Gradel goals send Leeds second
Leeds climbed into the second automatic promotion spot, with a thorough performance against league leaders Queens Park Rangers at Elland Road, thanks to two goals from Max Gradel.
The win made it three in a row for Leeds and they are now unbeaten in nine games going back to mid October.
Neil Collins continued in defence as Andy O`Brien was still struggling with the thigh injury that forced him to miss the Burnley game the previous weekend.
The visitors had suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend and looked to be hungry to rectify things in the early minutes.
Rob Hulse forced Kasper Schmeichel into a save following a Rangers free kick and Tommy Smith lifted an effort over the bar when he really should have done better.
Leeds were forced into an early change when defender Alex Bruce limped off to be replaced by Leigh Bromby for only his second appearance of the season.
Leeds slowly grew into the save and Luciano Becchio had their best early effort when his header forced Paddy Kenny into an excellent save.
Rangers midfielder Adel Taarabt was looking a danger whenever he had the ball and he shot wide when allowed far too much time to get within shooting distance.
At the other end, Robert Snodgrass saw a shot go just wide of the post.
Leeds opened the scoring on twenty-five minutes when Snodgrass tied Kasper Gorkss in knots before crossing for Howson who headed back for Gradel to rifle into the net.
The goal settled Leeds, they were beginning to knock the ball around, one flowing move involving Gradel, Howson, and Snodgrass eventually saw Howson pull the ball back for Gradel who shot wide.
Leeds finished the half well and deservedly went in at the break a goal to the good with home keeper Schmeichel a spectator for long periods.
Luciano Becchio was close to making it 2-0 early in the second half but his left foot shot was just pushed around the post by Kenny.
Rangers were trying to find a way back into the game and substitute Hall headed wide from a Taarabt corner.
Leeds doubled the lead on seventy minutes when Max Gradel had plenty of space to run into and with Hall backing off and backing off, Gradel fired a left foot shot past Kenny.
The goal seemed to knock any remaining fight out of Rangers and Leeds could have quite easily made it 3-0 with a number of efforts.
Neil Kilkenny shot wide before Kenny produced a fantastic save to keep out a Howson effort.
Robert Snodgrass then saw his effort tipped around the post by Kenny as the home side were in total control.
Leeds finished the game playing 'Ole` football as they stroked to ball around to the cheers of the crowd.
A fantastic performance and a well earned three points against the league leaders.
Schmeichel, Connolly, Bruce (Bromby 10), Collins, McCartney, Howson, Gradel (Sam 75), Johnson, Kilkenny, Becchio (Paynter 90), Snodgrass
Subs not used
Higgs, Somma, Faye, McCormack
Kenny, Orr, Hill (Hall 45), Connolly, Gorkss, Walker, Derry, Hulse (Clarke 74), Taarabt, Smith (Ephraim 74), Mackie
Subs not used
Cerny, Rowlands, Tofas, Helguson
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