FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 4 - 1 Wimbledon
(Half-time: 3 - 1)
|« Slavia Prague||Slavia Prague »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Kelly, Haaland, Radebe, Harte, Bakke (Jones 84), Hopkin, McPhail, Wilcox, Bridges (Smith 64), Kewell (Huckerby 83)||Robinson, Duberry|
|Wimbledon||Sullivan, Cunningham, Andersen, Willmott, Kimble, Cort (Badir HT), Ardley, Earle, Euell, Gayle, Lund (Hughes 64)||Blackwell, Andresen, Heald|
|Leeds United||Bakke 24, 39, Harte pen 29, Kewell 81|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||19, 3, 19, 10||?|
|Nick Allen||vs Wimbledon|
|Alick Stott||Leeds V Wimbledon|
|The Guardian||Leeds keep up title chase|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Leeds keep pressure on other United|
|The Times||Bakke keeps rising to the occasion for Leeds|
|Express Sport||O'Leary: I'm staying put|
|The Independent||Bakke's brace inspires Leeds revival|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Bakke brace beats desperate Dons|
|BBC||Leeds keep up the pressure on Man United|
|Soccernet||Bakke in goal routine|
|Carlingnet||Leeds United 4 - 1 Wimbledon|
After a truly awful first 15-20 mins. when we could have let in more than just the one goal, we got ourselves sorted out and cantered home to very easy victory. They scored after 2 minutes - Euell running between the two Chalfs, completely unmarked, to bullet home a good header from a left wing cross - Nige had no chance. The defence were all over the shop, Lucas shouting at Alfi, Alfi shouting at Kelly, the midfield nowhere to be seen, Nigel shouting at everybody. Either still in the after glow of Thursday, or just too bloody complacent by half. Whenever we did get the ball our midfield or forwards just gave it back to them.
After 20 mins. or so we began to get the ball down and pass it around - not a bad idea if your opponents are, to a man half a foot taller than you! - and so Bakke, McPhail, Wilcox began to run the game. The forwards started getting openings - Bridges missed another one on one as the defender slipped in front of him - Harry, when he could be arsed, scared the shit out of them - especially once when he got it on the halfway, turned to face goal and set off - it was then that his marker realised that he had no cover - brown shorts time, but Harry fannied around on the edge of the box long enough for the guy to hack it clear.
By now the defence had sorted out who was marking who - although they forgot again for the first 5mins. of the second half, when they could have scored again - but didn't thanks to Nige's knees. Don't know what happened to ENO but he suddenly started coming for crosses, punching and catching quite effectively, half way through the 2nd half. Worth doing cos Lucas and Alfi were struggling in the air against the giants they had playing upfront. (Din't rate Lund by the way -one outstanding feature? he's big)
Bridges and Kewell did OK in flashes up front and were anonymous at other times - Bridges seems to be catching this from Harry. That said both Harry and Wilcox had some great runs of 40-50 yards at speed through the defence, only for the final ball/shot to be woeful - except one of Harry's which hit the post just before he scored - more often than not they had no support in the box.
1-1 McPhail in the inside left position threads a great first time ball through the defence into the path of the charging Bakke, who controls it and flicks it home around Sullivan before anyone can react.
2-1 Harte penalty after Cort handled an outswinging corner well away from goal - not just crap but stupid with it ?
3-1 After a second succesive useless corner from Hopkin rebounds to him on the left, he moves back towards the top corner of the box, taking the defender with him, McPhail overlaps, Hopkin rolls it to him, he pulls it back from the by-line into Bakke's stride and he sidefoots it first time into the opposite bottom corner. Very cool finish - like wot Smiff shoulda dun at Bratfud last week.
4-1 Long hoof down the right, Harry's away and on to it, no defender in sight - cuts into the box - is almost on the corner of the 6yd box when he realises that its a one-on-one with the keeper, he knows he can't do these, so he waits for the defender to slide back in, shimies round him and finishes back inside the keeper's near post. Nice goal.
Smith came on and didn't do much. But yet did more than Darren who only had 5 minutes off the leash, bless 'im.
MARTYN - some excellent saves, bossed his box well 2nd half.
ALL THE BACK 4 WERE CRAP FOR THE FIRST 20, then:
KELLY - got his defending sorted out, but was woeful going forward
HARTE -ditto, although he didn't relly seem to try to go forward much - not troubled too much by Cort who played Rwing.
HAALAND - steady enough except under sustained aerial bombardment when the keeper's help was needed - some awful distribution.
RADEBE - as above apart from the passing.
HOPKIN - looked like a reserve team player - never really got the pace of the game.
BAKKE - MOTM for the goals, the spirit, and the general bossing of the midfield.
McPHAIL - killer passes changed the game - he plays well in the middle with Eirik - but was not in it at all in the opening 20.
WILCOX - continued his good form of the last couple of weeks.
KEWELL - Now you see him now you don't - has taken on Jimmy's role as team moaning git - expect a disptach from the Church of the real man any day now laddie...
BRIDGES - this year's other inspired buy by O'Leary - causes trouble wherever he goes.
Crowd - was there anyone else there? Our cats make more noise when I'm watching at home on the tele.
Ref - managed to avoid a lot of bookings - well done
An emphatic win. Leeds, despite the early set back of a Jason Euell headed goal from a Marcus Gayle centre, systematically destroyed the struggling London side.
Bowyer's injury in midweek had not cleared up and his place was filled by the ginger Adonis David Plopkin.
The team lined up :- Martyn Kelly Rads Mad Alfie Harte Bakke Plopkin McFrail Wilcox Bridgo 'Arry
Slight surprise to see Bakke predominantly right sided but Hopkin after a shaky start played his part in out-playing the Dons in the centre of the park.
After just 2 mins Gayle slipped down the left after McFrail's attempts to tackle were effortlessly brushed aside, and his near post cross was powerfully headed in off the bar by Euell in front of a stunned South Stand.
Wimbledon's 17 supporters celebrated as Euell played an imaginary trombone.
Always expect the unexpected with Wimbledon. With odds of up to 7-1 for an away win the bookies looked like being overly generous for once. However despite the fact the Dons have never won at Elland Road they have constantly been a thorn in Leeds' backside. Dickie Guy, the hippy goalkeeper, performed his heroics 25 years ago. It was his beard that tipped Lorimer's penalty round the post to earn the minnows a cup replay.
Within minutes of going behind Leeds pressed forcefully. Bridges missed another one-on-one (similar to the Prague miss) and Kewell's shot on the turn was parried to safety by Sullivan. Kewell and Wilcox were destroying the Wimbledon rear guard with direct and speedy forages.
The dam burst and Bakke's Bowyer-esque run into the box saw him deftly collect Bridges pinpoint pass and beautifully glide the ball past the keeper with the outside of his right foot.
Leeds continued to press and after numerous crappy corners a Leeds player managed to cross the ball with an angle of elevation of over 4 degrees. Remarkably Carl Cort handled the ball in what was not an immediately threatening situation. Maybe Cort was doing his future team mates a favour and improving his chances of Champions League football next season ;-)
After the inevitable Wimbledon protests Harte tucked the penalty home sweetly.
There was no let up. Leeds were destroying Wimbledon and attacking from all angles. Leeds used the long ball very effectively and also mixed the play by advancing neatly through the middle. Hopkin and McFrail were combining well and the young Irishman shone with some delightful passing and touches. He even took some opposition players on and looked to be settling in nicely. Oh we all know he couldn't tackle a bowl of rice pudding but when we're on top he's a big influence.
Neat work down the left saw Hopkin feed McFrail and his pass was tucked in by the towering Bakke. If ever he doesn't make it in football our Eirik can always pursue a career as a floodlight.
The Norwegian under 21's finishing today was clinical and his all round game is improving rapidly. This lad is going to be special.
Half time brought rousing cheers from an otherwise subdued Elland Road.
Leeds, perhaps with more than one eye on forthcoming events, took their collective foot from the accelerator. Wimbledon having pushed their defence up during the 1st half sat slightly deeper and denied Leeds space up front. The visitors attacked with verve and vigour and Radebe had no easy time against the gigantic Lund (no relation to former Grimsby marksman Gary.) Martyn saved a one-on-one and Earle's sweetly struck shot crashed into the advertising boards.
Leeds awoke from their slumber and began to force their opponents back. Wilcox was still getting plenty of space on the left and Harry struck the post after a neat turn. The game was petering out when the tireless Kewell picked up the ball on the half way line wide on the right. His electric pace took him into the box where he stopped and waited for the defenders to catch up. He then effortlessly stepped inside in true matador style and cracked the ball past Sullivan. A marvellous solo goal which the Aussie richly deserved.
Leeds having played superbly in the 1st half can be forgiven for not totally destroying Wimbledon in the 2nd half. The overall performance was magnificent considering Bowyer's and Batty's absence in midfield.
As has been the case in previous weeks the defence were very resilient against a side always likely to cause havoc with their physical and direct approach.
Compared to the game at Selhurst Park this was a truly championship performance. Well done boys. Play your imaginary trombones long and loud tonight !
Finally I must admit that it will be sad if Wimbledon do get relegated this year but from what i've seen they should have a little too much spirit and ability for the likes of Bradford and Derby. Their 17 or so supporters deserve it.
Martyn 7.5 No chance with the goal. Made one important one-on-one stop. Handling and kicking were excellent. Kelly 6 Bit worried about our Gary. Seems lost going forward. Still tight at the back which is the important thing. Harte 7 Good penalty take under pressure. Battled well against Ardley. Radebe 7 Tough battle with Lund but was very physical when necessary. Lund was subbed with 20odd mins to go so Lucas did his job. Alf 7 What a hero. This viking repelled all advances and popped the ball with his horned helmet at one point (ooerrr!) McFrail 7.5 Class at times, painfully slow and insignificant at others. Hopkin 6.5 Started slowly and wasted several good openings. Got better and better and should keep his place. Bakke 8 2 excellent goals. Strong, good in the air and skilful. I wanna kiss this man ! Wilcox 8 I like his direct style of play. Looks pretty pacey too. Made a few mistakes 2nd half when Leeds were in cruise mode. Bridges 6.5 His usual neat and tidy self. Missed a sitter after Sullivan slipped when 1 on 1. Kewell 9 TOO HOT TOO HANDLE ! His goal was pure quality. All round contribution was class. Needs to visit Beckscum's barber though :-)
SubsSmith 4 Did fck all in 20 mins. His kit didn't need washing. Hucks ? Not on for long enough but would have done fck all. Jones ? Ditto. Linesman nearest the Kop 2 - somebody explain the rules of the game to that cnt will they !
If the Premiership title can be won by lopping the heads off dandelions, Leeds United should not be lacking when it comes to horticultural decapitation. Though Wimbledon, woeful away from home this season, scored first yesterday they were quickly weeded out by David O'Leary's enduringly confident young side.
The victory keeps Leeds four points behind the leaders Manchester United and, with Chelsea held at West Ham on Saturday, has consolidated their chances of a Champions League place through a top-three finish. In fact it looks as if Leeds will finish runners-up and avoid having to qualify for the first group phase.
Certainly they looked well worth second place yesterday, recovering briskly after falling behind in the second minute with Eirik Bakke scoring twice, Ian Harte putting away a penalty in between and Harry Kewell rounding off another high-quality performance.
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