FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 1 - 1 Manchester United
(Half-time: 1 - 0)
|« Charlton Athletic||West Ham United »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Jones, Woodgate (Wetherall 59), Radebe, Harte, Bowyer, Batty, McPhail, Kewell, Hasselbaink (Wijnhard 86), Smith||Ribeiro, Halle, Robinson|
|Manchester United||Schmeichel, G Neville, May, Brown, Irwin (P Neville 71), Beckham (Scholes 84), Butt, Keane, Blomqvist (Sheringham 77), Yorke, Cole||Van Der Gouw, Curtis|
|Leeds United||Hasselbaink 32|
|Manchester United||Cole 56|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Manchester United||May, Butt, Keane|
|Leeds United||Manchester United|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||9||9|
|Rob Heath||View from the rattan armchair|
|Lord Didsbury||40000 pairs of brown trousers|
|Nick Allen||vs Manchester United|
|Claire Warwick||Thoughts about yesterday|
|John Lee||Those were the days my friends|
|The Guardian||Leeds hold back the red tide|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Leeds check treble charge|
|The Times||Leeds stake claim as pretenders to the throne|
|Express Sport||Hasselbaink cuts United safety net|
|The Independent||Leeds keep title race alive|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||O'Leary's youngsters give treble-chasing Reds a scare in Sunday sizzler|
|BBC||Cole comes to Man Utd's rescue|
|Soccernet||Leeds United 1 - 1 Manchester United|
|Carlingnet||Leeds United 1 - 1 Manchester United|
Brilliant first half..........second a bit of a letdown. Harry was astronomical in the first half.
I know they were coming back from their Turin episode, and had a few good players out, but to think we outplayed one of the best teams in Europe with a team containing......how many teenagers..........Jones, Woody, Macca, Harry & Smith.....plus Harte & Bowyer who are scarcely in their 20s...........it's incredible!
Such a shame we didn't take one more of those first half chances, especially the one that Harry laid on so brilliantly for Smith. For those that didn't see the game, the chances were as follows:
1. Great run down the left from Harry, and a chip across to Bowyer arriving unmarked at the back post, but Lee never really timed his jump right and headed over the bar from about 8 yds.
2. Ditto from Harry.....this time he pulled it back beautifully to Bowyer on the edge of the box, who repeated his not-quite-getting-his-body-shape-right trick and hit it a foot over the top.
3. Brilliant run through the middle from Harry....beat 3 men, and as the last guy came across, he released it to Smith who was wide open to his right. Smith had time to control, steady himself and shoot, but he dragged his shot across goal and 2 feet wide. [IMO I think he had too much time.......time to get excited about scoring v MU]
4. Jimmy held the ball up well on the left side of the box, then laid it back nicely for Mcphail who was steaming into the box. Some red git managed to get in a smothering tackle just as Macca shot, and although the ball squirted out at a strange angle, Rednose was able to save quite easily.
Butt hit a stray pass square along the halfway line, which was picked up by Harry. He set off on a run through the middle, as Jimmy made a good crossover run in front of him. Harry again released the ball with perfect timing, Brown looked like he was going to cut it out, but he somehow missed his footing, and the ball rolled on to Jimmy. Rednose was steaming out of his goal, and the ball was taking jimmy too far wide for him to take another touch, but he produced a brilliant little shimmy and then rolled the ball through Gitfaces legs, and it hit the inside of the near post and went in!
P.S. Interesting..........obvious DOL plan.....straight from the k-o in the 2nd half, we gave the ball to Harry, and he just ran at them, beat 3 blokes, and hit a rather optimistic but still pretty good shot just over the bar from 30 yds. That's the kind of plan I come up with at halftime when I'm coaching my school teams...........give it to my best player & tell him just to dribble as far as he can and shoot!
Top game. Two sides obviously knackered, but Leeds gave it everything in the first half. Kewell was given the freedom of Elland Road, and tore their depleted defence apart. The resemblance between him and Giggs grows by the match (although I'm yet to see his hairy chest). Should have gone in 2-0 up really. Chants of "Are you city in disguise" was highly amusing given that it's their standard taunt, and was well justified.
2nd half and they were much more dangerous. No surprise when they equalised. We tried hard but were running on empty. Batty was fantastic holding things together. A couple of times they broke down the left with 5 onto 3, but Jones did a great job, and put in one or two exceptional tackles.
When Clyde came on we significantly improved and Smith had two good chances. Then, with 12 seconds left of injury time on the scoreboard, they carved us apart and it was with utter amazement that Yorke fluffed a sitter. Total relief.
The ref, Dermot Gallacher, was obviously bidding to be struck off FIFA's list with a "back to the 70's" performance. Turning blind-eyes to crunching tackles, bodychecks and handballs. A welcome relief from whistle happy twats like Uriah Rennie.
Highlights: Oddy's lad was the mascot, some nutter called Mr Coco (?) in the half-time penalty shoot-out. My mate, Mike the Man U season ticket holder, applauding when we scored so he wasn't dragged into the aisle and beaten senseless by the little kiddies in the family stand. Free chunky Kit-kats.
Lowlights: Still no bleedin toblerone in the Kenco booths.
Need a draw at West Ham for Europe, otherwise I fancy we may go into the last game of the season on equal points with them. Can't see us getting a point against either Arse or Chelsea. Villa aren't a threat.
Martyn - 7
Jones - 8
Woodgate - 8
Radebe - 9
Harte - 7
Bowyer - 6
Batty - 9
Kewell - 9
Smith - 6
Jimmy - 7
McPhail - 7 (his best game for us)
Well we gave them a good scare - and if our finishing had been anything like it should have been then we'd have been out of sight after 35 minutes. Smith, Bowyer, McPhail (admittedly his was difficult)Jimmy all missed good opportunities, and Harry had taken it into his head to shoot from distance, and wasn't too far off beating Rudolf from 25 yards a couple of times. (maybe that's the secret for Harry the further away he is the closer he gets?).
But it struck as me as fitting the old boxing cliche perfectly - we came out laid into them and had them rocking on their heels, but we didn't have the knock out punch. We'd punched ourselves out by half time, and spent most of the second half hanging on. A draw was about fair.
No-one in our team wa a week link and no-one gave less than a hundred percent. Martyn producd some good saves, especially flat on his back using his feet, in goal mouth scrambles. Lucas and Woodgate looked about as good as any centre half partnership I've seen this year, for the hour they were together, absolutely imperious. Wetherall came on for the last half hour, and was solid if unspectacular. Harte gave Beckham nothing, but was less of threat coming forward than usual. For the opening 20 minutes Jones didn't get his position sorted and was skinned a few times by Blomquist - but he chased back, got stuck in and I think eventually got the better of that battle.
Our midfield was the area where we bossed the game for the first half - chasing and harrying, and then not giving the possession away once we had worked so hard to win it. We threw their midfield and hence their rhythm totally - each one of Batty, Bowyer, and McPhail were tackling like demons, and neither Batty nor McPhail ever gives the ball away - which is why they should be first choice over Hopkin. Harry as has been said was the star turn, he had all of their back 4 all over ths shop, they had no idea how to deal with him, and he set up several chances which should have been made more of. It was his run and Brown's strange effort at clearing the ball that lead to Jimmy's goal. A tap through Rudolf's legs, sweet.
Jimmy ran himself into the ground - not fully fit and on painkillers - I think he can be forgiven for fading, especially after his first half. Smith's major contribution was to upend Rudolf down in the corner, just in front of us, to massive cheers.
Spent the whole game standing up singing, shouting having a great time. Loved it - would have been absolutely gutted if Yorke had buried that late chance... but he didn't.
MARTYN -8- did what could be asked of him.
JONES -7- great spirit to caome back into it after such a shaky start
HARTE -7- showing that he has developed as a proper defensive left back - rather than just someone who handy to have around for the occasional block busting shot or free kick. He has been one of the revelations of our season.
RADEBE -9- MOTM for being the captain who lead such a great performance by example - that clearing header at the far post, under his own bar ... superb
WOODGATE -9- as good.
BATTY -7- combative, and good distribution.
McPHAIL -8- best game in a Leeds shirt. - never shirked a tackle, even with Keane - in fact rattled him a few times, and never wasted a pass.
KEWELL -9- dynamite - this is what we expect from him - great to see him deliver.
BOWYER -7- on a par with the rest of the midfield, a little more composure in front of goal and he'd have had a couple.
HASSELBAINK -8- excellent all round performance, and didn't want to be subbed at the end - great attitude.
SMITH -7- should have scored. Tupping Rudolf though, what a star.
Wetherall -7- did OK.
PS - got in today an my gooner colleague was not impressed "saw nothing to frighten me" "You're a one trick team - just stop Kewell and Smith" (I pointed out that that was two tricks). And thought that we hadn't deserved to beat Man U. So having come out of the game on sunday thinking that I could bear to lose to Arse if it meant ManU not winning the league and the treble, I now want us to cream the smug self satisfied bastards. 6-1 yeah - but where was the defence?
What a performance! In many ways it sums up the team that we are at the moment both strengths and weaknesses. The spirit was amazing, every single one of them worked their arses off, and it was completely different from the very lacklustre display at Charlton. I just hope this doesn't mean we are turning into glory boys who are only up for the big games. Anyway they were all fantastic and in the first half there were times when it seemed that every pass, move or tackle that we made was cheered, with the corresponding boos for the scummers, Beckham especially. The atmosphere was fantastic and of course deafening. I found myself thinking, even before we scored, that whatever the result I would have seen such a great game that it made being there worthwhile on performance alone.
Batty was unrecognisable in midfield compared with the way he had been playing, and this may not be unrelated to the absence of Hopkin. Hoppo has been doing better lately but I think that McPhail is a far better player in midfield given the other players we have available. McPhail can put in passes that Hoppo couldn't even think about, let alone execute. It seems in a way unfair to single anyone out though as it was an entirely awesome team performance. I have never seen us play as well as we did in the first half, it's just amazing what they can do when they try, they just seem to keep improving.
I thought the Jones boy was really our only weak link, but then again he is so young and playing out of position, and boy did he learn quickly! He looks a very good player, potentially, and if necessary I am sure he could learn how to play fullback just as Kelly did, only on the evidence of yesterday, much faster.
Of course we tired in the second half and the goal was almost inevitable. That was the problem with the other side of our game. We just do not take enough chances when we were on top and that has really cost us this season. We had at least double the shots of scum but couldn't convert, Harry, Smiffy and Bowyer should have done a lot better. That also cost us dear in other games where we played really well, like Arse and Scum away and Chelsea at home. It's all very well missing hatfuls and still winning against West Ham, you really have to take them against the top teams, and that I reckon is where the real difference lies between us and the top 3. We have either to do some serious shooting practice, buy another really reliable goal scorer or both of the above.
Finally I hope Woody isn't badly hurt, since he was absolutely brilliant. The boy is class already, and it's scary to think how good he may become.
Gotta be said, an excellent peformance yesterday. And I thought Jimmy had his best ever first half for us, thoroughly deserving his goal, leaving the floor on at least 2 occasions to challenge for a header, and generally leading the line very proficiently. His second half impression of the Invisible Man meets Mr Lazy re-inforced a few stereo-types though - what a frustrating twat he really is! He should have been taken off with about 20mins to go!
Da Jones Boy - a lot said about young Matthews performance - I thought Leeds must have encouraged Scum to come down their left to keep the ball away from Beckham. This worked a treat, with the Cockney C*** moving towards the centre after about 30 mins, and eventually moving towards the touch-line and subbed, having had absolutely no influence on the game. Well done O'Leary! However, the `down-side' was Jones got to see plenty of the ball coming his way. He was, rather obviously, almost never standing goal-side, which gave Blomquist (sp?) opening after opening. That said, aside from one near-howler in the first half, he did bloody well, making perfectly timed challenge time and again! Given this isn't his natural position, I thought he was extremely effective, and Blomquist went off too! He also got forward a bit too, although he did curb his instincts a few times - obviously he was under strict orders to be out of position but not TOO far out!
Thought Harry did brilliantly too, although some of his passing was attrocious (not the slide-rule ball for Jimmy to score from though), and he also appeared to be wearing his carpet slippers in the 1st half, so often did he do his Rodney impression. We looked tired in the 2nd half, but really we should have been 3 up by then. Kewells header from McPhails cross (best game from McPhail for ages, and stuck up Keane's arse for much of the first half) should have been scored, and the other from Smith should have been put away. Never mind though, cos the lads did us proud. It'd have been robbery had Yorke score at the death, but our luck held thank God! On days like that, and on the first halfs performance, we're not far off being a bloody good team!
Oh, and the Men Of the Match - Radebe, Woodgate and Harte, all of whom were tremendous!
A word about the ref - despite letting some decsions go against us, I have to say that he helped this game retain some of it's traditional flavour, only booked Jimmy for us (didn't agree with that though - if a players daft enough to smother the ball when lying on the floor I reckon it's fair game to hack at him trying to get at it!) and helped the game flow. Credit where it's due. He won't be at any FIFA tournaments reffing like that though!
DA Crowd - noisy first half - worn out by the 2nd! An end of season performance.
Leeds & the police - what a f***ing farce after the game in Leeds - every single city centre pub shut! Apologies for anyone who turned up at the Vic. On the way out of Leeds saw that some of the independent little bars were open though - point noted for next time. I dunno, a major European city shuts up shop cos of 2000 mancs - what is the world coming to?
Copy from Football Unlimited of 26/04/1999.
Manchester United might be basking in the afterglow of their Champions League exploits, and no wonder, but Elland Road, above all other grounds, was never going to be the place yesterday to strut, to preen and to accept a nation's congratulations.
Four days on from their despatching of Juventus in Turin they were weary of limb and reluctant of mind, and ultimately they were grateful to take shelter from a draw which moved them to within a point of the new Premiership leaders Arsenal, with a game in hand, and preserved a 26-match unbeaten record.
© Guardian Media Group plc