Bellusci pays penalty again as Leeds United are held at home
A late penalty conceded by Giuseppe Bellusci cost Leeds United victory as they looked to bounce back from derby defeats in a home game with QPR.
Chris Wood’s first goal since coming back from injury looked like being enough to give the Whites the three points that would take them up to 50 for the season, but they could not hold out.
And it was Italian defender Bellusci who was the villain of the piece again after his mistake had led to the winning goal and another penalty for Rotherham last Saturday.
This time he bundled over QPR striker Sebastian Polter as he made his way into the Leeds box, although he also had team-mate Gaetano Berardi alongside him and the visiting player had a lot to do from his angled position to score.
Referee James Adcock had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Tjaronn Chery smashed the penalty into the top corner, giving teenage debutant goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell no chance and ruining his clean sheet into the bargain.
It was tough on the youngster who did not let anybody down on his debut after he was called up with usual custodian Marco Silvestri banned for a game.
In truth, Peacock-Farrell was rarely tested with all his saves being routine as QPR were held at arms length with their only shots on goal coming from distance. But the 19-year-old’s handling was good and his distribution improved as the game wore on to show that he could have a future in the game.
It was another distinctly average night of entertainment at Elland Road, played in front of a typically low Tuesday crowd with little in the way of goalmouth excitement in the opening half.
Stuart Dallas saw his early shot from distance comfortably saved by QPR keeper Alex Smithies and Mustapha Carayol’s low cross-shot brought another comfortable save - and that was it from Leeds in the first 45 minutes.
Rangers were no better, Peacock-Farrell making two easy saves to deny long range strikes by Junior Hoilett and Massimo Luongo and Matt Phillips shooting wide from the edge of the box.
Dallas aimed to liven things up straight after the break with a volley that was deflected just wide then Luke Murphy was found in space on the edge of the box by Lewis Cook, but saw his shot saved by Smithies.
In Leeds’ best spell of the game they created another half-chance as Dallas found himself in space following Carayol’s pull back, but could only shoot wide with his wrong foot.
Hoilett had a shot blocked by Berardi, but Rangers rarely threatened and it looked like the game would be won when United came up with a goal in the 70th minute.
Murphy’s floated ball into the box dipped nicely for Wood to get ahead of the defenders and slide in to score from close range for his first goal since December 29.
Peacock-Farrell was brought into the action to save comfortably from Conor Washington, but it came out of the blue when QPR got their equaliser through Chery’s penalty.
Leeds responded and in injury-time came close to nicking it when substitute Lewie Coyle saw his shot from the edge of the box beaten out by Smithies, straight to Wood, but the United striker was flagged offside, probably wrongly, and it was all over with honours even.
With third from bottom MK Dons losing it could still be a good point for Leeds as they have edged 11 points clear of the relegation places.
Leeds United 1
(Chery pen 87)
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Sky Bet Championship
Leeds: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Bridcutt, Murphy (Diagouraga 83), Cook, Dallas (Coyle 85), Carayol (Mowatt 90), Wood.
QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Hall, Angella, Perch, Phillips, Faurlin, Luongo, Hoilett (Chery 73), Washington (El Khayati 80), Mackie (Polter 25).
Referee: James Adcock.