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Copy from Football Unlimited of 22/02/2002.
Nil-nil is not normally thought of as the kind of result to galvanise a flagging season but, given Leeds United's plummeting self-esteem these past months, this performance of technical and behavioural discipline against the Dutch champions should at least arrest the loss of belief at Elland Road.
Whether this becomes the turning point David O'Leary was looking for is another matter but a home victory over Charlton Athletic in the Premiership on Sunday, followed by a successful second leg of this fourth-round tie against PSV Eindhoven next Thursday, would restore lost momentum to Leeds' season.
There were moments of occasional doubt again here but these were confined mainly to the opening quarter-hour and, once Leeds had settled, they were the better team and would not have been flattered by a win.
Copy from Yorkshire Evening Post of 22/02/2002.
THE UEFA Cup may never have been a priority to United boss David O'Leary, but last night's clash with PSV was just the tonic his faltering side have been craving.
This performance was much more like it from David O'Leary's boys.
After two months of under-achieving they finally cranked up a gear and showed that news of their demise was a little premature with a display which, quite frankly, scared the Dutch champions into submission.
After an initial uneasy opening, United settled into a pattern and a performance that finally went some way to matching what everyone knows they are capable of.
In truth, they were still a long way short of the heights hit during last year's terrific Champions League run. But if they are to rub shoulders once again with the likes of Real, Barca and Roma then it is performances like this which will get them there.
The fact that it took the razzmatazz of a big European night to finally pull the Whites out of their slumber is possibly no surprise. O'Leary's boys have always enjoyed the big occasion.
Gone was the uneasy, tentative football which has plagued 2002 and all-but destroyed their chances of a top four finish. In it's place, slowly evolving as the game went on, was a team re-building its confidence and standing up to its critics and shouting its intentions for one hurrah.
While the UEFA Cup is important and is most certainly there to be won, it is the effect that this result and display will have on the league form which takes paramount importance.
If it can herald another brilliant run over the final dozen league matches then maybe that impossible dream of the Champions League won't turn out to be that impossible after all.
O'Leary had recalled the bad-boy trio of Alan Smith, Lee Bowyer and Danny Mills as he dropped both David Batty and Gary Kelly to the bench.
Batty, who travelled to Holland on his own by ferry after refusing to fly, was replaced in the middle by Eirik Bakke with Bowyer back on the right.
Smith was reunited with Mark Viduka in attack with Robbie Fowler ineligible after playing Champions League football earlier with Liverpool.
The first half was a lively affair with both sides creating good chances to break the deadlock.
Within the first minute Viduka's low cross from the left was teed up for Smith by Bowyer but the young striker was crowded out by the PSV defence.
The atmosphere within the Philips Stadium was more akin to the Champions League experiences of last season and everyone was buzzing.
Home fans, especially, were baying for early blood, and had it not been for the wonderful goalkeeping of Nigel Martyn - pulling off two quality saves within the space of a minute - then PSV would have taken the lead.
The highly-rated van Bommel was first to be denied as his fierce drive from the right angle of the penalty box was brilliantly tipped away by the England number one. When the corner was flung over, Leeds were unable to clear and as van Bommel volleyed the ball back in from the edge of the box it was directed goalward by the deft flick header of Andre Ooijer and again Martyn arched back to make a wonderful save.
PSV's strong start continued and they should have scored on the quarter hour mark when Arnold Bruggink directed a free header wide.
But their failure to break the deadlock early on gave United the chance to settle down and organise themselves into a unit which from then on never looked like letting in a goal.
At the other end Leeds did start to look lively with Smith and Viduka linking well to cause the home defence problems.
Indeed, the Aussie came close to giving United the lead when he saw two headers cleared off the line within the space of a minute.
His first chance, from a Harte free-kick, seemed destined to loop in at the far post until Ooijer stood tall to deflect it away under pressure from Smith.
The second chance was even closer for United as Viduka's neat interchange of passing with Smith set the young striker away and as Lodewijks blocked the original shot Viduka followed up to nod the ball goalwards only to see Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scything away a miraculous clearance from under his own bar.
Just before the half hour Leeds too found themselves forced into some desperate defending.
Pacy winger Rommedahl swung a teasing ball over from the right, Martyn's weak punch fell to George Gakhokidze but his powerful goalbound strike was blocked on the line by Dominic Matteo.
That was it for the home side, however. United then completely bossed the second half. It seemed that PSV had realised just how good Leeds really were and lost their bottle for the battle.
Kewell's low, fizzing shot from the left edge of the area was blocked at his near post by Lodewijks and only a last ditch tackle from Ooijer denied Viduka a clear view of goal just past the hour.
Viduka again missed out two minutes later as he put a free header wide from Harte's corner and then Bowyer crashed a low shot across goal.
Van Bommel did see one volley fly just too high, but Martyn had little to do in the second half and the home fans streamed out of the ground with a joyous rendition of the United anthem Marching On Together ringing in their ears.