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QPR seal Championship survival with thumping win as Leeds’ top-two hopes hit
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Andy Sims
Press Association
QPR thrashed Leeds 4-0 to seal safety (Steven Paston/PA)
QPR thrashed Leeds 4-0 to seal safety (Steven Paston/PA)

QPR secured their Championship survival in style and dealt Leeds’ automatic promotion hopes a major blow with a thumping 4-0 victory at Loftus Road.

Goals from Ilias Chair, Lucas Andersen, Lyndon Dykes and Sam Field sparked a staying-up celebration in west London, as well as a promotion party in Leicester with the Foxes now guaranteed an immediate return to the Premier League.

But Leeds will find themselves outside the top two if third-placed Ipswich beat Hull on Saturday night, or Coventry in their game in hand on Tuesday.

Should the Tractor Boys win both, they will be promoted with Leeds consigned to the play-offs before the final round of fixtures next weekend.

For Rangers, a tough season climaxed in unusually stress-free fashion.

The Hoops, second from bottom following six straight defeats when Marti Cifuentes took over from Gareth Ainsworth in October, are safe with a game to spare.

They made a dream start by taking the lead in the ninth minute through Chair.

The Morocco winger ran at the Leeds defence, cutting inside Ilia Gruev before unleashing his shot from 20 yards.

The ball took a nick off the shoulder of Joe Rodon as it flew past Whites keeper Illan Meslier into the far corner.

Leeds had conceded the opener at Middlesbrough on Monday night but equalised quickly on their way to a 4-3 win.

They almost repeated the trick when Joel Piroe found space on the edge of the box but his low shot was palmed clear by Asmir Begovic.

Instead Rangers doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute when Chris Willock’s attempted cross was blocked by the arm of Junior Firpo.

The ball came back to the winger, who laid it off to Andersen with the Danish midfielder picking the perfect moment to score his first Rangers goal, sidestepping two half-hearted Leeds challenges before curling into the top corner from 15 yards.

Back came Leeds again and Crysencio Summerville’s far-post volley was kept out by a fine point-blank save from Begovic.

After the break Georginio Rutter should have at least hit the target from Sam Byram’s cross but glanced his header wide.

Rutter fluffed another golden chance when he turned in the area and pulled his shot horribly off target.

But Rangers stretched their lead in the 73rd minute when Dykes headed in Chair’s corner at the near post to make it 3-0.

And Leeds’ misery was compounded five minutes from time when Field got his head to Chair’s free-kick to score the fourth.

An awful night for the Whites means not only is their promotion fate no longer in their own hands, but it might even be decided for them before they next kick a ball.


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