FA Carling Premiership
Newcastle United 0 - 3 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 1)
|« Arsenal||Wimbledon »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Halle, Wetherall, Ribeiro (McPhail, 57), Woodgate, Hopkin, Bowyer, Haaland, Harte, Kewell (Smith 90), Hasselbaink||Robinson, Wijnhard, Granville|
|Newcastle United||Given, Charvet, Howey, Dabizas, Barton (Hughes 51), Georgiadis (Ketsbaia 62), Lee, Speed, Glass, Shearer, Ferguson||Harper, Hamann, Solano|
|Leeds||Kewell 38, Bowyer 62, Hasselbaink 90|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||?||?|
|Matt G||Sexy football ahoy|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Kewell eclipses Gullit's expensive strike force|
|The Times||Leeds deepen disenchantment|
|The Sunday Times||Bowyer's the key to Leeds' triumph|
|Express Sport||Newcastle strikers left high and dry|
|The Independent on Sunday||Double act upstaged on debut|
|The Independent||Gullit defends absent habit|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Doing it the O'Leary way|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
|Carlingnet||Carlingnet match report|
An 8am start for the trek to Newcastle far too early for Boxing Day, decent journey up, time for a couple of pints in Chester-Le-Street before meeting our 20mph police escort to the ground. The police then told us that we would be held behind after the game, "because building works at the ground mean it's not safe for all the fans to leave the ground at the same time". Translated as The Geordies will chuck bricks at us.
Inside the ground with no hassle, a change of team formation to 4-4-2, Wetherall in with Woodgate at centre back, with Alfie moving to right midfield and Bruno in at left midfield. A bit of a dodgy start, Shearer battled his way past Woodgate early on, but missed a good chance. Newcastle were playing with the gale and torrential rain and we had a few problems coping with the long balls early on. Shearer was his usual self, backing in all the time, then moaning to the ref as soon as Woodgate touched him.
We gradually got back into the game, closing down well in midfield and started to pass a bit better, we'd had a couple of shots from the edge of the area, then Jimmy received a ball back to goal and laid it off for Harry to bury it. Pretty comfortable for the rest of the half and 1-0 was a reasonable reflection of the first half.
Under a lot of pressure at the start of the second half, Nigel made 2 brilliant saves, 1 great back-bender from Glass's 25 yarder and for a while we were just hacking it clear and waiting for it to come straight back again. Then Harry got free of his marker down the left and despite being blatantly held back managed to hit a low shot that squirmed under Given. As it trickled towards the line, Bowyer slid in with one of their defenders and in the wet the ball and players inevitably ended up in the net. Bowyer claimed the goal. Perfect timing.
Geordies lost their way after this and although they had plenty of the ball, we'd worked out how to defend the long ball by now, so Nigel only had to make one more good save. We were able to relax and enjoy ourselves, treating the Geordies to a few songs, including Jingle Bells.., "You can stick your sexy football up your arse", "You're not sexy anymore","We're sexy and we know we are" and "3-0 and we're only kids."
For the icing on the cake, Jimmy pulled off a nice turn on the edge of the area and hammered it in the corner in the last minute. Most of the Geordies left after this, so it was only a few minutes after the final whistle before we were let out.
Martyn 9 - 2 Brilliant saves just before our second were probably the decisive moments in the match, also dealt well with some dodgy backpasses near the start.
Halle 6 - Couple of decent tackles, but poor distribution and Glass skinned him a coupe of times.
Harte 7 - Battled well, always available for the "Out" ball, even if didn't always use it well.
Woodgate 8 - Very good job on Shearer after jittery start.
Wetherall 8 - Ditto on Ferguson.
Halland 7 - Worked hard to close them down and helped out defence at time.
Hopkin 8 - Good game, at last looking worth what we paid, amazingly passing to his own players now.
Bowyer 9 - MOM performance, all-action as ever, still making 50 yards runs in the last few minutes to relieve the pressure.
Ribero 6 - Never really got into the game, limped off to be replaced by McPhail.
Jimmy 7 - Another classy goal, one of his working hard to chase down the ball days.
Kewell 8 -Took first well and crucial run to make 2nd, lively all game.
Three nil flattered us a bit, but we've had plenty of away games this year when we haven't got what we deserved so who's complaining. Four hours of zig- zagging down the A1 in the wind later, I was home, only 13 hours after I left, but the result made it worthwhile.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 27/12/98.
© Guardian Media Group plc