FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 4 - 1 Derby County
(Half-time: 3 - 1)
|« Sheffield Wednesday||Nottingham Forest »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Haaland, Radebe, Woodgate, Harte, Hopkin, Bowyer, McPhail, Korsten (Jones 88), Hasselbaink, Kewell||Wetherall, Ribeiro, Halle, Robinson|
|Derby County||Poom, Prior, Carbonari, Stimac (Elliot 40), Borbokis, Bohinen (Launders 78), Powell, Laursen, Baiano (Christie HT), Harper, Burton||Robinson, Hoult|
|Leeds United||Bowyer 16, Hasselbaink 31, Korsten 44, Harte 84|
|Derby County||Baiano 2 (pen)|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Haaland, Hopkin|
|Derby County||Baiano, Prior|
|Leeds United||Derby County|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||11, 9, 7, 20||?|
|Nick Allen||vs Derby|
|The Observer||Heavenly Hasselbaink|
|The Guardian||O'Leary wonders prove a blessing|
|The Electronic Telegraph||O'Leary's feet on ground as Leeds rise continues|
|The Times||O'Leary stays calm as youthful glow surrounds Elland Road|
|The Sunday Times||O'Leary setting higher targets|
|Express Sport||O'Leary catches up with Revie in style|
|The Independent on Sunday||Bowyer launches charge for Europe|
|The Independent||O'Leary's hallmark has authentic stamp|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Six-shooter Hasselbaink|
|BBC||Rams demolished by rampant Leeds|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
|Carlingnet||Carlingnet match report|
A most enjoyable afternoon's entertainment.
Knowing that we never start to play against Derby until we go behind, Chief O'Leary and Lucas the faithful lieutenant, hatched a cunning plan... and lo, King Lucas did commit the singular most stupid and rash scything down of an opponent after only two minutes. The winger who was going nowhere got a penalty. Baiano scored 0-1. Jimmy managed to get involved in handbags at 10 paces on the edge of the box as they waited for the penalty to be taken.
Lucas had one more "moment". Heading narrowly behind from a cross that Martyn came for - and judging from Nige's action's he obviously felt he called for it - but c'mon, who can blame Lucas for not believing him, the bugger's never come for a cross in his life. That said, from that point on Martyn came for every cross and claimed it well.
Now we can start to play.
And so we did, we sliced them open at will, especially Jimmy going through the middle, but also Korsten in flashes in the first half. Twice, Jimmy latched onto good low balls, and flew into the box at speed, jinking past defenders, only to be blocked once by a last ditch challenge, and once by the keeper. He should have scored from at least one of them. Korsten showed admirable spirit, tackling back almost on halfway, standing up and setting off back towards their goal, ghosting past three defenders, before shooting from the edge of the box, the ball just fizzing past the far post.
Our midfield was being driven by Hopkin, who again looked a good player. Bowyer was able support, but seems to have been told to hold out of the challenges, to try and cut down on the bookings. Korsten had a good first half, in fits and starts, but was non-existant in the second, until he got chopped and had to go off. McPhail started poorly and steadily improved to mediocre. But when he did get the pace of the game in the last 20 mins, then his passing was good.
Despite Lucas's rushes of blood, the defence was unworried for most of the game. Derby had lots of possession in the second half, but got nowhere - probably because they took their best player Baiano off at half time. The one thing that worries me for future games, is Alfie at RBack - he's not a natural there, so its hardly his fault, but he does tuck in almost as a sweeper behind Woodgate when the ball comes in from the right wing, leaving gaping holes where he should be. It lead to nothing today, but when Overmars and Giggs are out there, then we'll be in trouble.
So any way they scored with the penalty, then we scored 4 ; and this is how it happened.
1-1 - Hopkin, lovely ball out to Jimmy on the right wing, moves forward almost to the by-line, and fires in a low cross. Bowyer arriving fast at the front post tries to flick it in but misses. The ball bounces back to him off the defender, he controls it depspite falling backwards, Bowyer cuts back inside this defender, on the edge of the 6 yard box, and rolls the ball into the opposite bottom corner.
2-1 - Dodgy free kick 25 yards out, after Harry's been "felled". Just
to show what good pundits me 'n' TC are - this is how we saw it
shaping up -
"Its gotta be Harte"
"Yeah, they'll be expecting Jimmy, so let Harte take it"
"Anyway look where the keeper's lined up, way over to the right"
"Gotta be Harte".
So Jimmy steps up, and after a quick pass and stop, blasts it into the bottom right hand corner. Where the keeper was.
3-1 - jimmy collects a pass wide on the left, flciks it in between two defenders, into Korsten's path as he charges into the box. One touch, and then slides it home from a tight angle.
3-1 at half time.
Very little happened in the second half until, 85mins. gone:
4-1 Harry collects a long ball down in the left hand corner - three defenders come to him, he rolls it back up the line to Harte. Harte starts to runs across the pitch, parallel with the top of the box, nobody challenges him, the ball is on his cliche-strewn right foot, thump, its nestling in the top corner of the goal, and Ian is cartwheeling towards the MNES.
MARTYN -7- coming for crosses at last.
HAALAND -6- quietly competent
WOODGATE -7- another good performance.
RADEBE -8- only this man could make two major cock-ups and still be the best defender on show. Nothing else got past him.
HARTE -7- rock steady game, capped by a good goal.
BOWYER -7- good but not quite his usual high standard.
HOPKIN -8- playing at his peak now.
KORSTEN -7- great start, nice goal, faded.
McPHAIL -4 rising to 6 - justifying his billing as " not yet the finished article"
KEWELL -5- absolutely anonymous.
HASSELBAINK -8- storming game. Could have had a couple more.
Crowd - large but quiet.
Let's not get carried away though - our 6 wins have ben against shit teams - but it does feel nice...
Not much to report that hasn't already been said. JFH reserved a day when da Rev was absent to show why he is better than da Rev reckons. Yet more assists and a goal to boot. He still had a few poor first touches and there was one glaring bit of greediness in the second half when he ran rather than release Kewell who had a free run on the left. 16 scored and eight games to go is a good return in anyone's book.
Hopkin had, for him, a good game. Yet I saw the same Hoppo as Richard Walker saw, the one who loses possession far too often. MacPhail keeps the ball better and is quietly efficient although he still has a good deal to learn. Woodgate (ranked by Jimmy Hill as the young player to watch alongside Owen in today's Indy) was good, Lucas had ten bad minutes and gradually returned to his best. Mind you, Turford and Goodair might have coped with Derby's forwards. Martyn dominated his area for the first time in many weeks. Kewell was frequently triple teamed, never less than double and he still did OK. He is wearing lycras under his shorts and not running at, let alone past, defenders in the last two games. Injured? Korsten looked good running at defenders in the first half then faded. The early evidence is that he would be a good investment. JFH looked like what he is - one of the top strikers currently plying his trade in the country. Owen, Yorke, Cole have scored more Premiership goals but I don't think anyone else has. Young Jones looked very lively in the few minutes he was on.
The second half performance was somnolence itself until DOL had a prolonged harangue, then it got better and we scored again. Once again we got the benefit from the ref - e.g. Kewell's free kick - but I thought Prior should have gone for the late lunge on Korsten. On the whole I didn't think the ref got too much wrong, and for once the linos seemed able to understand the rules.
Jim Smith's post-match interviews pissed me off. He whinged on about how they were missing so many players. We had as many first choice players out as they did. I'm not sure that we didn't have more full internationals out than they did, and one of theirs is Costa Rican. Derby, like a number of oppos recently were only as good as we let them be. Their three CBs were first choice and looked weak even before they lost Stimac against our movement, direct running and passing. Baiano was presumably substituted at HT because they knew there was no way back and wanted to avoid a stuffing.
James commented on the MOTD highlights as disappointing. Well the disappointment was the 25 minutes of limp footie after HT. Until then the movement off the ball had been superb and much of the support play, closing down and general shape/discipline/vision had been excellent. But that wasn't obvious with only one camera angle and brief highlights, from well up in the stands it looked very good indeed.
Play call of the day - John Brauns just before Jimmy's free kick: "There's a gap, there's a gap..... I told you there was a gap." A football genius second only to his mum, who claims to have contributed to the victory by clutching her lucky Latvian bear at key moments. And there were the rest of us thinking it was all down to tactics like my lucky shirt, Claire's lucky pineapple and lemonade, theboyweth's t-shirt and so on.
And finally, my MOTM along with JFH was Harte. At times when he's had deserved slaggings I've tried to stick up for him as a good prospect. He has blossomed since GG went and now plays with less fear. In recent weeks he has seemed to be growing in confidence. But he has also been growing in tactical acumen. He is developing the happy knack of being in the right place at the right time, thus helping to make up for the relative lack of pace. He gives us goals and an option at free kicks. If ever we get another penalty I think he may be the man for that too. He does not look out of place in the team at the moment as Hoppo and Haaland occasionally do and, sadly, as the estimable Wetherall does when called upon to do much creative whatever his defensive qualities.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 21/03/1999.
If the Worthington Cup final is with us the close of the Premiership campaign cannot be far away, and sure enough here was one of the first end-of-season games this year. Derby have an outside chance of Europe while Leeds are challenging assumptions that Chelsea will claim the third Champions League position, having surpassed the west London club. Both sides still have plenty to play for, though you would never have guessed.
'We are down to the bare bones,' said Jim Smith before the game. The Bald Eagle was not joking. With Paulo Wanchope away, Dean Sturridge suspended, Lee Carsley sold and four regulars injured, Derby did indeed resemble a skeleton squad, and when Igor Stimac departed six minutes before half-time you could practically hear the bones creaking.
© Guardian Media Group plc
© Guardian Media Group plc