FA Carling Premiership
Southampton 0 - 3 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 1)
|« Derby County||Manchester United »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Harte, Radebe, Woodgate, Hopkin (Jones 86), Bridges, Kewell (Bakke 82), Bowyer, Mills, Duberry, Batty||Haaland, Hiden, Robinson|
|Southampton||Jones, Dodd, Benali, Marsden (Oakley 45), Richards, Lundekvam, Le Tissier, Hughes, Ostenstad, Pahars, Kachloul (Ripley 66)||Beresford, Almeida, Moss|
|Leeds United||Bridges 10, 51, 72|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Batty 29, Bowyer 37, Mills 39, Duberry 77, Bakke 83|
|Southampton||Le Tissier 5, Benali 59, Ostenstad 67, Hughes 70|
|Attempts on goal||20||12|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||8, 8, 8||0|
|Matt G||Southampton Report|
|Andy King||Thoughts from Soton|
|Jabba||Down with the Watford/Bradford/....|
|The Guardian||Bridges hat-trick shatters Saints|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Bridges hat-trick opens account|
|The Times||Bridges inspired by O'Leary's vision|
|The Independent||Hat-trick from Bridges sinks Southampton|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Hot shot Bridges makes instant impact to sink Saints|
|BBC||Bridges blasts hat-trick|
|Soccernet||Southampton 0 - 3 Leeds United|
|Carlingnet||Southampton 0 - 3 Leeds United|
On getting into the pub opposite the ground all the talk was of Huckerby, though the fee was anything between 3 mill and 8 mill depending on who you were talking to. At the price we got him he looks like a good buy, especially if we still have the Jimmy money left to go out and buy the bigger stronger striker we will need to impose ourselves on teams at home.
Shock of shocks on entering the ground I found I could see most of the pitch for the first time in years at the Dell (well there was one post in the way - but usually the roof has stopped me seeing anything). Slight surprise with Duberry playing, meaning with Kewell upfront we played 5-3-2. A good start and Bowyer blasted a volley over the top early on, but it wasn't long before Bridges picked up a loose ball and neatly looped it over the keeper. For the next 20 minutes or so we were largely in command, the pace of the strikers causing problems and Jones had to make one brilliant save from Bowyer after a brilliant run from Kewell.
However, for the last 15 minutes of the 1st half, we began to stuggle to hold the ball up, with the midfield seemed 30 yards or so away from the strikers all the time. Southampton began to exert some pressure and I was a bit worried we hadn't made the most of our chances. Duberry especially gave away a few free-kicks which is a bit dodgy with Le Tiss swinging them in towards Ostenstad ("We don't want you anymore") and Hughesless. Just before h-t Hughes had a shot, that at the time I remember thinking that was close but no-one seemed to think it had gone in - though having watched MOTD this morning it seems that it did cross the line.
Second half we were much more in control, Bridges failed to get a shot in from a good position inside the area but it didn't take long before Mills picked up a loose ball, surged past the full-back and cut it back for Bridges to tap in. We stayed in command though the game got niggily and Hughes was lucky not to get send off for appearing to punch Bridges, and after Kewell had just had a shot saved, we finally got a corner right and Bridges headed in at the near post.
Towards the end Bakke came on and within 10 seconds became one of loads of bookings, perhaps the quickest ever booking in Premier League history, he was playing out of position upfront and was relatively anonymous. Jones also made a brief appearance, his main contribution being to handball it in the lead up to Bridges having a 4th disallowed.
A good result we played well, the early goal meant Soton had to attack us and left room behind them for us to use our pace, but make no mistake Southampton were crap, their midfield and defence constantly giving the ball away, Scum on Saturday will be a totally different story.
Martyn - 6 - Little to do again - worryingly failed to collect a couple of
crosses in the first half.
Mills 8 - Another strong game - looked better as a wing-back with more scope to attack than he did on Saturday.
Harte - 6 - Poor game from play-acting to get Le Tissier booked early on, to a succession of poor passes throughout the game.
Duberry - 6 - Didn't show anything more than Wetherall gave us, distribution poor, miskick in 1st half nearly let Soton through.
Woodgate 7 - Mainly solid, though still sometimes gets caught on the wrong side of attackers too often.
Radebe - 8.5 - Apart from one misguided attempt to dribble out of trouble late in the game, absolutely imperious for the rest of the time, a priceless knack of not only making the tackle but coming out of it with the ball at his feet.
Batty - 7 - Played how you expect, winning possession playing it simple.
Hopkin - 7 - Much better than Saturday, battled well.
Bowyer - 7.5 - Always involved, worked hard to support the strikers.
Kewell - 8 - His pace kept Dean Richards scared all night, linked well with Bridges, worryingly got injured and was limping near the end.
Bridges - 9 - First Leeds hattrick for 4 years ? = Obvious Man of the Match - To be honest for most of the time he played similar to Saturday linking up well without looking especially explosive but took his chances well.
Haven't the time today to write a full match report, so here's teh edited highlights:
Pub before, John Brauns, Pickled Egg, memories of Gav and that Scotch Egg, stomach turning, spoiling Gavs Beckham/Jigsaw joke....
Match, restricted view seats - excellent access to the toilets at half time. We bossed 'em about, they elbowed, kicked and dived, Le Tiss is a fat past it has been, Hughes is still teh donkey he always was. They've a defender who from a distance looks frighteningly like Carlton Palmer. They've a mascot who's better in goal than their first choice keeper. Paul Robinson appears to have a good shot on him. Kewell floats further and further out of the game the more he's kicked. Ref was inconsistent (nothing new there then). The new kit is actually quite good (now I've seen them win in it!). Michael Bridges was a bargain, Jimmy who? Soton will be playing Portsmouth next season, and we all know Portsmouth aren't coming up.
Scores on the doors:
Martyn: 7 - Little to do, but did it well
Harte: 7 - Steady, looks far fitter than last season, can't see him forging a lasting freidnship with Le Tissier somehow.
Radebe: 7.5 - A rock, one shaky moment, but that was outweighed by his usual god like presence.
Duberry - 6 He's not Woodgate or Radebe, but he'll do. One day I'll tell you all what object my wife uses the word Dooberry for, made me chuckle at the Dell last night anyway.
Woodgate 7.5 - Englands Centre Half 'nuff said
Mills 8 - Kelly is gonna be hard pushed to get back in the team. Great run to set up Bridges second.
Hopkin 3 - Sell Sell Sell
Bowyer 7 - Ran around, got booked, did his job as well as usual
Batty 7 - Played more forward passes last night than I think I've ever seen him play. At times our most creative passer in the midfield.
Kewell 8 - Frightened their defence into kicking him every time he ran at them.
Bridges 9 - What a debut, strong skillful, three good goals all different, a good strike, a tap in and a header - did Jimmy score 3 different good goals like that in 2 years? And to cap it all Bridges is on for the future :-))
Bakke 6 - Not really on long enough to do to much, although having been booked within 2 minutes of getting on he won't be sitting next to Batty on the plane down to an matchg again.
Jones 5 - hardly played long enough to get his studs dirty.
Saints really need to get shot of Le Tiss and Hughesless asap, they're old crap past it (and dirty)
See you at Spurs......
It's 1 in the morning, and my brain is turning to mush, so let's be brief: Mills looks superb, Bridges took all his chances well - first Leeds hat-trick for 4 years! - and this was an all-round decent performance by the Whites. It's what we should be expecting against this class of opposition... (more when I'm awake)
No Jimmy, no hassle. Michael Bridges last night proved that there is life after Mr Floyd Hasselbaink by scoring a hat-trick to lead an impressive Leeds United to a comfortable win at Southampton.
Leeds can hardly have been looking forward to this encounter. Not since Boxing Day had Southampton been beaten at The Dell, and David O'Leary's previous visit in late January ended in a 3-0 defeat.
Yet the Leeds manager knew how important this victory was in confirming that his "babies" - surely infants by now - were serious championship contenders after the disappointing draw at home to Derby County on Saturday.
© Guardian Media Group plc
RECORD buy Michael Bridges came of age for Leeds United last night - just as he had done when celebrating his 21st birthday last week - with a majestic hat-trick in a runaway victory at The Dell.
If sheer, undiluted class is what you admire in a striker, then here it was in a league of its own in a solo performance which was underway after just 11 minutes.
Ian Harte shaped to smash his 20-yard free kick on the right of the penalty area but instead chipped it for debut boy Michael Duberry to head down into the path of Bridges.
Cool and considered as can be, the youngster spotted Paul Jones off his line and in one movement killed the ball and lobbed it high into the net for his and his team's first goal of the season.
Bridges owed much of his second goal six minutes after the break to Danny Mills, whose determined 40-yard sortie down the right ended with a cross which found him totally unmarked two yards out. The tap-in was a formality; his joy unconfined.
His third, in the 71st minute, was a classical header from Harte's corner and this time he disappeared in a crowd of congratulating teammates.
No quarter was asked nor given in a fiercely contested, often ill-tempered clash from which Leeds emerged with flying colours.
New boys Bridges, Mills and Duberry - a towering and powerful presence in defence - all made indelible impressions. Lucas Radebe was exemplary and David Batty foraged all night.
It is always a good sign when there appear to be twice as many players on the park as the other team's and this seemed to be the case with the light blue and dark blue of Leeds.
As a unit they were everywhere, unafraid to chase even lost causes and working hard for each other.
The winning margin could have been even greater. After 18 minutes Harry Kewell sent over a wicked cross which Lee Bowyer appeared to have turned in at the far post, but Jones appeared from nowhere and spooned the ball over the bar -- he knew little about it -- for a corner.
And in injury time Bridges headed home what would have been his fourth had it not been ruled out for pushing in the area.
It was total football from Leeds, who were slick, clinical and possessing the killer instinct which is the trademark of any successful club side.
The quickfire action up front was complemented by cool control at the back and all-action invention in midfield.
They looked very, very good.
For the second game in succession keeper Nigel Martyn was called into action only spasmodically, notably when he saved bravely at the feet of substitute Stuart Ripley and again when a Mark Hughes shot beat him only for David Hopkin to clear off the line.
Manager David O'Leary said: "We have had only one bad performance since I was appointed and that was in this corresponding fixture last season. I don't want any of my teams to be outbattled - we were then - and I made that very plain before the kick-off. That will never happen again.
"We played good football and scored some good goals. I was delighted.
"I brought Michael Bridges in with the intention that he would develop over the years. He has the potential to develop into a sleeky Dennis Bergkamp in a squad which could eventually be on a par with the great Don Revie teams."
"His first goal was quality. The ball was rising to him and it had to be lifted, which was a difficult thing to do. He took it well."
"Now we face the best club team in the world, Manchester United. We will give them a game."
O'Leary revealed that new signing Darren Huckerby will be given the No 12 shirt left behind by Clyde Wijnhard, explaining: "He is a straight replacement for him. Our main striker target is no quick fix. When he comes in he will be a part of my five-year plan."
"I believe in pace and youth and I have those two qualities in Huckerby."
© Yorkshire Evening Post
Michael Bridges repaid a large slice his club record £5million transfer fee with a hat-trick at The Dell.
Bridges, signed from Sunderland at the end of last month, scored in the tenth minute and then added two more after the break as Southampton's defence fell apart.
Fresh from their win at Coventry on the first day of the season, the Saints offered only token resistance and might have gone down by a bigger margin but for the heroics of 'keeper Paul Jones.
Little went right for the home side from the moment Matt Le Tissier became the first of nine players to be booked in the match for a foul in the fifth minute.
The Saints were still disorganised when Leeds took the lead with a simple goal. Ian Harte took a free-kick on the right of the Southampton area, Michael Duberry chested down and Bridges had time to bring the ball under control before volleying beyond Jones.
Leeds then had David Batty, Bowyer and Danny Mills booked in quick succession in the first half for fouls, before Southamptom almost levelled with a rare chance. Le Tissier's corner from the left found its way to Mark Hughes at the opposite end of the penalty area and his powerful volley was blocked on the line by Bridges.
Leeds went further ahead in the 51st minute to kill off the match as a contest. Mills broke down the right, again exposing a lack of pace in the home defence, and centred from the by-line for the unmarked Bridges to pick his spot from five yards.
Jones made another great save from Bridges from Batty's pass to deny him his third goal, but the young striker was not to be put off for long.
In the 72nd minute Harte took a corner on the left and Bridges was unmarked when he headed in at the near post from close range.