Leeds United Jury: Roofe and Cibicki take centre-stage as Whites close in on play-off spots

Kemar Roofe celebrates his hat-trick with Pawel Cibicki.
Kemar Roofe celebrates his hat-trick with Pawel Cibicki.
0
Have your say

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 3-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers.

David Watkins

Leeds United fans celebrate at full time.

Leeds United fans celebrate at full time.

Well, the YEP jury was on the money again although at the end of the first half many fans present at Loftus Road were resigned to seeing a goalless draw with neither side able to grab the initiative.

But the injury to Caleb Ekuban late in that first half was the catalyst in producing a more balanced looking Leeds side. Kemar Roofe moved to his preferred central position while the arrival of Pawel Cibicki gave QPR something different to think about with Leeds now having two genuine wide men on the pitch.

It still took a while to find the breakthrough but it all came together as Roofe clinically converted a cross from each wing to put Leeds in command.

An amateurish error by Felix Wiedwald handed the R’s a lifeline but Roofe ended their hopes with a third deep in added time.

This second half line-up will give Thomas Christiansen plenty to mull over this week as he ponders his team for next Saturday when the Canaries come to town.

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

MATTHEW EVANS

A lacklustre first half from Leeds United meant a goalless draw was very much on the cards until a much punchier second-half display that was helped no end by the enforced swap of Caleb Ekuban for Pawel Cibicki and Kemar Roofe’s potency up top.

Roofe’s hat-trick, itself a thing of beauty, came courtesy of some quality goal making from the wings.

Gjanni Alioski’s sublime cross for the first was only bettered by Cibicki’s incisive ball in for the second.

Despite the quickfire goal exchange late on and a couple of minutes of nerves, United deserved to win this beyond any doubt and it sets up the festive period perfectly.

Now, back-to-back home games against the teams placed 16th and 18th in the Championship followed by two away games at sides in the bottom three gives us a great chance to set ourselves up well for 2018.

Balance seems to have been restored since the November international break and United are back on a bit of a roll.

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

KEITH INGHAM

A stunning second-half hat-trick by Kemar Roofe gave Leeds the three points in West London. The victory keeps the club in the hunt for a top-six place, the only downside to the win was the loss of Caleb Ekuban through injury – the striker looks set for another spell out with a foot injury. After a forgettable first half, Leeds had a lot more fluidity in their play and were rewarded with a goal.

A neat move was ended by Gjanni Alioski’s deep cross, Roofe met it and the ball flashed into the net.

Even better was to follow minutes later, Pawel Cibicki delivered a superb pass for Roofe to double his team’s tally.

After Felix Wiedwald’s howler let QPR back into the game, Samuel Saiz broke forward, with Cibicki one side of him and Roofe the other, he decided that Roofe was the best option, and the striker didn’t disappoint as he beat Alex Smithies with a deflected shot.

The stand-out players, were Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper at the back, Cibicki in midfield and Roofe with his three goals and his all round play.

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

MIKE GILL

A nervous first half saw Leeds United with their backs against the wall. Another worrying injury to Caleb Ekuban gave the untried Pawel Cibicki a chance to shine. And shine he did.

Playing wide he allowed Kemar Roofe to lead the line. A move which was to pay dividends. As the teams went back into the tunnel there were few indications of what was to follow.

In the second half a transformation occurred and it was almost all Leeds.

First of all Roofe put away a fine cross from Cibicki, following it up with another goal from an assist by the lively Gjanni Alioski.

The game seemed to be wrapped up until Felix Wiedwald misjudged a bouncing cross from Pawel Wszolek and suddenly, the more optimistic Rangers fans were looking for a miracle.

However the Leeds keeper made amends with a fine save from Idrissa Sylla.

Samuel Saiz then sent Roofe away with an inch-perfect pass which allowed him to complete his hat-trick.

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

GARY NEWBOULD

United registered a very welcome three points in West London to inflict only QPR’s third home defeat of the season with an excellent 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Kemar Roofe replacing Pablo Hernandez was the only change to the starting line-up from the Aston Villa game and what a difference he was to ultimately make.

The first half was a largely forgettable “stop-start” affair with the home side shading things on possession/territory with United playing their best football towards the end of the first 45 minutes.

The Whites started the second half much better with Samuel Saiz and Gjanni Alioski increasingly effective and the game sprang into life around the hour mark with Roofe opening the scoring with a fine header and his second was a cool-right-foot finish. As ever a nerveless finish was not to be, courtesy of Felix Weidwald whose error will feature on many a Christmas video of “Keeper Clangers”. However as injury time arrived, Roofe completed a fine hat-trick.

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

Florian Jozefzoon (left) playing against Leeds United at Griffin Park.

Leeds United move to meet Jozefzoon valuation as battle for winger hots up