FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 0 - 0 Liverpool
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
|« Nottingham Forest||Charlton Athletic »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Halle (Jones 21), Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Hopkin, Batty, Bowyer, Smith, Hasselbaink, Kewell (Ribeiro 89)||Wetherall, Wijnhard, Robinson|
|Liverpool||James, Gerrard, Babb, Carragher, Matteo, McManaman, Ince, Redknapp, Berger, Owen (Riedle 25), Fowler.||Ferri, Bjornebye, Thompson, Friedel|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Hopkin, Batty|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||0||0|
|John Lee||Train now at Dullsville Central|
|Nick Allen||vs Liverpool|
|The Guardian||Liverpool end the Leeds streak|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Owen injury clouds England hopes as record victory eludes Leeds|
|The Times||England left hamstrung by Owen|
|Express Sport||O'Leary's kids fail to sparkle|
|The Independent||Owen injury scare for Keegan|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||A Red dream come true|
|BBC||Owen limps out of stalemate|
|Soccernet||Leeds United 0 - 0 Liverpool|
|Carlingnet||Leeds United 0 - 0 Liverpool|
Good to see Steve Thompson & the Mighty Vic Appelian in the Adelphi! A convivial sesh ensued, and all seemed right with the world. The trip to Elland Rd was one of the most amazing sights I've witnessed at a footie game. It'd just been p*ssing it down, but the sun cast a rich yellow hue over Holbeck, glinting off the rows of terraced houses, and reflecting upwards from the sodden motorway. Then about a third of the sky went yellow, blue and white - I kid you not, an awesome sight! After that, the night turned to sh*te!
A flawlessly honoured minutes silence (and it was the full minute for once), then a particularly tedious game of footie! OK, fair point, defences on top, but in my mind that equates to midfield/attack weren't good enough to break them down! And that's both teams! As I don't care about Liverpool, I'll simply address our faults.. Firstly, a single attacking ploy of a long angled ball to Kewell, who was then supposed to beat the 3 defenders on him seemed a bit on the optimistic side. Essentially, Harry is the only player we had who can beat a man with any regularity or intention! Given that Liverpool were stringing two lines of defenders (5 and 4 players) across the park, our midfield was shown for what it is - hard-working but limited. Bowyer made a few runs but was swamped by red shirts, Hopkin played more on the centre-left of midfield and looked both out of place and crap in equal measures. Batty looked a yard of the pace, and half the time was bumping into either Hopkin or Bowyer. We had no width on the right, and so the ball was passed crab-like along our defence until panic induced a punt towards Kewell! It seemed unlikely to produce a goal, and it didn't! It didn't deserve to either if I'm honest. I suppose it says something that a half-decent team like Liverpool (and they are only half decent) comes to defend, and they didn't really look like scoring. Fowler looked sh*ite, Owen went off hamstrung (it's a real pleasure to see their most dangerous player pull up like that - yep, I know, we're buggers arn't we?), and for me Berger was the one causing most problems, given how quickly he was breaking on the left side of midfield against young Jones! A very under-rated player Berger, despite the haircut, and he was a class-apart. We could do worse than make them an offer! I was bloody glad Heggem was out, cos he'd have given Harte a hard time!
Same story as usual up front - Smith was industrious whilst Hasslebaink shrugged and sulked, although he got no service from his midfield at all! Simple fact is that we need a forward who can turn a game against a decent team! Jimmy isn't him! All in all a tremendously dull experience, with little to say of credit aside from seeing it in the overall picture of 22 points from 24! 4 points behind Chelwsea and played 1 game more means it'll be difficult to overtake anyone now, unless we beat each of them and they all lose this weekend!
One further point re Batty, bloody stupid gettng booked for jawing - presumably he hasn't already spent enough time sat on his arse watching, and wants some more `rest'! On last nights performance I'd give him some. Ince is a spent force - expect him to sign for Scumderland or some such sh*te next season!
First things first a beautifully observed minutes silence. Well done.
Stand up if you want justice. Exactly.
The game - well Leeds Utd the rampant stallions of the Premier league turn in a flaccid performance.
It was just one of those games wasn't it. We keep tupping these smaller teams, and they're there to be beaten, god knows we've made plenty of balls-ups against lesser teams, but come up against stiffer opposition and we don't have a devine right to boss the game. I thought we were the better team and probably deserved to win it, but you gotta earn it. For the first twenty minutes we were all over them but we all seemed to want to score goal of the season, long spectacular shots, dribbling round half the defence - twice - , when they should be happy with a toe-poke over the line.
It says a lot that the best players on the park were defenders - Lucas and Woody for us, and their young right back Gerrard(?) - who I thought did a good job on Harry.
Everything we tried went down the left for Harry - so much so that Jimmy eventually went out there as well - so if we did get a cross in there would be no-one there to get on the end of it anyway. I've mentioned this before but we are completely bereft down the right - we may be able to get the defending back there covered - Alfi, Jones, Halle, whoever - but we have nothing going forward - I really hope Kelly gets fit again.
But its back to the old groans of earlier in the season about the lack of guile, and I think that this is something that will get shown up against the "big 3" - I'm not saying we're not capable of beating any of these, just that if we do it'll be down to spirit and running rather than outmanoeuvering them. Hoppo is not up to it - he may be playing "the best he's ever played for us" but all that shows is what a limited player he is. Batty does the defensive work well enough, we were quick at getting the ball back off 'pool, but then didn't have much of an idea of what to do with it.
Having Batty in the side frees up Bowyer to go forward which is no bad thing - and he had a couple of efforts that just skimmed the bar last night - having Hoppo and Batty in the side is just a duplication - they were literally getting in each others way last night. As for a choice between the two, there is no choice.
Woody was definitely much more comfortable at Chalf, alongside old Lukey boy. And not much got by them - I was particularly impressed by Lucas's bicycle kick clearance in the second half, and by Woody's perfect sliding tackle on a flying Owen. Speaking of England's cherub I thought Batty got booked for having the audacity to tackle him - it wasn't until the ref had a look and saw that it was Owen lying on the floor that he pulled Batty back.
Finally the forwards - well they we're pretty quiet - especially Smith. Harry ran around a lot, but didn't get far - although what the ref gave when that defender threw himself at Harry, missed and landed in touch, is anyone's guess. Jimmy was as bad as the rest of them - although the service to all was pretty poor. His miss at the far post, well perhaps he should have scored, I thought so live, but on the replay the ball was behind him. So you pays your money and takes your choice.
Riedler and Fowler came close for them.
MARTYN -7- a clean sheet
HALLE -5- subbed off after twenty minutes, did OK til then
(JONES -6- quietly effective)
WOODGATE -8- much happier at CHalf
RADEBE -8- MOTM absolutely solid (anyone know the SAfrica- Gabon score)
HARTE -7- not bad, quieter than recently.
HOPKIN -5- a squad player at best.
BATTY -6- not bad, kept possession, not firing on all cylinders
BOWYER -7- good in flashes.
KEWELL -7- headless chicken at times, still our best bet at cracking defences
SMITH -6- quiet HASSELBAINK -6- quiet - well moaned a lot - unlucky I felt.
Crowd - large and loud.
Funnily enough despite the result I enjoyed the game - which might say more about me psychology than I would wish to admit - and have been really pissed off this morning by people coming up to me telling me we were shit - I never said we were the dog's bollocks did I?
Copy from Football Unlimited of 13/04/1999.
Liverpool last night succeeded where so many others had tried and failed, becoming the first team in almost two months to prevent Leeds from winning a Premiership game.
A magnificent sequence of seven consecutive successes had prompted some to suggest that Leeds might actually qualify for next season's Champions League; that is now highly unlikely.
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