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Copy from Football Unlimited of 23/12/2002.
For a period of some 20 minutes in the second half, immediately following the arrival of Mark Viduka as a replacement for Robbie Fowler, Leeds United were back to their best. Viduka held the ball up well before feeding willing runners, Harry Kewell turned, teased and eventually scored. And then, abruptly, it stopped; if only their problems would do the same.
If Leeds thought last Monday's 3-0 win over Bolton represented an immediate cure for their various ills, this game proved them wrong. Southampton eventually stole a point with a somewhat fortunate goal in the dying minutes but they could have had victory secured by half-time and certainly deserved no less than their point. Defeat on Boxing Day at Sunderland, whose 1-0 win here in August set United on their present rocky road, would renew the home side's anxieties.
"We've got four points from the last two games and we're happy," said Kewell, who put his side ahead after Jonathan Woodgate's header had hit the post. "Hopefully we can go on from this. We don't think we're in the right place in the table but we've just got to stick together. We're going to get through this. We know what we've got to do and we're going to do it."
Copy from Football Unlimited of 22/12/2002.
Terry Venables said Leeds United made an old man very happy by winning at Bolton on Monday, in which case the late gift of a share of the points to Southampton must have left him feeling like Father Christmas.
This was Leeds' first home point since the victory over Manchester United on 14 September, and even that was barely deserved after being comprehensively outplayed in the first half. Yet after securing a winning position through Harry Kewell's ninth goal of the season, Leeds threw it away when Fabrice Fernandes' free-kick a minute from the end beat Paul Robinson after eluding everyone else in the penalty area. Fernandes almost repeated the trick from open play in stoppage time, but this time Robinson was alive to the danger. Defeat would have been almost too much for Leeds to take.
Leeds' already lightweight midfield was further weakened by the absence of the suspended Eirik Bakke. Alan Smith was shoved into the gap and with Gary Kelly on the right wing the home side now had two members of the midfield playing out of position.