Shocking start for Monk at Leeds United
Garry Monk got off to a miserable start as Leeds United head coach as Leeds United went down to an opening day 3-0 defeat at QPR.
In a poor performance in which they rarely threatened to score United looked disjointed and miles away from being ready for the new Championship season.
The Whites got off to a shock start when conceding a soft opening goal in the fifth minute and it did not get much better with several of Monk’s decisions proving unsuccessful.
His first decision was to decide which goalkeeper would start and, having been given the nod, Robert Green, made a big error to result in the opening goal.
After the defence failed to deal with a corner, young midfielder Ronaldo Vieira cleared off the line, but Green then failed to command his six-yard boss and his miss clearance only saw the ball deflect over the line off Sol Bamba.
To be fair to Green he improved afterwards and made a fine second half save, but his team-mates did not get in the game apart from little spells at either end of the second half and could have no complaints at their opening day result.
None of Monk’s signings enjoyed good debuts, aside from maybe late substitute Hadi Sacko, who’s tricky wing play came too late to alter this sorry display and it is clear Monk has a lot of work to do if he is given the chance.
Leeds only managed two efforts in the whole of the first half, a weak Kemar Roofe header in the 15th minute and a Stuart Dallas half-volley that flew over in the 42nd minute.
The defenders were more involved than the strikers and United could have been two down on 20 minutes when Green’s punch out from a dangerous cross fell invitingly to Nedum Onuoha, but the QPR player hit his shot over.
Leeds survived again when Vieira’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Tjarron Chery and hit the post.
The woodwork came to United’s rescue again when Sebastian Polter turned past centre-backs Bamba and Kyle Bartley in the box only to see his low shot bounce off the post.
The second half saw Leeds improve initially as they began closing their opponents down better. Matt Grimes went close with a 25-yard free-kick and Chris Wood saw another free-kick hit the wall.
Rangers still looked dangerous on the break as Chery’s cross-shot was beaten away by Green.
They were lucky to remain with 11 men on the pitch as Ben Gladwin clattered into Vieira having already been booked and QPR boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was able to take off the player.
Monk threw on another striker in Marcus Antonsson, but the move seemed to lose any impetus Leeds were building and Rangers began to get on top again.
Abdenasser El Khayati almost made an immediate impression after coming on as sub when his low shot was well saved by Green.
But within a minute the hosts did have a second goal as Vieira bundled into Jordan Cousins in the box and a penalty was the result. Chery put the spot-kick past his former team-mate, Green, and it was 2-0.
United did finally fashion a real chance as Antonsson went clean through only to pull his shot wide when one-on-one with home keeper Alex Smithies.
Sacko blasted the ball into the net only to see his effort rightly ruled out for handball before Antonsson fired a volley over after getting on the end of Lewis Coyle’s cross.
But it was Rangers who had the last word in added time when Polter took advantage of indecision by Coyle to rob him of the ball and blast it past Green from a tight angle.
(Bamba og 5, Chery 73, pen, Polter 90+4)
Leeds United 0
Sunday, August 7, 2016
QPR: Smithies, Bidwell, Hall, Onuoha, Caulker, Chery (Perch 87), Gladwin (Cousins 56), Henry, Luongo, Shodipo (El Khayati 68), Polter.
Leeds: Green, Berardi (Coyle 22), Bamba, Bartley, Taylor, Diagouraga, Vieira, Grimes (Antonsson 61), Dallas, Roofe (Sacko 75), Wood.
Referee: Oliver Langford