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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Loftus Road

QPR end any lingering doubts to secure Championship safety at expense of shell-shocked Leeds United

QPR (2) 4 Chair 8, Andersen 22, Dykes 73, Field 86

Leeds United (0) 0

If there were any nerves, they were well disguised. Marti Cifuentes seemed to have inspired his team to play without any obvious signs of fear - in spite of the high stakes.

Maybe they saw this as a free hit with one game still to go and 50 points on the board - which might have been enough anyway.

Whatever it was, it worked its magic as first Ilias Chair gave the Hoops the start they craved, then Lucas Andersen doubled the lead during a breathtaking overture from the hosts - full of energy, intensity and intent.

The passing was crisp and purposeful and Leeds did not seem to know what had hit them. The visitors briefly stirred but not enough to prompt any kind of sea change.

Rangers kept on the front foot after the break, and it was no surprise when Lyndon Dykes met an inswinging Chair corner to head in at the near post.

And the Moroccan claimed another assist when his free-kick was met late on by Sam Field for a header Meslier couldn't keep out.

R's fans were in heaven. "We want five!" they chorused.

What a way to secure survival - at the expense of a Leeds side desperate for a win in their attempts to claim automatic promotion. Daniel Farke's team have left the door wide open now for Ipswich to claim the second 'going up' slot on a night when Leicester City's return to the top flight was confirmed.

Little wonder home fans were chanting the name of Cifuentes over and over again to the tune of La Bamba. With increasing volume. With ever-increasing insistence. Their saviour. Their hero.

Their team looked dead and buried in October. The Spaniard's revolution has transformed the entire mood at Loftus Road - which has been jumping excitedly again to the unmistakeable embrace of optimism.

Chair - superb throughout and always leading the Yorkshiremen a merry dance - found the net for the opener after being allowed to carry the ball deep against a retreating defence.

All it took was a simple side-step around a covering Ilia Gruev and the path was clear to curl a low shot into the far bottom corner, beyond Illan Meslier's left hand, brushing Joe Rodon's chest along the way to ensure it kept out of the keeper's orbit.

More chances followed. Chair blazed over from the edge of the area from a half-cleared free-kick. Dykes' glancing header from a Kenneth Paal cross flashed just wide.

There was only one team in it.

Andersen took a throw in from the right that Leeds simply could not deal with as they spurned chances to clear their decks. The midfielder himself advanced to take charge and, spotting a yawning piece of real estate between the posts, rammed a left-footer home to double the lead.

It was half an hour before Leeds mustered any kind of response, but they came close to getting a foothold in the match when Wilfried Gnonto's cross was met on the full by Crysencio Summerville at the far post and it needed good reflexes from Asmir Begovic to keep out the volley.

It suggested they might mount a recovery. Rangers were not about to let that happen, though. What a night for them and their almost-disbelieving fans. "The R's are staying up" they bellowed. Indeed they are.

R's: (4-2-3-1) Begovic - Dunne, Cook, Clarke-Salter (Fox 80), Paal - Field, Colback (Hayden 80) - Willock (Adomah 87), Andersen (Smyth 58), Chair - Dykes (Armstrong 87)

Leeds: (4-2-3-1) Meslier - Byram (Joseph 63), Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo - Gray, Gruev (Kamara 88) - Gnonto (Shackleton 8), Rutter (Geldhardt 79), Summerville (Anthony 79) - Piroe

Attendance: 16,677


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