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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
14:00 1st March 2014
By  @OfficialQPR

QPR 1, LEEDS 1

JERMAINE Jenas’ first-half leveller halted QPR’s barren run by salvaging a point against Leeds United in Saturday's early kick-off. 

Rangers came from behind at Loftus Road after Rob Green saved a Ross McCormack penalty before the Championship’s leading marksman made amends with an unstoppable free-kick moments later.

Jenas - scoring his second of the season - finished smartly to equalise a minute before half-time as Harry Redknapp’s promotion hopefuls brought a welcome end to a three-game losing streak.

Redknapp – making one change from last weekend’s last-minute defeat at Charlton Athletic – restored Karl Henry at the expense of Tom Carroll, while fellow midfielder Joey Barton sat out the second match of his two-game suspension.

Despite the R’s recent slump, it was the hosts who threatened first. A neat piece of trickery from Ravel Morrison found Armand Traore with space down the left, whose cross flashed across the six-yard box. 

However, it was Leeds who were awarded a golden opportunity to open the scoring after Richard Dunne was alleged to have fouled McCormack inside the area. Referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot but Green came to the R’s rescue, diving low to his left to thwart McCormack from 12 yards.

The penalty save sparked Loftus Road into life but respite was brief, as McCormack found the net just three minutes later. After a trip on Luke Murphy 25 yards out, the Scot made Rangers pay from the resulting free-kick, curling the ball over the wall and inside Green’s top left-hand corner.

Cameron Stewart found the target with United’s next free-kick, forcing Green into action from slightly longer range. Stewart’s shot dipped just in front of the R’s number one, who collected at the second attempt. 

Leeds continued to look the more threatening, fashioning another chance on the half-hour mark as Connor Wickham saw an effort deflect harmlessly wide from 18 yards.

Rangers rallied before the break, bringing Jack Butland into a smart save from Jenas’ deft header after neat build-up from Junior Hoilett and Armand Traore. 

Jenas gave Butland no chance with his next effort, though, levelling the scores a minute before the break. Kevin Doyle showed his strength on the edge of the area, holding the ball up for Jenas to break through and bury his low drive beyond Butland’s reach. 

Rangers continued where they left off after half-time, forcing an opening straight from the re-start. Morrison’s through ball found Traore, who was denied by the legs of Butland with the half less than 20 seconds old.

Chances were at a premium until the hour mark, when Wickham came within a whisker of restoring the visitors’ lead. The on-loan striker profited from a lapse piece of defending but arrowed his shot inches past Green’s far post.

Redknapp shuffled his pack on 62 minutes, bolstering his attack with the introduction of Will Keane for Hoilett. 

The change saw Rangers retain possession for the most part but the R’s struggled to penetrate as the Leeds backline resisted.

Meanwhile, injury forced Jenas off on 80 minutes as Carroll replaced the R’s goalscorer while Yossi Benayoun joined him in midfield for the closing stages with Morrison making way five minutes from time.

Neither side could find the telling touch in the final third late on, though, as Green pushed away Wickham's late header to preserve a point apiece while Clint Hill's stoppage-time volley was ruled out for offside.

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