FA Carling Premiership
Liverpool 3 - 1 Leeds United
(Half-time: 1 - 0)
|« Aston Villa||Tottenham Hotspur »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Duberry, Harte, Bowyer, Bakke, McPhail (Huckerby 75), Wilcox, Kewell, Smith (Bridges 75)||Robinson, Jones, Mills|
|Liverpool||Westerveld, Carragher, Hyypia, Henchoz, Matteo, Gerrard, Hamman, Smicer, Berger, Meijer, Camara (Murphy 71)||Staunton, Newby, Heggem, Nielsen|
|Leeds United||Bowyer 62|
|Liverpool||Hamman 19, Berger 69, Murphy 91|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Harte 45, Duberry 54, Smith 66|
|Liverpool||Hamman 15, Gerrard 33|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||11||?|
|Dave Woolmer||Scouse and Lucas|
|The Observer||Liverpool the sharp shooters|
|The Guardian||Houllier and O'Leary face the facts and figures|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Berger power blocks Leeds|
|The Times||Liverpool find harmony with sing for Europe|
|The Sunday Times||Liverpool win classic battle|
|Express Sport||Liverpool 3 - 1 Leeds United|
|The Independent||Gerrard the grand designer|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Young guns shot down - in style|
|BBC||Reds dent Leeds title challenge|
Duberry - destroys us in 2 ways. Firstly he's crap. He can't pass a ball (wasn't that meant to be one of the main reasons we got rid of Wethers???) and despite all his height he isn't even actually that good at headers. With his size he should barely ever lose an aerial challenge, but he does frequently as his judgement of when to challenge is appallingly.
Secondly, having him on the pitch reduces Woody effectiveness by 75%. Woody is still a kid and needs someone alongside him to guide him (especially at the moment), get him in position, and generally nurture him. God we miss Lucas.
Kelly - got skinned for pace by Camara on a number of occassions. Why not give the lad a rest and play Mills now and again? Don't moan about not having a big enough squad if you're not even using the squad members you do have...
Midfield - scousers next to me turned and asked after 60 mins. - isn't McPhail playing today? Nuff said.
Smith - oh dear. Every class striker needs, in marketing parlance, a Unique Selling Point. Something that sets them apart, and worries defenders. Bridges has great feet, Kewell brilliant dribbling, Jimmy could create and score goals where others couldn't see a chance. What's Smithy's flair?
Despite all the above seeming negativity, I am still hugely optiomistic and think we've had a fantastic season. Since last season we've progressed and made 3 excellent signings (Bakke, Bridges, Wilcox) and 2 so-so ones that need time under Lord Eddie (Mills, Hucks). However, we're a long way short of Scum still and we still lack class strength in depth.
Finally - Lucas - watched S. Africa win their Q-Final last night (live on Eurosport for those not aware). Lucas seemed very chuffed. Still playing most of the match at left-back curiously. One hiarious moment when ref decided to book Eric Tinkler a second time, and hence send off. However, he realised as he tried to do so he'd lost his yellow card. Confusion ensued as he wandered to touchline to ask for a spare only for none to be found. Eventually tried to wave a fictitious yellow card and then brandished a red. No-one got booked for the rest of the match, presumably since the ref felt pretend cards looked a bit silly.
On the pitch it wasn't THAT bad - we started poorly but I thought we matched them after the first goal and were starting to win the battle in the 2nd half - I thought the game had a very similar feel to the Chelsea and Tottenham ones and we were going to turn things round - after our equaliser I thought we were the most likely winners. Unfortunately their shooting changed all that.
Still think we'll finish second or third, which is a good achievement and represents progress.
Liverpool are starting to look like a very good team for the first time in years, Hyppia, Smicer and Hamman were all very good signings - providing they get their strikers sorted out, they will be right at the top next year. No disgrace in losing to them. McPhail - Needs Batty to be effective. Woody needs Lucas to play at his best Smith needs the ball in the area (or whisper it - Jimmy to distract the defence). - I thought given their limited ability both Smith and Duberry did about all we could expect them, all we can ask is for them to be committed and wait for a new striker / Lucas to return. Kewell needs to learn to stand-up - We lost 2 decent chances when he went down too easily and refs are wise to this now. Kelly does seem to have lost a bit of pace. Harte could easily been sent off for an awful 2 footed tackle
The Bad News
From getting inside the ground til we were safely out of Liverpool, elements of our support were trying hard to ruin the day. A bunch of morons behind me spent most of the game trying (and failing) to break their seats - not even watching the game half the time. This was in the gaps when they weren't singing a load of racist crap. The half-time beer fight is turning from 'a bit of laugh' to just an excuse to provoke the police and then everyone gets upset when they react. A young Leeds fans ended up covered in blood after getting head-butted near the end by other Leeds fans for wanting to goto the toilet. Outside afterwards various idiots were pushing people into women, kids, horses trying to provoke fights. Not sure whether the reappearance of these fuckwits is due to our current success or whether the B£W incident has made them think a Leeds crowd is their natural habitat again, but we could really do without them and the club need to tighten up the membership card stuff to get rid of them.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 06/02/2000.
This was a fair result. Liverpool's shortage of goalscorers has clearly been exaggerated, and so has Leeds United's ability to stay with Manchester United at the top of the Premiership.
Liverpool fans did not quite know whether to laugh or cry at the end, their double over Leeds, coupled with Arsenal's defeat, having allowed Manchester United to stretch their lead to six points with a game in hand. There is still an outside chance, if they can play this well without Michael Owen, Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Fowler, that Liverpool could figure in the title race after all.
Either David O'Leary's famous caution is not an act after all, or he retains memories of fortress Anfield from his playing days, for Leeds appeared to show Liverpool too much respect from the outset. With Michael Bridges left on the bench, Alan Smith and Harry Kewell were employed only as occasional attackers, and Leeds only came out of their defensive shell once they had gone behind in the 19th minute.
© Guardian Media Group plc
Copy from Football Unlimited of 06/02/2000.
The dust had barely settled on the sort of traditional cross-Pennine skirmish which was almost designed to dominate alehouse debates when the question of Manchester United and their irresistible progress was raised.
Now, as Leeds' defeat by a supremely motivated Liverpool may come to represent their season's defining moment, and as David O'Leary is often moved to blame the media for any setback - however minor - the room was almost sucked dry of air by sharp intakes as it was suggested the Yorkshire bolt may now have been shot.
"For me Manchester United are the best team in the world, simple as that," said the Leeds manager. "We have done well this season but we are having a few little dips at the moment."
© Guardian Media Group plc