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QPR logo
Championship | Gameweek 45
Apr 26, 2024 at 8pm UK
Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
Leeds logo

4 - 0

Chair (8'), Andersen (22'), Dykes (73'), Field (86')
Colback (64')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Byram (16'), Gnonto (41')

Leicester promoted to Premier League after QPR hammer Leeds

Leicester promoted to Premier League after QPR hammer Leeds
© Reuters
Leicester City are promoted back to the Premier League after Queens Park Rangers hammer Leeds United 4-0 at Loftus Road.

Leicester City have been promoted to the Premier League courtesy of Leeds United's 4-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road this evening.

The Foxes opened up a crucial advantage in what has been a fascinating battle at the top of the Championship by hammering fellow promotion hopefuls Southampton 5-0 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.

That opened up a four-point lead over second-placed Leeds and a five-point advantage over Ipswich Town, meaning that defeat for the Whites in their penultimate game of the campaign would rubber-stamp Leicester's promotion before they even kicked another ball.

All three teams in the top-two mix have faltered at times in recent weeks, but Leeds were still regarded as favourites to beat a QPR side still not certain of their place in the Championship next season prior to kickoff.

However, Marti Cifuentes's side took the lead after only eight minutes at Loftus Road and never looked back, sweeping Leeds aside to not only confirm Leicester's promotion but also deal a huge blow to their visitors' own promotion bid, while confirming their survival in the process.

QPR thrash Leeds to secure survival and damage Leeds' promotion hopes

Queens Park Rangers' Lucas Andersen celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on April 26, 2024© Reuters

Ilias Chair got that early goal for the hosts, before Lucas Andersen doubled QPR's advantage midway through the first half to leave Leeds with a mountain to climb if they were to avoid dropping valuable points.

The visitors had chances to claw their way back into the game, most notably through Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville, but could not find a way past Asmir Begovic in the QPR goal.

Lyndon Dykes then put the result beyond doubt with a third for his side 17 minutes from time, before things got even worse for Leeds when Sam Field rose highest to head home a fourth in the 86th minute.

The result - Leeds' biggest league defeat of the season - is the latest in a growing list of shocks during a topsy-turvy run-in that has seen Leicester, Leeds and Ipswich all emerge as front-runners for promotion at different stages.

Leeds' own hopes are not quite over after this devastating result, and they still sit second in the table, but their fate is now firmly out of their own hands with Ipswich just a point behind and having played two games fewer.

Leeds could be consigned to playoffs before the final day

QPR's triumph would have sparked wild scenes of celebration in Leicester, who are guaranteed a top-two finish as Leeds can no longer catch them.

Third-placed Ipswich could still finish above them in the table, so the title remains up for grabs, but the Tractor Boys will be focused first and foremost on securing promotion themselves.

There is now the prospect of them doing it without relying on any final-day drama, with victories over Hull City on Saturday night and then Coventry City on Tuesday night being enough to put them out of reach of Leeds with a game to spare.

If Ipswich fail to win either of those games then things will go down to the final day, but Kieran McKenna's side must now be regarded as firm favourites to clinch back-to-back promotions and return to the Premier League for the first time since 2001-02.

Leeds, meanwhile, must hope for favours from elsewhere if they are to avoid the playoffs, and must also find a way to pick themselves up from suffering their heaviest league defeat of the season at such a crucial stage of the campaign.

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