Leeds United 1 - 0 AS Roma
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
|« Coventry City||Bradford City »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Kelly, Radebe, Haaland, Harte, Bowyer, McPhail (Huckerby 89) Wilcox, Kewell, Bakke (Jones 85), Bridges (Smith 81)||Hopkin, Mills, Duberry, Robinson|
|AS Roma||Antonioli, Zago, Aldair, Mangone, Rinaldi, Nakata (Di Francesco 75), Tommasi, Candela, Totti, Montella, Delvecchio||Zanetti, Lupatelli, Blasi, Tomic, Gourenko, Lanzaro.|
|Leeds United||Kewell 67|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Bridges 40, Haaland 62, Smith 92|
|AS Roma||Totti 24, Candela 40, Zago 55, Delvecchio 59||Zago 92, Candela 92|
|Leeds United||AS Roma|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||10||0|
|Nick Allen||vs Roma|
|Kev Lewis||Roma from the bar stool|
|The Guardian||Kewell's jewel dazzles Roma|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Kewell's magical winner edges Leeds closer to European glory|
|The Times||Leeds reduce Roma to ruins|
|Express Sport||Super Kewell's thunderbolt too good for Roma|
|The Independent||Kewell shatters Roma resistance|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Harry's game is too hot to handle|
|BBC||Hot-shot Harry sinks Roma|
|Soccernet||Kewell cracks the last 8 for buoyant Leeds|
What a bloody marvellous game.
Both teams went for it, and it could have gone either way - make no bones about it Roma were good I think it says a lot for our defence that they didn't score over 180 mins. There were times when I thought that we were really hanging on, in the opening 15 mins. it was all we could do to keep them out. They were quicker to the lose ball, and harder in the tackle, it was only our defence that kept them out. For most of the game, but especially in this opening period there was a bloody great hole just in front of our back 4 - where Batty/Jones should be - and Totti was running the show from there.
For us Kewell had a couple of long shots coming in from the right wing onto his left foot, which the keeper dealt with. Bakke had a couple of very good runs down the right. Harte almost broke through coming into the box from the left. But it wasn't until McPhail and Bakke got to grips with the midfield that we started to get some meaningful possession, and string some decent moves together. I though these two had superb games, while Bowyer and Wilcox (who had clearly been instructed to stay out wide on the left) were relatively uninvolved. Whether he is injured, has lost his confidence, or even if its the court case playing on his mind - Bowyer has lost it in front of goal - he made a real hash of a couple of decent opportunities, which he would have lashed on target earlier this year, not hitting them cleanly, not even forcing the keeper into a save - I'd rest him for the Bradford game.
Kewell looked great when he was in the thick of it, but when he was out of it he was really out of it - when he scored it came out of the blue. Bridges did a good job at holding the ball up, turning and running at the defence, and when either he or Kewell did this the defence struggled, but all too often the final ball wasn't up to it. In the first half several crosses were played in low and hard to the front post - fine tactic - except all our strikers were at the back post.
The defence were the stars, Lucas was absolutely outstanding. Nothing - but nothing - got past him all night. Alfie wasn't far behind him - and that dash upfield when he ran through 3 Italians was brilliant.
The goal was just a lash from Harry after he had moved sideways across the top of the box - about 10 yards further out - but it was rising, and must have been travelling cos the keeper got his hand to it, pushed it onto the bar, from where it bounced down into the goal. I thought he'd saved it. Cue scenes of unbridled jubilation on the Kop.
Final word for Smithy sent on to "liven things up a bit" - our very own warhead - it was right in front of us, and exactly as someone else has described it.
So that'll be 20m for Harry and 20m for Smiffy from Juventus in the summer then!
MARTYN -7- Not much to do in truth
KELLY -7- almost totally on the defensive - but doing it well
HARTE -7- kept busy in defence - couple of surges forward.
RADEBE -10- MOTM - a masterclass in defensive play. And did his bit as a captain pulling most of the team out of the ruck at the end.
HAALAND -9- quite possibly his best game in a Leeds shirt.
BOWYER -5- very disappointing - rest him
WILCOX -6- got better as it went on
McPHAIL -8- developing nicely, controlled this game for long spells.
BAKKE -8- we have done really well signing this guy
BRIDGES -7- still not fit
KEWELL -9- how long before he's too big for this club.
Subs - Jones, Smith, Huckerby - Smith little gem.
Ref - crap - except for sending off thosse two Roma bods - Delvecchio should have gone too for his histrionics.
Atmosphere - loud - happy
Don't you just love days like this!!!!!!
50 or so Leeds fans in the pub in DIDCOT went mental when Harry's shot went in.
Roma are a brilliant team individually and collectively, in some ways better than Leeds. It takes magnificent defending to stop their forwards. It takes determination, concentration and team spirit not to get overrun by their midfield
It takes skill and persistence to create any chances against them, and it takes great belief to hang in there knowing that a chance will definitely come.
It was these things, despite looking dodgy at times, that made last weeks performance great. Last night it was the same belief in themselves that enabled Leeds to make the most of one of the few chances that came along.
You don't stop a team like Roma scoring over 180 minutes without being superb in defence and resolute in midfield. Every chance you create yourself is precious, and is a mini-victory in itself. To put one away and then keep concentration takes a very good side indeed that is what Leeds have been over both legs.
Scores from last night.
Martyn 8 - Clean sheet, faultless, gave the defence confidence although not many wonder-saves needed.
Kelly 8 - They are a bloody good team and Kelly was up to it.
Alfie 9 - Tremendous defensive performance, didn't miss Woody at all, drove forward a few times too.
Radebe 10 - Quite simply the best defensive performance I've ever seen in a Leeds shirt. Faultless and inspirational.
Harte 7- Gave the ball away too much, but defensive work was good.
Bowyer 7 - A bit out of it wide on the right, held onto the ball too long, but worked his arse off.
Bakke 8 - Looked a good player, even at this level, and it doesn't get much harder.
McPhail 7 - Out of the game for long periods, but his touch and passing were good.
Wilcox 7 - Not in the game a lot, but caused their right back plenty of problems and put in some quality crosses.
Bridges 7- Worked like buggery, but was in truth well marshalled.
Kewell 8 - Marked very tightly but still managed to do some brilliant things, capped by the goal.
Smith 7 - Predictably got booked, got 2 of theirs sent off, battled, would not have lasted more than 20 minutes himself.
Jones 7 - Brought on to mark Totti near the end, did his job.
Huckerby - 7 Only given 5 minutes, but scared them shitless and created a couple of chances on the break.
It is difficult to imagine who emerged with the greater satisfaction last night: The Leeds manager David O'Leary after adding another impressive footnote to his curriculum vitae or those employed to look after Harry Kewell's finances.
With a touch of panache Kewell further embellished his growing reputation throughout the continent with an extraordinary goal to settle a game that rarely bordered on ordinary and leave O'Leary's team eyeing a quarter-final against Sparta Prague. With Leeds preparing to elevate the Australian among the Premiership's highest earners, his timing was perfection.
In a frantic last few moments the Italians had two players sent off, the Brazilian Antonio Carlos Zago for a clash with Alan Smith and Vincent Candela for butting Darren Huckeby.
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