Leeds United FC

FA Carling Premiership
Game 05: Monday 23 August 1999

Leeds United 1 - 2 Liverpool

(Half-time: 1 - 1)
Crowd: 39703
Referee: D Elleray (Harrow)

Liverpool FC
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Match Facts
  Teams Unused Subs
Leeds United Martyn, Mills, Radebe, Woodgate, Harte, Hopkin (Bakke 78), Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Huckerby, Bridges (Smith 56) Robinson, Kelly, Duberry
Liverpool Westerveld, Song, Hyypia, Carragher, Matteo, Gerrard, Redknapp, Thompson, Berger, Camara, Fowler Staunton, Meijer, Friedel, Murphy, Traore
  Scorers Other Info
Leeds United Song (og) 20  
Liverpool Camara 45, Radebe (og) 55  
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Leeds United Bowyer, Mills  
Liverpool Song, Camara  
Match Statistics
  Leeds United Liverpool
Attempts on goal 9 12
Fouls committed 17 21
Shirt numbers of goalscorers ? ?, 5
Yellow cards 2 2
Red cards 0 0
Match Reports
Fans' Reports
Jabba View from a Bar Stool
Stotty Back down to earth with a bump
Jezz View from the Home Stand
Newspaper/Newswire/Net Reports
The Guardian Radebe blunder unhinges Leeds
The Electronic Telegraph Fortune favours Liverpool
The Times Liverpool grateful for Radebe's gift
The Independent Liverpool too slick for Leeds
Express Sport Unlucky Radebe sinks sorry Leeds
Yorkshire Evening Post It's a Fowl night for United
BBC Cool Camara clinches victory
Soccernet Leeds United 1 - 2 Liverpool
Carlingnet Leeds United 1 - 2 Liverpool
The Kop Leeds 1 - 2 Liverpool
Koptalk Leeds 1 - 2 Liverpool

View from a bar stool - Jabba

A few brief thoughts on tonight's performance. Desperate. Sad. Heartless.

Got to agree with DOL who said that this was the worst performance that the team have turned in under his management. Defensively we weren't that terrible - although with Camara having an excellent game, Danny Mills had probably his worst game in the Leeds colours and didn't do his England hopes any good at all.

Leeds had a reasonable amount of the ball early on, but gradually got muscled out of the game. The Leeds goal was maybe deserved on the balance of play at the time, Song being a bit unlucky as the ball clipped his ankle and rolled into the Liverpool goal from a Leeds corner. But by half time, Leeds were riding their luck, and when Camara produced a superb shot from the edge of the area, Nigel Martyn had no chance.

There didn't appear to be much of an atmosphere at ER (from either set of fans) and the Leeds fans were definitely getting a bit restive when another unlucky OG settled the game. This time it was Lucas Radebe, with the first OG of his career. In fairness to Lucas, if he'd not got a foot to the ball he had a Liverpool player (Fowler?) half a yard behind him to snap up the chance, but once Leeds were a goal down, the heads went down and we never looked like getting back into it.

A couple of questions might be raised over the effectiveness of such a young and inexperienced strike force, but Liverpool were bouncing back from a poor performance against Boro, and had an exceptional game. It does underline DOL's point that this side is not yet ready to win any Championships, but doesn't make us relegation candidates overnight. But it does make the matter of Saturday's visit to Spurs rather more important...

Back down to earth with a bump - Stotty

I've not seen a team dominate so much at Elland Road for a good few years now. I didn't see Wilko's swansong 0-4 Man U romp but i presume it was something similar.

The players were atrocious and O'Leary said as much after. However i'm pinning the blame on DOL for this one.

It was obvious from the 1st 10 mins that Liverpool were totally in control of the midfield. That is hardly surprising when the were playing a fluid 4-5-1 with Titi Camara (do Firewalls bounce words like Titi ? Half my mail seems to come from them) playing wide on the left and Fowler as the lone smack-head. We, on the other hand were playing what looked like an out-an-out 4-3-3 with Harry glued to the left wing. Huckerby and Bridgo up front.

Give Berger and Redknapp space and they'll take the pish.

They took the pish.

5 against 3 in the middle is too much.

Thompson on their right looks a hell of a player.

Poor old Batty, Lee and the Toothless Wonder were chasing shadows. When we did get the ball all 11 Liverpool players legged it back and invited us to have a go at them.

Without any creativity in the middle and with Mills and Harte marked tightly when they ventured forward we simply couldn't start any decent attacks. Liverpool also went very tight on Kewell and he hardly got a kick. Why Harry didn't switch sides or go roaming I just dont know.

We ended up cracking aimless long balls forward. Huckerby's feet never left the ground once. Bridges is not that clever in the air and Smith was marked by a bloke 3 foot taller than him.

DoL should have had the nouse to switch to a 4-4-2 or even 3-5-2 to counteract their midfield dominance. Yesterday was the first time i've had reservations about O'Leary's tactics

We scored from a corner. Own goal. Sums it up.

They should have been 2 up by then. When they did score on the stroke of half time 2 of their guys were in offside positions but I wasn't going to begrudge them an equaliser.

Half time DoL should have taken Hucks off and brought Duberry on. Mills should have been shot and Kelly given a run out. Ian Harte's leg irons should also have been removed.

2nd half they got their inevitable 2nd goal and then sat back and laughed at our pathetic attempt to score. I cant recall a shot we had. A header from Woody that my Gran would have saved. A free kick from Bowyer that went backwards.

I got the impression they could have scored at will.

They murdered us.


Martyn 6 - cant really blame him for anything. Shame.
Mills 2 - oh dear
Harte 3 - Hmmmmmmm
Rads 7 - Faced with their midfield tearing through he coped admirably
Woody 6.5 - as above.
Batty 6 - tackled and chased
Bowyer 6 - as above
Hopkin 4 - ditto without any pace, skill or control
Huckers 2 - gulp
Bridges 2 - Ermmmmm
Kewell 1 - taught a lesson today by Song.

Smith 3 - on for Bridges. Service to him was criminal.
Bakke 4 - on for Hopkin. He looks to be OK.

Saw Keegan in the car park. He must have thought what is all the fuss about with this Leeds team. Woody did his England chances no harm. Mills will never play for England.

Atmosphere was crap. Whether it was cos it was a Monday night and we'd already played 2 days before or what I dont know. Liverpool only got 1800 tickets so the atmosphere was nothing like the Sunderland game.

At times it felt like a pre-season friendly.

After the joy of Saturday a few home truths were told tonight. We're not a class team, Sunderland are probably going down. We cant play 3 upfront against quality teams. Mills, Harte, Huckerby and Hopkin may need to be "rested" soon.

We've got a good squad let's use it.

All said and done Liverpool were top draw and thoroughly deserved to win with their clever blend of attacking flair and all out defence.

Men of Match : Berger, Camara, Redknapp,Thompson, Song, Hypia

"One song, you've only got one song" -- they even beat us at pishtaking on the terraces.

View from the Home Stand - Jezz

What can you say we were pretty ineffective. Seemed that Scousepool, especially Song, snuffed out Kewell, forced us to play a long ball game and we looked shite. No penetration, no presence, no speed, no movement exceptionally ordinary. Our scrambled own goal didn't auger well for future opportunities throughout the match, still the ball hit the back of the net and I felt we shaded the first half until their fortuitous first goal into stoppage time. Radebe at his imperious best killed the attack only for the ricochet to fall straight at Camara's feet for him to side foot the ball from the edge of the area over Martyn's outstretched arms into the top left corner of the goal. Up to that point we probably had the edge over Houlliers tactics. Second half we were not on the ball park. We were bossed out of midfield by Berger, Gerrad & Redknapp and I can't recall one shot on goal. Pure frustration all the way just got worse as Berger crossed and Lucas beat Nige at the near post. Godamn head in hands, Lucas putting the ball into his own net. Apparently the 10th own goal of the season and only about 13 for the whole of last season in the Premier League. To be perfectly honest we never looked like equalising after that just hopeful long balls punted up front. Forwards being outjumped and no follow up from the midfield, we looked as clueless as the Wombles.

DoL has just said live on Sky that it was positively the worst Gods performance since he took over and a few home truths had been voiced in the dressing room.

Martyn once more didn't really have a great deal to do, still Westerveld (is that right) have even less to cope with. . Harte looked slow again but he always does, apart from the corner that brought our goal his performance was a non event. Mills needs to spend a couple of matches in the School of Football. He was continuously roasted by Camara and spent far to much time racing forwards only to be caught out as attacks stumbled in midfield, verdict bring back Kelly immediately. Woody and Lucas basically top notch, Woody was obviously assigned to stop Camara in the second half and did the job. Batty 'kin usual self, he's the Man if for nought else other than when he finally got p*issed off with Camara and creamed the b*stard, he did however collect his 3rd booking of the season as did Lebowya. Bowyer had a marvellous first half, he's the only player in the Premier League who runs box to box for a full match. He made one superb goaline save with his head from the Scouse's best move of the match having tracked the action back a full 70 yards.This was very definitely a better goaline save than Hoppy's at Southampton. Keegan was at Elland Road again and must include him in his starting line up. Hoppy well he was just Hoppy. After 70 minutes he was subbed for Bakke and the midfield looked somewhat better for that. Kewell was completely snuffed out by an out of position Song. Both Harry and Bridges never turned up for the match with Bridges subbed for Smithy midway through the second half and mister aggressive from Rothwell never got any service from an outplayed midfield. Huckerby in spite of trying to claim the Leeds goal (definitely a Song own goal) kept tripping over his own feet or cutting inside from the left to be aimlessly directed across to the right touchline by the Scouse defence, another candidate for the School of Football for at least a couple of matches. Presently I'd drop Mills replace with Kelly, start with Bakke instead of Hopkin, play Smithy and Bridges up front and have Jones on the bench as replacement. We've just got to rediscover that swift movement and passing game that sparked all the plaudits last season as everyone's ready for us now and it's the speed movement and accurate passing to feet that they can't cope with. Ah well, no need to panic yet though new players are still bedding in, plenty of water to flow under the bridge.

Radebe blunder unhinges Leeds - Ian Ross

Copy from Football Unlimited of 24/08/1999.

With a degree of ease which may have surprised many, Liverpool last night returned their season to the right side of the tracks.

After successive defeats by two of the Premiership's lesser lights, Watford and Middlesbrough, a side which again finds itself in the throes of a painful programme of re-building overcame one of its traditional enemies in an unexpectedly even-tempered game at Elland Road.

© Guardian Media Group plc

Unlucky Radebe sinks sorry Leeds - Ian Ross

Copy from Express Sport of 24/08/1999.

Liverpool avoided their worst start of the season for 75 years when the Curse of the Own Goal struck for a second time at Elland Road.

Gerard Houllier's side looked set to record three defeats in their opening four games for the first time since 1924 when Cameroon defender Rigobert Song put the ball past his own goalkeeper in the 20th minute.

But the curse that has struck Jaap Stam, Frank Sinclair, Claus Lundekvam and Gareth Southgate already this season still had another card to play and South African defender Lucas Radebe fell victim in the second half after Liverpool had pulled themselves back level.

But Houllier will take points however they come, having started the game perched one place above the relegation zone.

Nevertheless, he has shown no signs of pressure and has even taken time out from the Premiership cut-and-thrust to teach O'Leary some of the finer points of wine-tasting during their long chats on the telephone and for the opening minutes there was enough in the Liverpool build-up play to suggest that the Frenchman knows something about vintage Reds.

Too often, though, the final product was found wanting and when Liverpool created their first clear chance after 13 minutes, Leeds proved they had the bottle. Patrik Berger's low cross found Jamie Redknapp on the far side of the Leeds penalty area. The England midfielder turned Ian Harte with ease and unleashed a powerful shot that beat Nigel Martyn.It was prevented from hitting the back of the net, however, by an incredible diving header on the line from Lee Bowyer - a challenger with Redknapp for an England shirt in the European Championship qualifiers.

The fact that Kevin Keegan was in the stands will have done their claims for an international debut no harm on an evening when the England manager had 13 players to view.

The home-grown Leeds talent is well documented, but with the absence of Michael Owen, Veggard Heggem, Dietmar Hamann and Stephane Henchoz, six of Liverpool's starting line-up are eligible for selection. Houllier's Liverpool are now virtually unrecognisable from when he arrived, but the side he has has rebuilt with £32million proved they were still just as susceptible to defensive nightmares as any of the Liverpool teams of the Nineties.

And the failure of Michael Bridges and Darren Huckerby to convert Harte's 20th-minute corner was forgiven because the ball ricocheted off the legs of Rigobert Song and past Sander Westerveld to give Leeds the lead and add his name to the fast-growing membership list of this season's Own Goal Club.

Leeds scarcely deserved the lead but it lasted until injury-time at the end of the first period. Berger broke from midfield and although Radebe prevented the Czech completing a one-two with Titi Camara, the ball fell back into the path of the £3m signing from Marseille.

With Michael Owen due to play his first full match for four months, Camara staked the perfect claim to keep his place by striking a powerful right-foot shot from the edge of the area, the ball bouncing down into the goal behind Martyn via the underside of the crossbar.

Then Robbie Fowler showed his sharpness in the 55th minute when he reacted so quickly to Berger's cross that the normally unflappable Radebe could only turn the ball into his own net.

© Express Newspapers Limited

It's a Fowl night for United

Copy from Yorkshire Evening Post of 24/08/1999.

THE bandwagon which had carried Leeds United to within striking distance of the Premiership leadership shuddered to a bone-shaking halt at Elland Road last night.

United were outclassed by a Liverpool outfit determined to shake off the malaise of successive defeats against Watford and Middlesbrough, and produced a performance which bore no resemblance to the battling qualities shown in their previous four games and ended with skipper Lucas Radebe slicing the winner into his own net.

Reduced to long hopeful punts forward in a show of almost total surrender towards the end, Leeds had no answer to the midfield genius of Patrik Berger and Jamie Redknapp and the awe-inspiring talents of the rampaging Titi Camara.

Playing in only his fourth Premiership game, the 26-year-old Guinean import from Marseille tore Leeds apart, first with a spectacular equalising goal on the stroke of half-time and thereafter with the kind of pace, power and precision which will make him a household name.

His striking partner Robbie Fowler summed up his man-of-the-match performance perfectly.

"Danny Mills is a good player," said Fowler "and Titi gave him a torrid time."

It was a non-event for Leeds, who were on the receiving end of an all-consuming challenge by the Merseysiders.

Their dominance of midfield - quicker to the ball, smarter with their passing - was total and it speaks volumes that United's solitary second-half effort was a wayward David Batty shot in injury time.

So where did it all go wrong? Hopkin was untidy and Mills was outstripped. Kewell is having the kind of run in which nothing goes right and Huckerby ran up blind alleys. Bridges' head went down, but then nobody, not one of them, really performed.

And this must be viewed in the context of Liverpool missing no fewer than five first team regulars and fielding a sixth, Sami Hyypia, who went down with flu in the morning and felt worse as the night wore on.

What a tonic this was for him - and what a sickener for Leeds.

Fowler sounded the alarm bells after 10 minutes with a delightful cross which only just evaded a host of threatening predators.

Then Thompson's header tested Martyn before Redknapp looked sure to score from Berger's cross, only for Lee Bowyer to pop up on the line with a headed clearance.

Leeds were ahead on 20 minutes after Huckerby's perseverance won a corner. Harte's flag kick was flicked on by Bridges and, with Huckerby challenging menacingly, Rigobert Song succeeded only in deflecting the ball into his own goal.

Only a powerful challenge by Radebe denied Redknapp after an exquisite flick over the top by Camara, then Fowler put Berger away but his shot was too high.

The interval could not come soon enough and Liverpool were predictably level with the last action of the half. Berger was denied by a crisp challenge when Camara found him in a good position, but when the ball rebounded to him Camara unleashed a spectacular drive which went in off the underside of the crossbar.

The sense of frustration in the Leeds camp was evident soon after the restart.

Bowyer, unmarked in oceans of space to the left of the penalty area, begged Kewell and then Huckerby in vain for some service.

Both failed to recognise his advantageous positioning and he was visibly and rightly furious.

As early as the 52nd minute the game was all but over when Fowler and Radebe contested a cross from Berger and the Leeds skipper succeeded only in slicing the ball wide of Martyn for the second own goal of the match.

It is rare at this level for one team to dominate a match so comprehensively, but Liverpool, with five and sometimes six players crowding midfield - and playing well at that - were streets ahead.

At the final whistle their manager Gerard Houllier would not have celebrated with more passion and fervour when he won the French championship with Paris St Germain 13 years ago.

His team's supershow, as well as three points, gave him every reason to be delighted.

For Leeds an immediate regrouping is necessary and vital as they face a trip to a rejuvenated Spurs at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

LEEDS United manager David O'Leary delivered a withering condemnation of his players after a sickening 2-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Elland Road last night.

United were outplayed, outfought and outmanoeuvered by a Merseyside outfit whose start to the season had been so poor that their manager, Gerard Houllier, was installed on the eve of the match as the bookies' odds-on favourite to be first in the Premiership sack race.

"It was the single worst performance since I have been here," he said. "Sometimes you get one or two players who have an off-day and their shortcomings are covered by extra efforts from their colleagues. But not the whole team."

"I have delivered a few home truths to some of the players. I am trying to be honest with them, but they know anyway. We didn't pass a ball, we were poor at the back and we allowed them to run midfield."

"And if a team of mine does not pass the ball then it is up the creek."

"Liverpool set their stalls out and ran the game, with Jamie Redknapp outstanding. They have a lot of good players and we made them look even better than they are."

"Some people thought we would just turn up tonight and it would be part of the process of winning the league. The facts are that the whole team was bad and everything about their performance was poor but it will bring some people both inside and outside of the club down to earth."

"I have said all along that we will not win the league this season - it will rest between Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea - and we will have to wait one, two, maybe three years before we are in a position to make a serious challenge."

"My team are mostly kids and they are still learning. Some good may come of this in the long run."

"Until now we have been playing quite well this season but sometimes it is much harder at home than it is away. What we have got to do is to adopt the attitude that if we compete and are hungry and want to win the battle then the niceties of the game will naturally follow."

Houllier, while agreeing with O'Leary's Big Three observation, said: "We have beaten a contender for the title in Leeds and it takes a good performance to achieve that. We had a game plan and were confident that we knew how to beat Leeds. We created far more chances and fully deserved the points."

Meanwhile the next 48 hours will provide interest for Leeds in European affairs.

England supremo Kevin Keegan - who was at Elland Road last night - tomorrow names his squad for the European Championship qualifiers next month against Luxembourg and Poland, with Jonathon Woodgate, David Batty and Danny Mills hoping for call-ups.

And on Friday the draw for the first round of the UEFA Cup, with home and away legs on September 16 and 30, takes place in Monaco with Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale and secretary Ian Silvester in attendance.

© Yorkshire Evening Post

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