Five things learned from QPR v Leeds United

Leeds United's Toumani Diagouraga looks dejected at the end of match

After weeks of anticipation, Leeds United kicked off their season at Loftus Road away to QPR. And after a 3-0 thumping it was a case of 'same old' as they finished the day bottom of the Championship.

Leeds United's Toumani Diagouraga looks dejected at the end of matchLeeds United's Toumani Diagouraga looks dejected at the end of match

It's been an exciting summer at Elland Road. It began with the appointment of one of England's best young managers in Garry Monk. Raiding ex-club Swansea City, he added Kyle Bartley and Matt Grimes to the squad on season-long loans.

And despite the departure of local-lad Lewis Cook to Bournemouth in a £10 million deal; the signings of Kemar Roofe, Marcus Antonsson and Robert Green had Leeds fans speculating of a return to the Premier League.

But things were  brought back down to an excruciating reality after just four minutes in the season-opener. Failing to clear from the first corner of the match, Sol Bamba bundled home an own-goal after ex-QPR 'keeper Green fluffed at the ball.

Leeds United's Robert GreenLeeds United's Robert Green

Leeds were lucky to go in at the break just one down as the post twice denied QPR. And as they battled for an equaliser, it was soon 2-0 when Tjaronn Cherry converted a 73rd-minute penalty, after Ronaldo Vieria tripped Jordan Cousins on his full debut for United.

With Leeds seemingly dead and buried after Marcus Antonsson missed a one-on-one chance with ten minutes remaining, Poulter dealt the punishing blow with a thumping left-foot finish in stoppage time.

We assess five things learned from the crushing defeat in the capital.

1) Robert Green still has his moments

Signing on as the number one keeper last month, ex-England international Green had a debut to forget. Bringing bags of experience to the Leeds backline with almost 600 career league appearances, he looked as if he wanted the world to open up after his early shocker.

It was reminiscent of a certain mistake at the 2010 World Cup, when Green was the culprit once again as he gifted the USA an equaliser in the 1-1 draw in the opening game.

2) Leeds look defensively inept

Heading into the game, Monk said he had a full squad to pick from. However, it was obviously not the case as first choice centre-half Liam Cooper was left on the bench having missed chunks of pre-season with a niggling injury.

Captaining the side, Bamba was the victim of the defensive mix up that gifted QPR the opening goal. And he almost gifted the opponents another in the dying embers of the first-half, picking out the QPR midfield when passing from the back, and leading to Poulter being denied by the post.

QPR's Nedum Onuoha celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goalQPR's Nedum Onuoha celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal


The defence were at sixes and sevens for the most part, and Monk will surely now add to that department as Kyle Bartley looked shaky alongside Bamba

Matt Mills from Nottingham Forest has been spoken about, as has Tottenham youngster Dom Ball, but a real leader is needed at the bottom of the spine.

3) The Italian job. What Italian Job?

When club president Massimo Cellino bought the club in 2014, he soon headed back to Italy to raid several clubs as he added a number of signings in his first transfer window.

Giuseppe Bellusci came in as the experienced leader needed in defence. However, after his fingerprints were on the majority of the goals conceded by Leeds last season, he was shipped out on loan to Serie A club Empoli.

Compatriot, Gaetano Berrardi also came in. And after a calamitous opening quarter against QPR, he was replaced at right-back by academy graduate Lewie Coyle. Indeed, it may have an injury percussion, however the manner in which the Italian stormed down the tunnel signified his discontent at Monk's decision.

Though Green may have made a blunder on his Leeds debut, it is highly unlikely he will be replaced by last season's preferred choice Marco Silvestri. Having been sent home from the club's tour of Ireland, Silvestri's future at Elland Road looks to be coming to an abrupt end.

4)  Star signing is needed

Earlier in the week, ex-Spain international Pablo Hernandez made the surprising choice as he signed on at Elland Road. Having played alongside Monk, as well as being managed by him at Swansea, it was widely expected that he will be an immediate starter.

And when he was left out of the matchday squad it raised eyebrows amongst the travelling contingent. However, the Spaniard is yet to receive international clearance and thus was unavailable.

His experience and know-how will certainly add quality to the Leeds attack. Though he may have lost pace as he approaches the curtain end of his career, his vision from a number 10 position should help to create goalscoring chances, an element that Leeds lacked on Sunday.

Leeds United's players look dejected at the end of matchLeeds United's players look dejected at the end of match

5) Same old Leeds

Massimo Cellino had some season-ticket holders drooling, when he offered them their money back if the club made the top-six.

And certain bookmakers were in a nodding-mood, as WIlliam HIll quoted 9/2 on Leeds to make the play-offs.

With the appointment of the well-respected Monk, alongside the addition of some promising signings, there has been a justifiable sense of optimism.

The harsh reality is, however, that it may well be just another season of mid-table mediocrity for the faithful bunch that follow Leeds United.

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