Grayson said: "Given the quality of the opposition and what QPR have achieved, this was our most outstanding home performance of the season.

"We have a high expectancy level at this club and rightly so. Our fans want and expect the best. The club deserves to be back in the Premiership but there is a lot of work still to be done if we are to achieve that. It is where we finish in May that matters, but I was delighted with the performance and the manner of the win.

"We were outstanding for most of the game and dominated it by working hard and making our tackles count. Max Gradel deserved his two goals. He is still learning the game and he frustrates you at times but you can never fault his desire to succeed."

QPR manager Neil Warnock lamented his side's defending.

"It was a good game, too, but if we defend like we did we will get beaten by any team in the division. It is disappointing because that part of our game has definitely been our strength this season," he said.

"I thought the (Leeds) celebrations in the tunnel were premature because we are not at Christmas yet. You would think they were already there, but I think anybody could go up. Leicester and Portsmouth are two decent sides, for example.

"We have played nine of the top 10 sides in the division away from home so we just have to keep going and stop feeling sorry for ourselves after two defeats in a row.

"If you had told me we would be top at Christmas after losing only two games I would have snapped your hand off.

"I quite enjoyed the game because there was a great atmosphere generated by the crowd but we conceded two very poor goals. We probably caught Leeds at the wrong time because they are on a long unbeaten run."
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/liv....Nightlead .html

By David McVay

QPR have tasted the sour of defeat this season much like their manager Neil Warnock is afflicted by prolonged periods of taciturn reflection.

Suddenly, however, losses are arriving as frequently as one of Warnock's touchline rants, suffered with an alarming regularity by the Championship leaders whose sprint start to the campaign has carried them to pole position.

The sequence may only be two but the nature of their capitulation to Leeds United at Elland Road suggests that the losing habit is not one that the Londoners will relinquish easily.

Two goals from Max Gradel were sufficient for Simon Grayson's side to extend its own unbeaten run to nine games. Since Cardiff City's game against Burnley fell victim to the cold snap, Leeds displaced the Welsh club from the second automatic position, an ironic if temporary shift in the balance of power.
The last time Leeds were beaten was at home to Cardiff on October 25, not so much a loss of three points as a loss of face following a humiliating lesson in football that had some of the more radical Leeds fans calling for Grayson's departure.

"I think people were questioning whether we were good enough for this league," said Grayson, who conceded that this was Leeds' best home performance. "I think we have answered that but there is an awful lot of work still to be done. Nothing is won in December although it was vital that we got the game on today.
"It's when teams are playing catch-up and that they might struggle so it was great to play and even more satisfying to beat the league leaders."
How times change, indeed. They chanted Grayson's name as Leeds secured a deserved 25th minute lead. Classic wing play by Robert Snodgrass, a shimmy and the drop of the shoulder, created space for a centre that captain Jonathan Howson headed down to the fringes of the six yard area where Gradel finished with a low left foot effort beyond Paddy QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.

The pleasing ball-playing talents of Adel Taraabt remained a threat and the Moroccan was narrowly off target with a shot from distance while Kaspars Gorkass lashed wide from a partially cleared corner.
Even so, Leeds continued to impress with their own fluent passing game and Kenny was at full stretch to deny Luciano Becchio's left foot shot.
Thus it came as no surprise when Leeds doubled their lead on the counter. George McCartney released Gradel on the left and as QPR defenders retreated, Gradel turned Fitz Hall and delivered a low left foot beat shot that slipped past Kenny at this near post for the winger's sixth goal of the season.
"Paddy will be disappointed not to have stopped it," said Warnock, who revealed he had become a grandfather earlier in the day. "They were poor goals but if you had asked me before the season if we cold be at the top and only lost two games I would have snapped your hand off."

Kenny slightly redeemed himself with a flying save from Howson and another from Snodgrass during a late Leeds onslaught which inspired a standing ovation from nearly 30,000 supporters at the final whistle.
"I reminded my players before the game about the fans and how much they have given up before Christmas to come and support us," said Grayson. "With those sort of fans, this club deserves to be back in the Premier League."
It was Warnock's revelations about his superstitious 'lucky shorts' that seemed to be his undoing when the team surrendered their unbeaten record against Watford last week. Now with games against play-off contenders Swansea City, Coventry City and Norwich City to contemplate inside a week, not getting caught with his trousers down may be high on QPR's festive wish list.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/footbal.... ch-report.html

Leeds United 2-0 Queens Park Rangers: Daily Mirror Match Report - Michael Morgan

It is celebration time for Simon Grayson - and it’s not even Christmas yet!

The Leeds boss clocked up his 41st birthday three days ago, and next Thursday will be the second anniversary of his appointment to the Elland Road hot-seat.

But the biggest party of the lot just might be coming along at the end of the season if - or maybe that should be when - Leeds end their agonising exile from the Premier League.

The reviving Yorkshire giants tumbled out of the top flight in 2004, but promotion back to the big time now looks very much on the cards after this comprehensive triumph over Neil Warnock’s faltering Championship pacemakers.

It is no exaggeration to say that United were majestic as they stretched their unbeaten run to nine games on the back of two goals from the irrepresible Max Gradel either side of half-time.

Those strikes put the seal on what was the most impressive home display of the campaign by Grayson’s troops. And now it is looking like full steam ahead for the top flight.

Rangers, on the other hand, appear to have temporarily hit the buffers. This was their second defeat on the spin after going unbeaten in their opening 19 league games this campaign - and they can have no complaints after being outclassed by their rampant hosts.

Now Leeds go into the festive season holding down second place in the Championship and trailing Rangers by just three points. The way things are going at Elland Road, they might just go into the New Year as top dogs.

Former Leeds striker Rob Hulse returned to his old stamping ground as Rangers lone striker.

Hulse declared himself fit for action after being laid low by a stomach bug, and Warnock was delighted to have his bustling hit-man back in the fold.

Warnock was anxious to see what effect a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Watford eight days earlier had on his players’ confidence.

That set-back against the Hornets was the R’s first beating in 19 league outings this season, but they still went into battle against in-form Leeds holding a four-point lead at the top of the Championship table.

Grayson had added an extra edge to what promised to be a fiery encounter anyway with his pre-match proclamation that the Loftus Road outfit, under long-ball merchant Warnock, were not exactly the most attractive team to watch in the league.

United went into the clash protecting an eight-game unbeaten run and knowing that a victory over the Londoners would shunt them up to second place - and just three points adrift of Rangers.

But Grayson suffered a late blow when centre-back Andy O’Brien, who has been outstanding throughout his loan stint from Bolton, ruled himself out.

The former Bradford, Newcastle and Portsmouth defender lost his fight to shrug off the thigh injury which had kept him out of his side’s stirring 3-2 triumph at Burnley eight days ago.

And the Elland Road chief was hit with another set-back when O’Brien’s central defensive sidekick Alex Bruce hobbled out of the action with an injury after just 11 minutes and was replaced by sub Leigh Bromby.

Six minutes before Bruce’s early enforced exit, the visitors came close to opening the scoring when Hulse’s header from skipper Adel Taraabt’s free-kick was well held on the line by keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

United’s response brought an even better save from Paddy Kenny in the Rangers goal. Paul Connolly’s looping cross from the right caused problems for the R’s defenders, and 12-goal leading scorer Luciano Becchio powered in a header which Kenny spectacularly tipped over the bar.

The deadlock in what was a pulsating clash came on 26 minutes - and the goal just about deservedly went the way of the Yorkshiremen.

Robert Snodgrass twisted his marker Clint Hill inside out before hoisting over a cross which skipper Jonny Howson headed back at the far post for Gradel to drill in his fifth goal this term.

Former Leicester striker Gradel might have had a second 11 minutes later, but he disappointingly sliced his shot wide from Howson’s low cross.

Then, in first-half stoppage time, Kenny came to his side’s rescue again by reacting quickly to smother Snodgrass’s low drive at the foot of his left-hand post.

Former Sheffield United stopper Kenny was a defiant last line of resistance once more when, seven minutes after the break, he stretched full length to his left to finger-tip Becchio’s low angled drive behind for a corner.

Fitz Hall, on as a second-half replacement for the out-of-touch Hill, planted a far post header just wide from Taraabt’s corner on the hour. But it was Leeds who continued to look the more dangerous in front of goal.

Gradel sealed the points for his side with a superb effort to put Leeds two-up on 71 minutes. George McCartney’s shrewd ball put Gradel in the clear and he brilliantly side-stepped Hall’s challenge before firing a low drive beyond the helpless Kenny.

Five minutes later, the lively hit-man went off to a standing ovation as Grayson sent on Lloyd Sam to replace him.

Rangers, looking a dispirited bunch by now, sent on Leon Clarke and Hogan Ephraim for Hulse and Tommy Smith in a bid to pump fresh life into their fast-fading challenge.

But, for the second successive game, Warnock’s troops ended up a well-beaten outfit.

The PEOPLE -Leeds 2-0 QPR: Max packs punch to KO Warnock
Dec 19 2010 by Tom Worsnop, The People

MAX GRADEL’S fabulous double ripped the heart out of Rangers as Leeds dismantled a team that still heads the Championship but is quickly losing its air of invincibility.

By the end, Neil Warnock’s side looked anything but the outfit that have set the benchmark this season.

It wasn’t that they played badly, far from it. They came up against a team that on the day, at least, were better.

In a few days Simon Grayson will have been Leeds manager for two years. What he has done during that time is simply amazing.

First, he got them out of League One. Now, despite an indifferent start, Leeds have gatecrashed the top two.

Few would deny a club of this size and stature belong anywhere but the Premier League, but even loyal fans could scarcely have imagined they might be there next season.

“That’s our most outstanding home performance of the season,” said Grayson. “It’s a big victory for us, particularly in the manner of which it was received.

“There is a big expectancy among the fans, and rightly so. We’d have taken this position if someone had offered it at the start of the season.

“My job is to keep a lid on things. We have to remember there are some big sides in the division. And it doesn’t matter where we are in December – it’s where we are at the end of the season that counts.”

Now that QPR have been shown to be mere mortals, people will wonder how quickly Warnock can restore their confidence. That might be a tall order, judging by the forlorn looks on the players’ faces at the end.

But at least the Hoops do not have the burden of records hanging over them any more.

Last week they lost their season-long unbeaten record, stretching 19 games, when they lost 3-1 at home to Watford. This week it was their away record that was shattered.

“Of course I am disappointed. But we are going to have to deal with it,” said Warnock, who revealed that he had become a grandad earlier on in the afternoon.

“We gave away two elementary goals. And we were probably unfortunate to catch Leeds at a bad time in the middle of a good run. Overall, I quite enjoyed it”.

Gradel, who signed from Leicester in January, bagged a goal for the home side in either half.

He struck his first in the 25th minute after a cross by Robert Snodgrass was headed down by Jonathan Howson.

Rangers’ normally reliable defence showed a moment’s hesitation and Gradel rammed home an angled shot under Paddy Kenny from 10 yards out. His second was something rather special and came after 70 minutes when Rangers were caught out by a perfect counter-attack.

George McCartney hoisted a ball to Gradel and the little winger set off on a 50-yard run, beating substitute Fitz Hall and firing past Kenny with his left foot from the edge of the area.

It was tough on the keeper, who had pulled off some outstanding saves to keep the Hoops in with a shout.

In the first half he tipped Luciano Becchio’s header over the bar. And in the closing stages he made a remarkable save from a trademark Howson curler and then kept out Snodgrass’s low shot, tipping it around the post.

Rangers had shown more venom and composure in the first half.

Led by unpredictable Moroccan international Adel Taarabt, they looked every inch the reliable unit that has kept them in the top two all season. But they couldn’t hit the target.

The visitors did go close through Taarabt, Tommy Smith and former Leeds striker Rob Hulse.

However, they were visibly rattled by Gradel’s goal, especially coming as it did a week after that wake-up call from Watford. And Rangers never really recovered.

The big question is how the table will look after the festive crush. Two defeats will not spell disaster for Rangers, but anyone who thought it was a done deal that they and Cardiff will be going up should think again.

A sleeping giant has woken.


Leeds look like they can make the Gradel

Leeds United 2 Queens Park Rangers 0: Ivorian's double inflicts Rangers' second defeat and raises Elland Road hopes

By Simon Hart at Elland Road

The last time Leeds United hosted one of the Championship's top two, they suffered a 4-0 humbling against Cardiff City in October. Simon Grayson's side have not lost since then, though, and they underlined the scale of their improvement with a deserved 2-0 defeat of leaders QPR yesterday that lifted them above Cardiff into second place.

The winger Max Gradel scored the two goals, one in each half, that earned a sixth win in nine unbeatenmatches for the Yorkshire cluband leaves them just three points behind Rangers.

The Leeds manager said: "We were outstanding for long parts and dominated it. When we had possession we were a major threat going forward. We've got ourselves a platform to build on. Eight weeks ago people were asking if these players were good enough but they've answered those questions."

It was a second successive loss for the Londoners, who were still unbeaten 10 days ago, and the only positive for Neil Warnock on a bitterly cold afternoon was that he had discarded his lucky shorts after that first reverse, against Watford.

Leeds fired an early warning shot in the 14th minute when Luciano Becchio got his head to a Robert Snodgrass cross, forcing a fingertip save from Paddy Kenny. Adel Taarabt sent a low shot skimming just past the post at the other end but Leeds, forced to come from behind to win their previous two games, had started purposefully and it took a fine challenge by Kaspars Gorkss to stop Gradel as he shaped to shoot on the edge of the box.

The little Ivorian would not be thwarted in the 26th minute, however. Snodgrass tricked Gorkss on the right edge of the box, turning away from goal before cutting back inside and crossing to the far post, where Jonathan Howson's header dropped for the inrushing Gradel to drive home on the half-volley from the corner of the six-yard box. When Howson and Gradel next combined they nearly crafted a fine second goal in the 37th minute, exchanging passes outside the box before the Leeds captain hit a low cross that the Ivorian sliced wide.

Leeds were asking serious questions of a visiting defence that had conceded just five goals in nine away games before yesterday. Leeds's back line, by contrast, has been leaky yet QPR struggled to create clear chances against a side who coped well with an early reshuffle when Leigh Bromby replaced Alex Bruce, who limped off with a groin strain suffered in the warm-up.

Probably the visitors' best opportunity fell to a defender, Gorkss shooting over from close range after Leeds failed to clear a corner just after Gradel's opener.

Grayson and Warnock exchanged angry words about a challenge on Jamie Mackie by Bradley Johnson as half-time approached. Warnock took Clint Hill off at half-time, put substitute Fitz Hall into central defence, moved Matt Connolly to central midfield and Kyle Walker to left-back.

Yet Rangers had a let-off when Becchio broke clear on to a Neil Kilkenny pass and Kenny fumbled his shot on to the far post.

It was from another counter that Leeds wrapped up the win in the 70th minute. George McCartney's lofted pass sent Gradel racing down the left. Confronted by Hall on the edge of the box, the Ivorian took the ball wide of the defender before driving a low shot past Kenny at the near post.

"If we concede goals like that we'll lose to anybody," said Warnock, who added: "We played some good stuff second half but probably didn't get enough bodies into the box. It was a poor goal defensively and Paddy should have saved it as well."

Kenny made partial amends with saves from Howson and Snodgrass but the damage was done, although Warnock could not resist a parting dig. "The way Leeds were celebrating in the tunnel you'd think they were already there.

Max-Alain Gradel's brace against QPR lifts Leeds into second place
* Richard Rae

Max Gradel scores Leeds United's second goal against QPR Leeds United's 23-year-old Ivorian, Max Gradel, scores his side's second goal against QPR. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Having suffered a first defeat of the season in their previous game at home, to Watford, and failed to equal a club record in the process, Championship leaders, Queens Park Rangers, could console themselves with the fact that they played rather better in going down to defeat at a pulsating Elland Road.

That is not, however, the same as saying Leeds United were fortunate to win. Coming into the game on an eight-match unbeaten run of their own, Simon Grayson's side played with real verve, and with the diminutive Ivorian winger Max-Alain Gradel having his best game in a Leeds shirt – certainly in this division – demonstrated a finishing edge that will surely ensure the play-offs are now the least of their ambitions.

When Leeds went ahead shortly before the half hour, it was somewhat against the run of play, although Jonathan Howson was becoming increasingly influential in midfield when the Leeds captain jumped to meet Robert Snodgrass's hopeful far post cross. The ball looped up into the air, and none of the Rangers' defenders, including goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, reacted before Gradel slid in to half-volley the ball over the line.

The combinations worked by Snodgrass and Howson were causing Rangers serious problems, and the home team was unlucky not to go further ahead when a series of first-time passes resulted in Howson pulling the ball back across the Rangers penalty area only for the stretching Gradel to steer the ball beyond the far post.

Having been arguably at fault for Gradel's opener, Kenny was a relieved man when his unconvincing attempt to save Luciano Becchio's angled drive saw the ball trickle just the wrong side of the post shortly after the break, but as the second half went on, Rangers once again began to put Leeds under pressure. When Gradel picked up Neill Collins's clearance, he was well inside his own half, but his run into the Rangers penalty area was uninterrupted, he turned Fitz Hall inside out before firing the ball between Kenny and his inside post.

QPR Official Site

Max Gradel's deadly double put QPR to the sword against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The influential midfielder was at his very best, as he notched goals either side of half time to give the in-form hosts another credible victory.

Leeds opened the scoring in the 25th minute, after Gradel got on the end of Luciano Becchio's knock-down to fire home from close range.

The R's enjoyed a fair amount of possession in the opening minutes of the second half, but they were again undone by the lively Gradel, who grabbed his and Leeds' second in the 71st minute.

The attacker broke at pace and, when he slid past Fitz Hall, Gradel made no mistake to blast a low effort past Paddy Kenny from 12-yards out to ensure the win.

QPR made two changes for the trip to Elland Road, as Neil Warnock stuck with his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation.

Bradley Orr and Rob Hulse came in for Alejandro Faurlin and Heidar Helguson.

Kenny was in goal for QPR, behind a back four of Orr, Matt Connolly, Kaspars Gorkss and Clint Hill.

Shaun Derry and Kyle Walker began in defensive midfield.

Attacking trio Jamie Mackie, Adel Taarabt and Tommy Smith operated behind the lone striker, Hulse.

Both sides went into this one on the back of indifferent results.

Last time out, goals from Gradel, Becchio and Jonny Howson saw Leeds come from two behind to complete a stunning comeback victory at Burnley.

Meanwhile, the R's tasted defeat - admittedly their first in 20 fixtures - following a 3-1 reverse to Watford at Loftus Road last Friday evening.

However, with the two teams first (QPR) and fourth (Leeds) respectively in the npower Championship prior to kick-off, this one promised to be a real cracker.

The inclement weather conditions had put pay to a number of weekend fixtures in The Football League but, thanks to the sterling work of the hosts' stadium staff, this one went ahead.

In what were sub-zero temperatures, Elland Road was rocking at kick-off time in front of a bumper crowd.

QPR went within inches of taking the lead on only four minutes.

Kenny's long kick found Hulse and, when his flick-on bounced up into the direction of Smith 20 yards from goal, the R's attacker flashed a looping effort over the bar.

Moments later, Hulse was again involved and forced a smart save from Kasper Schmeichel following Taarabt's teasing free-kick into the box.

This was fast becoming an end-to-end spectacle - typified when Kenny was then forced in a stunning save.

Paul Connolly broke free down the right and, when his excellent pinpoint centre was met by the head of Becchio, the Rangers shot-stopper was on hand to magnificently tip the ball over the bar.

QPR were soon back on the attack and almost fired home the opening goal.

Mackie caught Leeds on the counter attack and broke into the opposing half before slipping the ball to Taarabt.

The magical Moroccan did everything but find the target thereafter, as he drove at the hosts' defence before drilling a low effort just wide of the bottom left-hand post.

But play soon switched to the other end and Leeds took the lead on 25 minutes.

Howson twisted and turned his marker before hanging a cross into the area for Becchio and, when the front-man's cushioned header fell into the path of Gradel, he gave Kenny no chance as he fired the ball home low past the R's keeper from all of six-yards out.

Gorkss missed a golden opportunity to draw QPR level just minutes after the restart.

Taarabt's testing corner eventually deflected into the path of the Latvian defender, who could only swipe at the ball as it went agonisingly wide of the target.

The R's came out with a real sense of purpose after the break, and just minutes into the second half, they created their best chance of the match.

A slick passing move ended in Taarabt's thunderbolt effort from the edge of the penalty area that was somehow deflected over for a corner.

Despite their positive start, QPR had Kenny to thank for a speculative save that kept them in the game.

Becchio broke clear of the Rangers rearguard and, when his low drive from 18 yards looked destined to find the bottom right-hand corner of the net, Kenny somehow dived to tip to safety.

Leeds continued to look dangerous on the counter and they sealed the points on 71 minutes.

Gradel caught Rangers on the break, as he ran at substitute Hall before powering home Leeds' second 12 yards from goal.

Leeds United: Schmeichel, Connolly, Bruce (Bromby 11), Collins, Gradel (Sam 75), Kilkenny, Becchio (Paynter 90), Howson, Johnson, Snodgrass, McCartney.

Subs: Higgs, Faye, Somma, McCormack.

Goals: Gradel (25 & 71),

Bookings: Connolly (45)

QPR: Kenny, Orr, Hill (Hall 46), Derry, Taarabt, Mackie, Gorkss, Walker, Connolly, Hulse (Clarke 75), Smith (Ephraim 75).

Subs: Cerny, Helguson, Rowlands, Tofas.

Bookings: Orr (35), Hill (45)

Referee: Mr S W Mathieson

Attendance: 29, 426

Leeds United Official Site

18 Dec 2010
Grayson's men up to second place...
UNITED 2 (Gradel 25, 70), QPR 0
United: Schmeichel, Connolly, Bruce (Bromby 11), Collins, McCartney, Kilkenny, Johnson, Snodgrass, Howson, Gradel (Sam 76), Becchio (Paynter 90). Subs: Higgs, Faye, Somma, McCormack.
QPR: Kenny, Hill (Hall 46), Connolly, Gorkss, Orr, Walker, Derry, Taarabt, Mackie, Smith (Ephraim 75), Hulse (Clarke 75). Subs: Ephraim, Rowlands,Cerny, Tofas, Helguson
Referee: S Mathieson
Booked: Connolly (United), Hill (QPR)
Att: 29,426
Reaction on LUTV with extended highlights from 5pm Sunday...

Once again, United were one of only a handful of clubs in England to beat the big freeze to ensure the game against top of the table Queens Park Rangers went ahead.

Simon Grayson named an unchanged side for the visit of QPR while Neil Warnock recalled former United striker Rob Hulse to his starting line-up.
QPR had suffered their first defeat of the season the previous weekend, but they started well enough at Elland Road and Kasper Schmeichel had to get down well to save an early free-kick.
United had to make an early change in the contest with Alex Bruce limping out of the action to be replaced by Leigh Bromby.
It was Leeds who carved out the first real chance as well, when Paddy Kenny clawed away a Luciano Becchio header.
At the other end, Adel Tarrabt broke from midfield, but screwed his shot wide. United responded immediately with a break and Robert Snodgrass fired wide.
It was a positive opening 20 minutes from United who looked to play some good football, but the visitors looked an equal threat and were looking to move the ball quickly on the break.
And it was 1-0 to United on 25 minutes when Max Gradel slammed the ball home from close range. Snodgrass was the architect, twisting and turning on the edge of the box before delivering a cross. Jonny Howson was at the far post to knock it back and Gradel converted.

QPR looked to respond immediately, but after a goalmouth scramble, Kaspars Gorkss smashed the ball high over the bar.
Some of United's football was excellent and Gradel fired wide after some terrific work by Howson.
As the game headed towards half-time, tempers flared following a challenge from Clint Hill on Paul Connolly, and players from both sides became involved in a ,melee.
There were four added minutes in the first half and Leeds finished in the ascendancy with Snodgrass forcing another save from Kenny.
The opening exchanges of the second period saw both sides look to forge opportunities, with United defending well to deal with one free-kick.
But it was Leeds who almost made it 2-0 when Becchio raced towards goal and Kenny, at full stretch, was grateful to see the shot turned just the wrong side of the post.
Time was ticking for the visitors if they were to avoid a second successive league defeat, and Leeds were looking and polished and organised in maintaining the lead.
And that lead was doubled on 70 minutes when Gradel raced from inside his own half, before cutting inside Fitz Hall to beat Kenny at his near post.
Moments later, Neil Kilkenny fired wide from distance and Kenny was then called upon to make a great save from Howson, who unleashed a superb strike from outside of the box.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Leeds were looking much the stronger the team and were still enjoying plenty of ball. Snodgrass had a shot wide and Leeds were coasting towards victory against the league leaders.
United were untroubled during the closing stages as Simon Grayson's side eased to a ninth successive game without defeat and moved up to second in the table

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