Deane steps to the four-front for Leeds

Leeds United 6 Queen's Park Rangers 1

The Championship's fourth-least potent attack put nearly half a season's worth of squandered chances behind them as Queen's Park Rangers succumbed, rather pathetically at times, to a resounding defeat at Elland Road.

The Championship's fourth-least potent attack put nearly half a season's worth of squandered chances behind them as Queen's Park Rangers succumbed, rather pathetically at times, to a resounding defeat at Elland Road.

It was Leeds' most emphatic victory since beating Charlton by the same score at The Valley in April 2003.

For Brian Deane in particular, this was a day to remember. The 36-year-old had never previously scored a hat-trick for Leeds United in two spells at the club spanning 12 years. Yesterday he needed less than half the game to complete the feat and even added a fourth for good measure later on.

As if that were not enough, Deane laid on the other two goals for David Healy and Jermaine Wright respectively. Not bad for a man who had hitherto managed one League goal all season.

"Deano for England," bellowed the Leeds faithful, before according their team a standing ovation at the end. The contrast between this and the last home game, when the players were booed off following a 2-1 defeat to Burnley, was not lost on Kevin Blackwell.

"We've played well the last two games, but they were away," said the Leeds manager. "Today we were able to play with some style and some of the goals were first-class. You can see the players I'm bringing in are improving the team.

"I was especially pleased for Brian [Deane] because he's a Leeds lad and I've asked a lot of him this season and today he got the rewards for all his hard work."

For QPR, who had taken the lead inside two minutes through Gareth Ainsworth, last week's win against leaders Wigan seemed a distant memory. They were behind within 10 minutes and the game was good as over long before half-time.

Ainsworth's drive from 20 yards opened the scoring but Deane moved into action shortly after. He flicked on Gary Kelly's long ball and Healy swept the ball over Chris Day and into the net.

Then a smart interchange between Simon Walton and Wright created the space for the latter to cross and Deane side-footed home.

He became provider again when his header presented a routine clearance to George Santos. The ball skidded off the defender's head to Wright and while Day saved his first attempt, he could do nothing about the rebound. Leeds' fourth was similar to their second. This time it was John Oster who fed Wright, and Deane was again on hand to finish. A first-half hat-trick was duly completed a minute later, with Gary Kelly this time the provider.

The second half was a non-event, but a sixth for Leeds should have arrived after Simon Walton tangled with Lee Cook and, to the surprise of most in the stadium, the referee blew for a penalty. Day's fine save from Healy's spot-kick prevented any injustice, for what little it mattered.

Deane's fourth arrived courtesy of Dan Shittu, who headed Walton's cross into his path. It was that kind of afternoon for QPR's defenders.

"We were naïve and terrible defensively - a shadow of what we can be," said Ian Holloway, the QPR manager. "But credit to them. They played superbly and were the better side by a million miles."

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