The Verdict: The YEP fans' jury has its say on Leeds United FA Cup exit at the hands of Queens Park Rangers

Disappointed but not downhearted appears to be the overriding emotion among the Yorkshire Evening Post's Leeds United fans' jury following the Elland Road club's exit from the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, 2-1 at the hands of Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Monday, 7th January 2019, 7:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 12:36 pm
Man-of-the-match contender, Bailey Peacock-Farrell. PIC: Tony Johnson

Maybe you agree with their sentiments ... or maybe not.


Well that’s the FA Cup over for Leeds for another season and, barring Marcelo Bielsa, I’m not sure many of us will be too disappointed.

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Man-of-the-match contender, Gjanni Alioski. PIC: Tony Johnson

While the league is obviously more important at this stage, it was good to see some of the younger players in action and see how Bielsa’s style has been adopted by all of United’s age groups.

Leeds’ more experienced youngsters, Jamie Shackleton and Jack Clarke, looked sharp while Tyler Roberts thrived in the number 10 role in the absence of Pablo Hernandez.

The young forwards were almost allowed to attack at will with the likes of Adam Forshaw patrolling the midfield.

The only real problems came in defence where the make-shift back line was prone to long balls over the top.

Man-of-the-match contender, Tyler Roberts. PIC: Tony Johnson

That probably won’t irk Bielsa as he plans for Frank Lampard’s Derby on Friday night where much more will be at stake.

Leeds might be out of the cup but at least an improvement on Sutton and Newport.

Man of the match: Tyler Roberts.


Three defeats on the spin is never a good look and especially not for a team with promotion ambitions.

But I agree with Leeds United’s head coach, Marcelo Bielsa, that we have been unlucky to come away with nothing over the last week. The ‘second string’ put up a decent showing at Loftus Road but were unable to impose Bielsa’s style in the same way that the first team do week in, week out.

Gjanni Alioski, Luke Ayling, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Jack Harrison have all taken flak this season but, in this environment, they looked the better performers.

Even the very promising Jack Clarke was quieter than we’ve seen of late in his goalscoring substitute appearances for the Whites.

It was a fairly even third-round FA Cup game overall with a result that we can’t complain too much about.

And there are plenty of positives we can take away from it for our league campaign with the path now clear for a tense but exciting run-in. Bring on Derby.

Man of the match: Gjanni Alioski.


The good news from Loftus Road: Bailey Peacock and Farell did well and a few of the youngsters got some minutes with the big boys.

Tyler Roberts looked sharp, Jack Harrison didn’t.

Gjanni Alioski is being more relevant whereas Lewis Baker isn’t and will never play for parent club Chelsea and, depending on injuries, possibly not again for Leeds.

United played some bright stuff going forward but the line-up at the back was all a bit silly and underlined that no-one at Elland Road really fancied a cup run.

Pontus Jansson will return, as will Liam Cooper and the three defeats on the trot will disappear into insignificance.

The FA Cup is for teams with large squads or who occupy mid-table anonymity and QPR progress, though not for long.

We sigh and breathe hey ho but on Tuesday night we take on Frank Lampard’s Derby County with a few rested legs that will be itching to take the first step on a winning run.

Maybe a cup win next year chaps.

Man of the match: Gjanni Alioski.


Once again, United suffered an early exit from this once proud competition.

Despite a lively start, with Tyler Roberts grazing the woodwork twice, a disjointed side struggled to get to grips with fast-moving Rangers.

Predictably enough the Hoops went ahead with a penalty converted by Oteh on 25 minutes.

United’s hopes soared when they were awarded a free-kick just two minutes later. Lewis Baker smashed a shot which Rangers keeper Matt Ingram could not hold. This left Aapo Halme with the simple task of tapping the ball into the net for his first senior goal for the Whites.

Halme did not return for the second half and it was clear that Marcelo Bielsa’s strategy was going to be an attacking one. Win at all costs seemed to be the plan. Further changes were made, causing the Whites to lose their shape even more.

BPF pulled off some amazing saves but Jake Bidwell sealed the victory for QPR on 75 minutes, leaving United to ponder on what might have been.

Man of the match: Bailey Peacock-Farrell.


Leeds fell to their third defeat in a row at Loftus Road yesterday. The 2-1 reverse was not surprising as Marcelo Bielsa decided to play most of the under-23s in the game to give the first team a weekend off.

What is plain is that Lewis Baker, Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison aren’t good enough to supplement the first team. They were given an opportunity but none of them took it with both hands. It would be inexcusable for no players to be brought in now the transfer window is open; they are definitely needed sooner rather than later!

Leeds, hopefully, will have the ‘usual suspects’ back when they are in action on Friday against Derby County. Meanwhile, at Loftus Road,

Roberts’ early effort hit both posts as Leeds tested the home side in the early minutes.

But Leeds fell behind just after the 20-minute mark, Leif Davis upending Jake Bidwell in the penalty area and, from the resultant penalty, Aramide Oteh beat Bailey Peacock-Farrell from the spot.

The lead didn’t last long as Matt Ingram ‘flapped’ at a Baker free-kick straight to Aapo Halme who netted from inside the six-yard box.

Tyler Roberts nearly gave the visitors the lead before the break but Ingram redeemed his earlier mistake by saving the striker’s effort on goal. Bielsa surprisingly replaced goal scorer Halme with Tom Pearce at the break, meaning that Davis moved to the middle of defence. The winner came with 15 minutes to go when a Bidwell header beat Peacock-Farrell. Harrison had a late opportunity but Ingram saved his effort.

Leeds hopefully will have the ‘usual suspects’ back when they are back in action on Friday.

Man of the match: Bailey Peacock-Farrell.


There is no point being too upset about this defeat to Queens Park Rangers; we all know the Championship is the real prize and there was always the possibility the FA Cup would be a distraction we did not need.

Neither can we talk about three defeats in a row being a sign of a decline as this team was so different to the usual XI we’d expect to see in a league game.

So, we have to look at this one as a one-off, and, as a one-off, with a young inexperienced side bolstered by the likes of Gjanni Alioski, Luke Ayling, Adam Forshaw and the flying Peacock, I thought we did OK.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell, in particular, had a fine game with several first-class saves that will hopefully boost his confidence in the coming matches.

Of the rest, well, there were some familiar weaknesses.

And a goal from a header in our own penalty box is something we are growing accustomed to, and quite why we took the tall Aapo Halme out of the makeshift defence I will never understand.

None of the second-string players really did anything to suggest they are going to play any more than a minor supporting role in the Championship run-in and I’d still like to see a few quality additions to the squad.

Man of the match: Bailey Peacock-Farrell.