FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 1 - 2 Aston Villa
(Half-time: 0 - 1)
|« Arsenal||Manchester City »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Duberry, Harte, Jones (Wilcox 76), Haaland, Bakke, Smith (Huckerby 76), Kewell, Bridges||Mills, Hiden, Robinson|
|Aston Villa||James, Ehiogu, Southgate, Barry, Watson, Merson, Boateng, Stone, Wright, Joachim, Carbone (Vassell 81)||Draper, Ghrayib, Calderwood, Cutler|
|Leeds United||Kewell 46|
|Aston Villa||Southgate 19, 62|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Duberry, Harte|
|Aston Villa||Merson, Carbone, Boateng, Watson, Vassell|
|Leeds United||Aston Villa|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||10||?|
|Stotty||Leeds V Aston Villa|
|Kev Lewis||Villa game - very poor|
|The Guardian||Southgate strikes, Leeds pay the penalty|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Southgate's rare double has Leeds in disarray|
|The Times||Leeds left exposed by Southgate|
|The Independent||Southgate capitalises on Leeds' generosity|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||United suffer from the wind of change|
|BBC||Southgate double upstages Leeds|
|Carlingnet||Leeds United 1 - 2 Aston Villa|
Today was men against boys.
Villa were simply too good for us. That's not saying that Villa are a particularly brilliant side but we were long overdue a poor performance at home without sneaking any points.
Nice to see Haaland back in the midfield but much to everyone's amazement O'leary showed his naivety and played Alf on the right and the relatively unproven Jones in the centre of midfield.
Villa played a very fluid 3-5-2 with their wing-backs Watson and Wright up and down like Joan Collins' pants. We were swamped in the middle of the park and Kewell rarely dropped back to help our midfield three.
Carbone and Joachim's pace and mobility allowed Villa to sit quite deep and hit Leeds on the break with frightening effect. As the game progressed our visitors sussed out that Jones wasn't even worth marking and they took a complete strangle-hold on the game.
Leeds started quite brightly linking up neatly down the right. Alfie was involved from the start and his industry was sorely missed in the middle where it mattered. The experience of Merson (who was excellent), Stone and Boateng was far too much for Jones and Bakke to handle. Carbone also dropped very deep to defend when necessary so Leeds were not only denied space but also found it difficult to win any sort of possession.
Villa's 1st goal came from an uncleared corner which broke to Southgate. He pulled his close range shot across the goal and into the corner. We hoped this would spur Leeds into some sort of attack. It didn't. Villa continued to threaten on the break without creating too many clear cut chances. The half time stats showed a handful of attempts on goal with Villa edging it.
Leeds left the pitch at half-time with a rather disapproving reception from the fans ringing in their ears.
2nd half was only seconds old when Kewell 35 yards out tried the spectacular. James at full stretch looked like he should reach it but the ball whistled past him and into the net. People were still returning from their half time slashes/pies and they'd missed Elland Road's goal of the season.
For 10 minutes Leeds were in the ascendancy and Smith one-on-one with James could have put us into an undeserving lead. James this time saved well.
That was to be Leeds' last serious threat on goal. Villa wrapped up the points midway through the half. A fortuitous free-kick was awarded and Merson curled in a deep cross which Southgate headed agonisingly out of Martyn's reach and into the bottom corner of the net. Duberry looked the man who had been out-jumped but it also looked like he was marking two men. Poor defending.
Villa, with their noisy following, gained great heart and Martyn was forced into an amazing double save which denied Villa another goal which I felt would not have flattered them.
Leeds ran out of ideas. Villa shut the door firmly and gave Leeds not even a sniff of a chance back into the game. Huckerby and Wilcox were given 15 minutes to change the game but the crowd were not to be fooled. Jones was saved further embarrassment and Smith is so out of form that he's about as dangerous as marzipan.
All in all a very poor Leeds performance. We missed Batts, Bowyer and Radebe. No need to panic buy just yet but another quality striker must be high on DoL's shopping list. I think Man City will give us a very tough game next week especially as we'll have no forwards. I hope I'm proved wrong.
Villa were very impressive but I think out tactics played into their hands. Fair play to Paul Merson - he was the best player on the park and deserves some credit. The big fucking piss head, wife-beating, junky bastard.
Scores ------ Martyn 7 Not much chance with either goal. Made 2 brilliant saves. Kelly 6.5 No room to venture forward. Steady at the back. Harte 6.5 As above Duberry 5 Looks about as composed as a murderer on death-row Woody 7 Had his haircut but still retains his Samson-like strength Alfie 7 Worked his little blonde Norwegian nads off Jones 4 Out of his depth in the centre. Bakke 6 Tried hard but overrun in the middle of the park Smith 5 There's not much he can do right at the moment. He's not strong enough to mix it with big centre-halves and when he did get his one chance he missed it. Put him in creche for a few weeks to toughen him up. Bridges 6 Played too deep. Came looking for the ball but it left us with nowt down the middle. Kewell 7.5 Played too advanced but was always a threat and scored a wonder goal. Subs ---- Hucks 2 Did nothing except get caught offside. I'd pour petrol on him and threaten him with a match. See if that improves his all round game. O'Leary's got to get tougher. Wilcox ? Did he touch the ball ? Ref --- Uriah Rennie 4 The only ref that spots things that none of the 40,000 crowd or the 22 players see. In a word - wanker. Crowd ----- Leeds 4 Lame. We're top of the league but we've got a relegation vocal support Villa 8 Noisy, but they won and their team outclassed us so it's no surprise they sang long and loud.
This was the first game that the Tongan clan had got to for a while, and the Princess is beginning to think she's a jinx. Only ever seen Leeds win twice.
As Gregory said, it was a good week to play Leeds - with so many players missing.
I do agree with the Rev and Stotty, who said that DOL seemed to have got the tactics wrong. Also their criticism of the crowd and reports of the major incidents match my memories. So I'll start with some scores and discuss from there.
Martyn 7- (just) 2 good saves, tried not to have to punt it forward each time, but Harte was the only player ever showing for a short ball. Kicks were sometimes inaccurate though.
Kelly 7 - Worked hard, but did not get forward enough. One way of dominating a team playing 3-5-2 is to pull them around by getting Full backs to attack their wing-backs and free your wide midfielders.
Woodgate 6 - Troubled by Carbone, and lost Southgate completely on the 2nd goal.
Duberry 5 - Was surprised how quick he was (caught Joachim 2 or 3 times), but also how bad in the air. Beaten often by their C Backs at set pieces, and often headed straight to a Villa player when he had time to get it right. Distribution crap, but I can cope with that if a) his defending is solid, and b) the other C.Back has some composure on the ball. Duberry should NEVER be given the ball to start a move, only as an 'out' ball and he should then move it quickly to somebody who can pass. Hiden is obviously a better player when fit, although a Hiden/Woody combination may lack a bit of size. The main thing is to get a partnership which is happy playing together. Whether it's Mills, Hiden, or Duberry alongside Woody.
Harte 7 - Reasonable game, Got forward a bit more than Kelly, not as quick on the cover.
Haaland 7 - Worked hard, and agree his industry would have been more valuable in the middle.
Jones 4 - Completely lost in the middle, not ready for the starting XI in any circumstances
Bakke 6 - Overrun and out-numbered. Is a good player, but not yet ready to carry the midfield himself.
Kewell 8 - Should have helped out the defence more perhaps, but really was the only Leeds player who offered anything going forward, so can be excused that. Still capable of causing the opposition problems, even when being double-marked and getting no help. Perhaps he should be played up front now. Not because it's his best position, but because of the inadequacies of Huckerby and Smith. On top of this he is the only bloke who wins the ball in the air from a kick-out
Smith 4 - Getting increasingly hard to see what he has to offer the team. No height, no pace, little imagination, not much cop on the ball, needlessly caught offside. I think his talent is that he should be a sharp, tidy passer and controller of the ball and have en eye for goal. But he's shown none of that for some time. He's young enough to improve, but not good enough for a starting XI yet.
Bridges 5 - Poor game, but got no service or help, and has looked good in the past.
Huckerby 6 - May have only one dimension, but that is one more than Smith at the moment.
Wilcox -? Not sure what he did, but with Bowyer & Batty missing should have been given a start as he at least has experience.
With Bowyer, Batty, Radebe missing. DOL should have gone for the most experienced team he could pick. Mills or Hiden could have played at Right back, with Kelly at right midfield. Haaland/Bakke in the centre, Wilcox on the left and Kewell & Bridges up front would have been more solid. We could even have gone 3-5-2 which would have made for a sterile game, but with the disruption to Leeds team, that might have been better in these circumstances. Especially with so many midfielders missing
In the end though, it would be difficult for any team to do without 2 1st choice midfielders and their usual replacements, as well as the best defender in the club.
As for the next month or so. In defence we have Hiden, Duberry and Mills to chose from to partner Woody. We may need to play 3 at the back for this period. In midfield, I assume Bowyer is still suspended for the Man City match and Hopkin & Batty won't be ready, so we need to pick the most experienced team possible.
In attack, well unless that centre-forward is bought soon, I see no option but to push Kewell forward.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 04/01/2000.
The ending of Leeds United's run of 12 straight home victories surely also ended any lingering speculation about the job security of Aston Villa's manager John Gregory.
Gareth Southgate, a man for whom the 1990s will inexorably be linked with missed penalty kicks, opened the new decade in more fruitful fashion with both Villa goals. This was a deserved away success against the Premiership leaders, on what may prove a pivotal day in the title race.
"All the other results went for us," said the Leeds manager David O'Leary, "but the team that will laugh most is Manchester United in Brazil - and they have been the yardstick all along. When you don't play well at home you still want to pick up a point, and we could have come off the pitch with at least a draw."
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