Game 2: Wednesday 13 August 1997
Leeds United 1 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
(Half-time: 0 - 2)
Referee: P A Durkin (Portland)
|Crystal Palace »
|Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Wetherall, Wallace, Hasselbaink (Lilley 86), Ribeiro, Bowyer (Haaland 86), Hopkin, Halle, Molenaar
|Beeney, Kewell, Laurent
|Pressman, Atherton, Nolan, Walker, Carbone (Donaldson 83), Booth, Di Canio, Blondeau, Humphreys (Oakes 58), Stefanovic, Collins (Hyde 58)
|Ribeiro 36, Wallace 7, 62
|Kelly, Molenaar, Hopkin
|Di Canio, Carbone, Stefanovic
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|8, 8, 10
|Plenty of Passion
|United are Back
|Rust City Rampage
|Wallace and Ribeiro rip through Wednesday's defence
|Revamped Leeds hint doubters may be wrong
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Two-goal Wallace walks tall as Leeds take off
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
The defence held up well most of the time. Robertson looks fine at left back, Wetherall's looking back to his best too, I'm glad he's back to the starting line up. Molenaar did fine too, but I think I can see why he's not first choice at the mo - he charges around with a great deal of enthusiasm, but often appears less calm and controlled as a result. His death-or-glory charges look great when they work, but are just a bit too risky compared to the smoother skills of Radebe.
After being 2-0 up at half time I was wondering whether we'd revert to the George Graham stereotype of close down the hatches after going in 2-0 at half time, but this was not the case: we were as up for goals in the second half as the first. So much for the steroetypes. Last night was as good an away performance as any last season, and a lot more exciting to watch. United are back, United are back (allo, allo).
Later on we began to look knacked - or was it just being smug at three nil up? Whatever, they got one back, but it didn't really matter.
Crowd stuff. Big Leeds contingent as usual, by far the noisiest part of the ground. Yes the wooden seats have gone, BUT the plastic ones can still be banged up and down lot, and a lot of people banged them up and down. However the volcanic erruption type noise which we used to generate isn't quite as powerful any more, more of an usually loud fart in the bath.
Half time afficionadoes will be relived to know that WATC-COE lives on. It was slow starting, but when the teams ran out for the second half, it had built up to a creditable head of steam. The next most enjoybale chant of the evening was probably taking over the Wednesday theme tune - the one the band belts out and everyone sings "der der derrrr, der der derrrr, der derder der derder der derder" and bellows WEDNESDAY at the end. You know the one I mean don't you. Anyway, as a lot of Owl-fiends starting leaving the ground early (and who can blame them), there was the usual "we can see you sneaking out", but THEN someone hit on the idea of using the words "time to go" to the der der ders, and substituting "Wednesday" with the words "FUCK OFF". It works a treat I can tell you.
At the end of the match the reception for the team was tremendous, and the team spent more time acknowledging the fans than I have seen them do for quite a while now. They deserved it, we deserved it. This match was a joy to be at - forget all the boardroom commercial trickery, the rip-offs, and the hype - this was a passionate, exuberent game, exactly the sort of thing we long to see when we turn up week after week. The team left the pitch with every Leed in the ground roaring Marching On Together.
Jimmy. As Niggy G spotted, Jimmy no longer has 'Jimmy' on his shirt, he has 'Hasselbaink', though of course when you see him at an angle, it looks like 'Hassel' or 'Elbaink'.
Oh what a night.
Packed stand of very loud Leeds fans - we never stopped for the whole match - watching some seriously enjoyable football. Never mind the Blades, we cut em to pieces. Highlights for me were:
Bruno's delicious finish and growing stature on the pitch. This guy is good. I noticed MOTD labelling him as 'potential bargain of the season at UKP 500k'.
Hopkin - a true Colossus. Hardly puts a foot wrong, sensible distribution, and tons of energy. He charges around the pitch and makes those vital tackles / interceptions all night long. Bowyer was hardly noticable next to him.
Flowing football - I'd forgotten what it was like! Whole team really worked at it.
The Leeds fans ruled the roost last
night. Top chants included:
- United are back, United are back whoah... (at end)
- Georgey Graham's Barmy Army
- this one was really funny... to the tune of Wednesdays only song (that 'oh-oh oh- o o o o o oh, o o o o, o o o o, o o o o o o oh Wednesday' fackin thing), we sang for the last ten mins as their fans were sneaking out early:
Oh time to go
Time to go time to go time to go
Time to go-oh, time to go-oh
Time to go o o o oh Fuck Off!
Round and around, Deleriously happy Leeds fans.
After the final whistle, Hopkin grabbed a few Leeds players who were heading for the tunnel and shoved em towards the Leeds end. Man, this was special, Hoppers took the full team up, and they applauded us! The place went mad. Everyone was buzzing on the way out - it really felt great to be a Leeds fan.
There ya go. Definately going to more away games this season.
The team showed the same fight, passion, organisation and skill that had been evident at Elland Road on Saturday, and the fans responded to this new-found belief and commitment in ear-splitting kind. In short, it was players and supporters in perfect harmony. But let's not get too carried away - the season is but a mere screaming baby, with it's arse freshly slapped by the strapping midwife in knee-length sensible socks and a heaving bosom (mmmaammma!). If we can maintain this kind of form for the next ten games, then I'll become truly optimistic.
Points of note:
- Robertson still fails to convince
- Wallace and Jimmy are looking on fire so far. Jimmy's flick for Wallace's second was just sublime - could you imagine Deano doing that ever?
- Bowyer has made a very poor start to the season. He is simply trying too hard, and ought to look at Hopkin as an example of how to do the simple stuff well.
- I though Graham should have brought on the subs much earlier, as we looked knackered towards the end.
- Halle was very accident prone, as I delighted in telling Oystein sat next to me - not that he probably heard me, as he was in a fit of Norwegian-White ecstasy, saying, "Oh, this is great!" about every five seconds! I hope he and Rob W. found somewhere to stay last night (there was no late train back to London for them).
- We haven't half got some scary fans. Thank god they're on our side.
- The train back was a hoot (pun semi-intended) thanks to some blathered Chesterfield Whites ripping the piss out of the Weds. fans at the top of their lungs. Aaah, Leeds awaydays! What would we do without them? And to think there's so many of you out there that never even bother. Come join us, brothers and sisters.
They'll be shouting "Bru-no! Bru-no!" at Elland Road for the rest of this season, but they won't be watching big Frank being dumped on the seat of his pants by some American heavyweight has-been. A knockout blow by Portuguese new boy Bruno Ribeiro, coupled with a deadly double from new dad Rod Wallace, led to a sad night for David Pleat's Sheffield Wednesday.
Leeds boss George Graham, in what must have been a bout of pre-season kidology, clearly undersold his side judging by the way United ripped through Wednesday's shaky defence. Wallace sparked the Leeds celebrations with an 8th-minute opener followed by a game-killing 62nd-minute third, his goals sandwiching Ribeiro's first goal for the Elland Road club.
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