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I think Martyn pointed why we won this game, it was a TEAM performance. YEs, we had our backs to the wall for long periods but we defended very well on the whole, they had a lot of shots on goal but a number of those were fairly long range and speculative. Mind you Shearer should have scored first half when he was through one on one.
Robinson was brilliant, never seemed to panic, commanded his area prety well and bloody hell he can boot the ball almost the length of the pitch.
Smith seems to be working out his midfield role and was a close second behind Robbo for MOTM. This bloke is an absolute star and I'm madly in love with him
Pies looks leaner and more interested, he really played his role well today (was offside for our first goal mind). Held the ball up, waited for support and distributed said ball sensibly.
Kewell is beginning to get his confidence back and is looking more like his old self. A lot less "hands on hips" attitude also
Dacourt showed why he should start every game, he doesn't give the ball away cheaply like Bakke so helped relieve the pressure on the back four.
Bowyer was quiet by his standards but he was good at bossing players around and making sure they knew who they're supposed to be covering, something that every team needs.
Barmby was disappointing again though I think he'll come good, he hasn't quite worked out how to fit into the team yet. He at least seemed to run around a lot.
Woody and Matteo very solid at the back, think it was Woody who got turned/bundled off by Shearer in the first half when Shearer thankfully shot tamely at Robbo. That was the only glaring mistake I saw by the back two central.
Mills is a hard working pretty damn good right back who I'd have in my starting line up any day of the week.
The only weak link is Harte as we all know, Wilcox in that position could be inspired.
All in all, it was great to see everyone working hard, the manager and coaches on the bench looking animated and interested in events on the pitch. If we play that hard week in week out we've got a chance of finishing in the top 6
Copy from Football Unlimited of 12/09/2002.
Leeds United have stood accused of many things over the past couple of years but never has larceny on such a grand scale been levied at them. But Terry Venables was left smiling slyly like a character in an Ealing comedy after he saw his new bunch of players pinch a fourth-minute lead with a Mark Viduka goal that looked illegal and then withstand a Newcastle onslaught that brought at least a dozen inviting opportunities for Sir Bobby Robson's men.
But either the chance was squandered, as in the curious case of the missing Andy O'Brien header 20 minutes from the end, or Leeds's new No1 Paul Robinson caught, parried and stretched to smother the others.
Not even the double introduction of Craig Bellamy and Hugo Viana did the trick for Robson and it was England's latest centre- forward Alan Smith who finally grabbed a second goal four minutes from time with an emphatic angled volley that left Shay Given stranded. For Newcastle it was a collective feeling.
Copy from Yorkshire Evening Post of 12/09/2002.
TERRY VENABLES' Leeds United finally came of age at St James' Park last night after staging a smash and grab raid to secure three precious points.
Goals from Mark Viduka and Alan Smith earned United a 2-0 victory, but it was the superb rearguard action which caught the eye as Venables' tactical nous paid dividends.
United rarely came out of their own half after Viduka's fifth minute strike but they simply stood firm in the wave of an onslaught to record a confidence- boosting victory.
Indeed, for all Newcastle's pressure, Leeds were always a danger on their rare sorties forward and man of the moment Smith came up with the goods three minutes from time to seal the win.
It was a tremendous performance from Venables' side, who dug deep into their resolve to stay firm under pressure yet took their chances after breaking quickly and decisively.
Newcastle threw everything bar the kitchen sink at Leeds ? Shola Ameobi was wasting chances for fun at one stage ? but United remained cool and showed the guts required to grind out a result.
After back-to-back defeats at the hands of Sunderland and Birmingham, United had a point to prove last night and, while the critics will say they were fortunate, it was a credit to Venables that Leeds held firm.
The manager knew what to expect from Newcastle and his players responded by turning in the sort of backs-to-the-wall display that suggests they do have the character to compete with the best in their own back yard.
At times United threw everybody behind the ball and the tireless Viduka, on his 100th appearance for Leeds, did more than his share of defensive work in what was a great team effort.
Skipper Dominic Matteo, carrying a knee injury, epitomised the spirit on display by playing through the pain barrier while Jonathan Woodgate, Danny Mills and Ian Harte all defended stoutly under pressure.
Paul Robinson was the undoubted hero of the night, though. He staged a world class display, befitting an international keeper, and Newcastle simply couldn't find a way past him.
Robinson's performance was best summed up when he somehow saved from Ameobi, despite heading off in the wrong direction, and he consistently pulled off save after save to keep Newcastle at bay.
Even on the rare occasions the home side did beat United's last line of defence, they were unable to hit the target with Ameobi, Andy O'Brien, Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy all fluffing great opportunities.
In truth, it always looked like being United's night despite Newcastle boss Bobby Robson claiming his side were unlucky in the final reckoning.
Few would argue Newcastle were the better side for much of the game, but Leeds stuck rigidly to their own game plan and the hosts spent 85 fruitless minutes playing catch-up.
There was a determined look about Leeds from the off, with Lee Bowyer and Nicky Barmby both snapping at Newcastle heels in the middle of the park, and United were definitely up for the fight.
The home crowd were stunned into silence, aside from a few cries for offside, when Viduka hammered home from close range following a break from Harry Kewell.
Kewell showed his class with a tremendous curved run to thwart the offside trap after excellent work by Olivier Dacourt and Barmby in setting up the break.
The early strike only served to spur the home side into action and United spent much of the contest under the cosh and facing a battle to stay alive.
There were plenty of scares throughout, with Shearer, Nolberto Solano and Laurent Robert all having their moments, but Newcastle always looked vulnerable when Leeds broke.
As the clock ticked down, Newcastle clearly started to lose their way and their dominance soon subsided as Leeds homed in on victory.
United always looked capable of adding to their solitary strike and so it proved when Smith drilled the ball home from 20 yards with just three minutes remaining.
That was the cue for the home crowd to depart in droves and, after spending over 80 minutes under intense pressure, United were able to relax and enjoy the closing moments.
Venables was even able to reflect on a polished performance, with the only down side being when Mills and Smith collected their first bookings of the season, courtesy of Olivier Bernard.
Mills went into the book for a tame lunge at the Frenchman while Smith, who hasn't seen yellow for 15 games, fell victim to some great theatrics.
But Leeds won't be complaining too loudly about referee Dermot Gallagher. He has now refereed United on 16 occasions and they have yet to lose.
It's still far too early for Leeds fans to get carried away, but last night's victory sets things up nicely for a month which sees Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all come to Elland Road.
And it now remains to be seen whether United can show the same character on a consistent basis.