AS Roma 0 - 0 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
|« Middlesbrough||Coventry City »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Radebe, Haaland, Woodgate, Jones, Kelly, Harte, Bakke, Bowyer, Kewell, Bridges (Smith 71)||Hopkin, Huckerby, Robinson, Mills, Maybury, Duberry|
|AS Roma||Antonioli, Zago, Aldair, Mangone, Cafu, Nakata, Tommasi, Candela, Totti, Montella, Delvecchio||Lupatelli, Di Francesco, Blasi, Tomic, Gurenko, Rinaldi, Fabio Junior|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Radebe 63|
|Leeds United||AS Roma|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||0||0|
|Ed Watkinson||Pizza and Peroni - influenced match report|
|James Lundon||Quick thoughts on tonight!|
|The Guardian||Martyn resists Romans|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Martyn keeps Leeds afloat|
|The Times||Martyn gives Leeds the upper hand|
|The Independent||Martyn inspired as Roma fiddle|
|Express Sport||Leeds tame Rome lions|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Martyn keeps Euro-dream alive|
|BBC||Leeds weather Roman storm|
Well, from this Harpenden armchair we looked pretty bloody good tonight. They had a fair few shots on target (and a few more WAY OFF target) but nothing Nige couldn't cope with. They could have tried all night and not scored, I reckon.
Big Lee Chapman was spot on when he said the referee had a shocking game, even by FA / FIFA "Leeds v. a team in red" standards. On at least three occasions free kicks were awarded against Lucas when he played the ball but the man also happened to fall down.... Conversely, Mangone and the others were able to do what he wanted to impede Harry, not to mention the blatant elbow.
Neither Hartey nor his uncle played that well. Jones and Bakke were pretty effective, the three at the back were TREMENDOUS much of the first and all the second half. Bridges and Smith were pretty good. LeeBowya was extremely quiet (he badly needs a goal) but then so was their Jap chap they signed from Perugia.
Totti + Delvecchio + t'other one = forty million quid, MY ARSE.
Any two of Harry, Lucas, Nige = forty million quid, FAIR COMMENT.
Anyway, we kept a clean sheet and while we may need Nige to be on the same excellent form next Thursday, they are there for the taking.
Some quick thoughts on the second half - since that's the only half I saw; I couldn't get away from work for the early kick-off.
The referee was simply awful. Even neutrals thought so! Some of his decisions were simply outrageous. Everything went against Leeds, except for a poxy penalty decision, or an even more likely scrappy goal. We couldn't have him for the second leg, could we? He wouldn't leave Leeds intact if he reffed next week the way he did tonight!
Bowyer needs a goal, as someone has already said! He seems to be down a little in confidence!
Kewell looked sharp but was hacked down any time he got close to goal.
Bridges and Smith seemed strangely muted. Slightly surprised that Forest wasn't given a "run" in such circumstance instead of Smith.
Bakke and Jones had two effective games. Why didn't O'Leary give Hopkin a run with 10 minutes to go to give our midfield a bit of a boost?
Martyn did everything he had to but almost got chipped three times. Was this a deliberate tactic by the Italians?
We sat too deep for the last 15 minutes and allowed the Italians to come at us. Never a good idea!
Second clean sheet in a row BUT the third game without a goal too! If we had a top-class striker in all three of these games, we would have gotten much more than two draws and the loss against Scum. This will be the difference between silverware/Champions League entry and nothing this season!
What a setup for next Thursday evening in Leeds. We have to score to win and will probably just about do it. This is the litmus test for this season's teams versus last season's. If we cannot get past Roma, we will have made no progress from last season, IMVHO.
How DoL stayed cool during the second half I'll never know. You have to deeply respect both himself and Lord Eddie for not going bonking mad seeing some of what was going on on the pitch. Cool heads at the top permeates its way down to the players. Fair play, lads!
Leeds United last night emerged from one of the most daunting arenas on the European stage with parity and a pride which finally confirmed their coming of age.
At times in this fourth-round tie there were so many backs to the wall that it was a wonder the brickwork did not obliterate their shirt numbers. But nothing should detract from a gritty performance brimming with effort and tactical nous, and that against the team who eliminated them from this competition last season.
As is his wont the Leeds manager David O'Leary, on arrival in the Eternal City, had manufactured the deliberate impression that his young team were so out of their depth they were in danger of being totally submerged.
© Guardian Media Group plc