FA Carling Premiership
West Ham United 1 - 5 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 2)
|« Manchester United||Chelsea »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Haaland, Radebe, Woodgate, Harte, Batty, Bowyer, McPhail, Kewell, Smith (Ribeiro 87), Hasselbaink (Wijnhard 83)||Robinson, Wetherall, Halle|
|West Ham United||Hislop, Lomas, Foe, Ruddock, Minto, Sinclair (Cole 69), Lampard, Berkovic (Forrest), Moncur, Di Canio (Coyne 83), Wright||Keller, Lazaridis|
|Leeds United||Hasselbaink 1, Smith 45, Harte 62 (pen), Bowyer 78, Haaland 79||This win guarantees Leeds place in the UEFA Cup next year|
|West Ham United||Di Canio 48|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Smith, Batty, Wijnhard|
|West Ham United||Moncur, Wright, Foe, Ruddock, Minto||Wright 16, Hislop 61, Lomas 87|
|Leeds United||West Ham United|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||9, 39, 20, 4, 11||?|
|Matt G||12 men - We've only got 12 men - West Ham Report|
|Mick Clements||We only had 12 men.......|
|John B||Ceeeell-er-brate Good Times, Come On|
|The Observer||Leeds gore and glory|
|The Guardian||Wright faces rap with Elleray report|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Three sent off as West Ham lose their composure|
|The Times||West Ham's season coming off its hinges|
|The Sunday Times||Eight man Hammers are mauled|
|Express Sport||Leeds overwhelm depleted Hammers|
|The Independent on Sunday||Three have an off day|
|The Independent||Managers divided by referee|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||United's 5-star thriller|
|BBC||Leeds thrash hapless Hammers|
|Soccernet||West Ham United 1 - 5 Leeds United|
|Carlingnet||West Ham United 1 - 5 Leeds United|
A mad mad game - bear with me it may take some time to describe all that happened.
We started off with the only change from Sunday being Alfie returning for Jones. It was a perfect start as well, with only a few seconds gone, Ruddock backed off as Jimmy ran at him and Jimmy put it in the corner with his left foot.
The first few minutes were pretty explosive, Berkovic had got injured in the built up to our goal and Bowyer was the recipient of a revenge tackle which led to the first booking. A few minutes later Wright went up for the ball elbow first and was also in the book. After another flurry of activity on 15 minutes, when it settles down Harte is lying on the ground and after talking to the linesman the ref gives Wright the 2nd yellow. Wright then totally lost the plot and looked like he'd have thumped the ref if his team-mates hadn't got in the way, after a couple of minutes he was virtually dragged off the pitch. Not sure where Di Canio was hiding while all this was going on.
Unfortunately for the next 30 minutes, apart from one decent move involving Jimmy and Smith and Bowyer forcing a good save from Hislop, we were 2nd best. For not the 1st time this season (Blackburn, Roma, Charlton spring to mind) we struggled to make an extra player count and West Ham were by far the better team, with Berkovic, Di Canio and Sinclair causing chaos by picking up the ball deep and running at us. There were a couple of goalmouth scambles that I'm not sure how we escaped from. During this time some of our passing was awful, Harte and McPhail in particular trying some awful cross field passes. As the half continued the bookings piled up at a steady rate, mainly for them. There was also plenty of grief down the left, Lomas and Kewell were having a hell of a battle, with Harte joining in despite the abuse and missiles he was getting from the West Ham fans on the touchline.
While we were in injury time, it looked like Batty had fouled someone in midfield, but while we waited for the yellow card to appear, the ref waved play on. Harry broke down the left and crossed low for Smith to bundle in. 2-0 up despite not being the best team. Half-time brought a bunch of teenage cheerleaders dancing along to Celebrate by Kool and the Gang and the Leeds fans happily joined in.
The second half started in the same vein as much of the 1st half and W Ham scored nearly immediately as Berkovic turned Woodgate on the bye-line and pulled it back for Di Canio to score. Most of us were pretty nervous of us blowing it at this stage but the game changed as Foe (who had a great game otherwise) misjudged a high ball, Jimmy was clean through and was brought down as he rounded the keeper. The ref followed the letter of the law and send Hislop off, even though a lot of times they settle for a booking. After a delay while we waited for Forrest to come on, Harte sent him the wrong way from the spot and showed how pumped he was by celebrating in front of the seriously pissed off West Ham fans, rather than the Leeds fans who were behind that goal.
After that we proved that playing against 9 was much more to our liking and at last began to dominate the game, without ever really cutting them open as often as you should against 9 men who are still trying to attack. Eventually Bowyer curled in the 4th from the edge of the area and a minute later Alfie ran into about 50 yards of space on the right to take Jimmy's pass and score.
After that the game drifted to a close, Smith missing our only other clear chance, the West Ham fans left in droves, though not before they'd invited us to meet them outside later. Having the pleasure / misfortune of sitting on the end of the row, closest to the Hammers fans it was pretty obvious that they were not at all happy and they didn't seem to see the funny side as we sang "Whose the bastard in the black" after Wijnhard's booking. Just before the end Lomas whose always a red card waiting to happen, got inevitably sent off for an awful lunge at Harte and we spend the last few minutes just playing time out. There was even a hint of keeping it away from the West Ham players to avoid anymore going and the risk of an abandonment.
Just to make the final whistle sweeter, they announced soon after that the Rhino's had slaughtered the Bronco's - I'd guess someone from Leeds won the lottery as well.
Martyn 7 - Reasonably calm in the chaos in the penalty area in the 1st half.
Haaland 7 - Nice finish for his goal, solid enough.
Harte 6 - Not his best game, gave the ball away a lot. Really enjoyed scoring the penalty after all the abuse he got.
Woodgate 6 - Not at his best either.
Radebe 8 - MoM Lots of crucial interceptions and blocks when we were in danger of losing our way in the first half.
Batty 7 - Got a booking but took nearly 70 minutes to get it, which in the context of the game was probably a miracle.
Bowyer 7 - Also scored a good goal and managed to avoid getting in too much trouble.
McPhail 6 - Very erratic game, had a couple of dodgy spells when he gave the ball away too much but also hit a few great passes.
Kewell 7 - A real battle with Lomas and physically gave as good as he got. Should have caused them more problems with the room he had at times.
Smith 6 - Didn't seem all that involved most of the time, but chased around well.
Jimmy 7 - Most of the time didn't seem interested, even intimated by Foe, especially in the air. But by the end of the game he'd scored 1 and set up 3. Pretty typical Jimmy then.
Ref - It would be impossible to argue that his decisions didn't favour us, though the sendings off seemed clear cut. I thought the bookings of Minto and Ruddock were unlucky, and we did well not to get too involved, as I'm sure he would have taken the chance to even it up a bit. Smith and Batty seemed to be treading a fine line at times. If I'd been a Hammers fan though I'd probably be livid, though even some of them were laughing by the time Lomas went. One to remember next time we complain of bias against Leeds.
Rather surreally after a 5-1 win with 3 players sent off and loads booked, I can honestly say it wasn't a particularly dirty game and we didn't play that well. I even felt a bit sorry for the West Ham fans, thinking back to Chelsea last year. Still Europe guaranteed - We're all going on a European Tour.
P.S Only disappointment - ----- No super sponge.
One of the best chants this season that - "we've only got twelve men", makes a fucking change is all I can say to the whinging cocknies. I need to see Match Of The Day tonight as I didn't get a decent view of Wright's challenge on Kewell for his second yellow (& so red) card, but the West Ham fans were livid as the ref hadn't spotted it and let play continue, until the linesman finally caught his attention and spoke to the ref. A couple of muppets tried running onto the pitch to get at the linesman & ref, and it took Martyn plus about three WH players to get Wright to leave the pitch. Tosser.
To be honest, although we didn't deserve to lose and were strolling it by the time they were down to 8, the match didn't feel like the stuffing a 5-1 scoreline would suggest. This was about the 10th away match I've been to this season and the quietest from us. The atmosphere was more a feeling of disbelief that we saw a so-so Leeds performance yield so many goals, in the face of lively WH attacking (when they had the ball) and most of their team getting themselves booked or sent off for daft challenges.
To rub it in further Batty got a major let-off for nobbling Lomas - after which Batty raised his arm and ducked his head in anticipation of a booking, only for play to be waved on by the ref - no foul! Sweeter still we scored almost straight after (this was about the sixth minute of first half injury time). Jimmy had scored virtually from the kick-off and we were looking lively early on, but Wright's sending-off made no differerence to WH, they still attacked us effectively with Di Canio & Lampard squandering chances. Clyde was a late sub and managed to kick Ruddock without the ref seeing him too, which was nice.
Thankfully the only thing their ground has got going for it is live footage on the big screens either end of the pitch, which helped overcome the bab view afforded by my seat, front row right behind the nets - useful for shaking Alfie's hand after his goal but not much else apart from getting on telly.
Given first half events, once Hislop brought Jimmy down we knew he was off. I was cacking it given recent success from the penalty spot, but luckily "the boy Harte done good and the ball's went in", particularly as Di Canio tried his best to put Harty off, by arsing about in the box whinging that the ball was 1mm off the spot.
As for an post-match aggro, a minor brawl was erupting just outside the pub on the corner of Barking Rd & Green St, opposite the Leeds coaches, but seemed to be inter-Cockney, I saw a mouthy fat woman smack a bloke and a few others wade in, so maybe it escalated as I didn't stand around waiting to get nicked for nowt as the Old Bill & dog handlers were straight in there!
Great driving back up the M1 with almost every car flying Leeds Rhinos colours too.
Whoever gave the directions to the Jolly Gardener at Euston - you didn't mention that big "Guy Thornton House" building did ya? Found a collection of Listers sitting inside, including Gav dressed appropriately for the warm sunny weather - his legs are dangerously white.
If it's about 2:10pm at Euston Square, it's probably best not to be gallant, and miss a train whilst waiting for Niggy and a one or two others to get their tube tickets. It takes bloody years to get to Upton Park, and you might miss something...
If you're feeling a bit peckish, and are waiting for an eastbound train at Aldgate East, I'd give that chocolate dispenser on the platform a miss. Trust me on this one.
Noisy bastard Leeds fans on the district line, singing our most unpleasant songs, and reciting lists of all the people they hate. My right ear-drum takes a battering.
Finally get to Upton Park at about 2:55, and shuffle slowly out of the station with all the other late comers. Niggy's counting on the minute's silence for "Matt Busby" to delay kick-off long enough for us too get to our seats in time. I suppose if it had been Matt Busby the rioting in our end may well have the delayed the start of the game long enough for us. As it is, doing a minute's brisk walking as a mark of respect to Sir Alf, only got us to the turnstiles in time to hear cheering from inside. It wasn't loud enough to be a West Ham goal, so logically it has to be the Gods that scored. Correct. Oh Jimmy Jimmy
I find my seat. Don't sit in it. Raymond's in the row behind me. In fact he's right behind me. With his drum. And something to bang it with. Considering Raymond's cultural heritage, it's got to be said he's got a sad lack of rhythm.
At about 15mins my next door neighbour got sent off - he doesn't actually live next door, his house is up the hill somewhere, but he does pop round when he's run out of sugar, or wants to borrow the lawn mower. He looked pretty pissed off about his red card, so much so that maybe a miscarriage of justice was being perpetrated. Certainly the brief pictures on MOTD didn't show anything worthy of a card. Either something more happened off camera, or Ian Harte, Saved My Life, was giving an Oscar worthy performance of a bloke with concussion.
The Gods then proceeded to adopt the tried and trusted tactics of playing against a 10 man team. You let them dominate. Completely mucked it up in the zillionth minute of first half injury time, when some good work by Harry, set up Smiffy with a tap in.
2-0, and so to the half-time party. We're All Going On A European Tour (to the tune of Yellow Submarine) was giving way to what I'm sure was going to be an absolutely brilliant WATCOE, when...
The Hammerettes out on the pitch were giving a disco dancing demonstration. I bet usually no-one takes a blind bit of notice, but today... A disco-hit from yesteryear. "Celebration" - is it Kool and the Gang? It seemed to have everyone on the terrace joining in. Celebrate Good Times Come On I think this will be my abiding memory of the match. An absolutely perfect choice of music matching the mood of the supporters. In fact, when we do win a trophy again, can we play this, rather than bloody Queen's "We Are The Champions". Thanks.
Oh talking of Queen, I got a chuckle out of a Roy Hudd anecdote on Quote/Unquote on Radio 4 today. Some Royal Variety Performance, and the Queen is going down the line, being introduced to the turns. Tommy Cooper's just been done, and she's moving on the next person. Tommy does what no-one's ever done before, and calls her back. "Do you like football, Your Majesty" he asks. "No" she replies. "Can I have your Cup Final ticket then".
Right then. The 2nd half. Lord Eddie & The Olleryman have sorted how you play against a 10 man team. None of the boys have listened though, so we get this really lethargic start by our lot, allowing di Canio to win his Man of the Match award when he gets a goal back for West Ham. This doesn't really wake us up, and Nige has to make a flying save to keep our lead intact. After this we improve, and whilst West Ham still do a lot of attacking, we're never in any real danger again.
The penalty. I couldn't figure out how Jimmy beat Foe to the ball. He out-sprinted him. Huh? MOTD highlights - a neat bit of undetected shirt-pulling I believe did the trick. Goal 4. We love Liboya, and if it's quite alright... A neat flick by Jimmy to set up Lee with a shot that hit the deja-vue button for me. I was just about in line behind the post where the goal went in. In the 80s I was in a similar position on the kop, when John Sheridan scored in the 5-0 vs Sheffield United. He curved it outside the post, and outside the keeper's reach, and then it curved in again, and goaaaallllll. Goal 5. A very satisfying one by Alfie, as it finally exploited our 2 man advantage.
Going home again. As you walk what seems like miles to the back of the tube queue, you go past all these menacing butchers in their bloody aprons. There's chicken claws and other less unidentifiable bits of carcass, underfoot. There may have been a bit trouble elsewhere, but you wouldn't start it here. Not with these guys. You'd soon be hanging off a meat hook, with yer feet missing. On the tube back into town, there was an Asian woman, with a baby under her arm, doing a bit of busking/begging, singing something that seemed hauntingly beautiful, maybe because it was so unexpected - I wished I'd fished out a few coins for her, but didn't.
Onto the Orange Brewery. Gav was there first, looking lonely. Eventually others turned up. Views of the match seemed similar to my own. 5-1 winners, big party, but may not have been the better team.
Conversations take strange turns. For some reason, the concept of dancing on people's graves had come up. Dancing on Maggie Thatcher's. Mike S and/or Claire suggested that a whole bloody dancefloor would need to be provided for the people queueing up for that priviledge. A purpose-built discotheque maybe. Celebrate Good Times. Come On.
I went home. My head swirling from too much Spring Chicken, leaving Claire, Mike, The BoyWeth still discussing something like who would make the 1st Eleven of The Rev's Most Hated Leeds Players.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 02/05/1999.
A time of year normally reserved for meaningless mid-table strolls saw two unlikely candidates make a late bid for the title of most mean-spirited Premiership contest of the season. Three West Ham players sent off - Ian Wright, Shaka Hislop and Steve Lomas - and a further four booked, compared to three Leeds yellows, not surprisingly proved the decisive feature of a game marred by petty vendetta and under-hand nastiness.
An extraordinary opening to the game, Leeds taking the lead within barely 20 seconds of kick-off, gave way to an ill-tempered first-half in which Wright won the first red card.
© Guardian Media Group plc
Copy from Football Unlimited of 02/05/1999.
Ian Wright's unerring ability to locate the self-destruct button in the most unlikely circumstances never fails to disappoint. The West Ham striker could this week be the subject of a Football Association inquiry after damage was caused to the referee's changing room at Upton Park.
A game featuring two of the brightest, emerging clubs in the 'new age' Premiership degenerated, literally from kick-off, into ill-discipline and violence.
© Guardian Media Group plc