Support The Blue Cross - Britain's pet charity
Manchester City

Premier League
Game 23: Saturday 11 January 2003

Manchester City 2 - 1 Leeds United
(Half-time: 1 - 0)
Crowd: 34884
Referee: R Styles (Waterlooville)
Leeds United
« Scunthorpe United   West Bromwich Albion »
Match Facts
Manchester City Team Leeds United
Peter Schmeichel   Paul Robinson
Jihai Sun   Danny Mills Booked - 74 minutes
Goal - 50 minutes Niclas Jensen   Gary Kelly
Kevin Horlock   Jonathan Woodgate
Richard Dunne   Dominic Matteo Booked - 65 minutes
Marc-Vivien Foé   Eirik Bakke Subbed - 72 minutes
Steve Howey   Paul Okon
Sylvain Distin   Jason Wilcox
Subbed - 84 minutes Eyal Berkovic   Harry Kewell Goal - 90 minutes Booked - 45 minutes
Nicolas Anelka   Alan Smith Subbed - 60 minutes
Subbed - 80 minutes Goal - 29 minutes Shaun Goater   Mark Viduka Subbed - 72 minutes
Carlo Nash   Nigel Martyn
Gerald Wiekens   Teddy Lucic
Sub - 84 minutes Ali Benarbia   Seth Johnson Booked - 84 minutes Sub - 72 minutes
Darren Huckerby   James Milner Sub - 60 minutes
Sub - 80 minutes Shaun Wright-Philips   Robbie Fowler Sub - 72 minutes
Match Reports
Rich Walker Man City
Robert Wood The Maine problems
BBC Man City see off Leeds
The Guardian Fowler eyes an upwardly mobile move
The Independent Jensen's gem dulls the Venables revival
The Observer To Goater goes the glory, to Venables the gloom Jensen magic ends Leeds' winning streak
The Sporting Life Manchester City 2 - 1 Leeds United
The Sunday Times Berkovic inspires City to end Leeds run
The Electronic Telegraph Jensen volley lights up City
The Times Keegan's quest goes on
Yorkshire Evening Post Berkovic display highlights United's need for a Maine man in midfield

The Times, Sunday Times and Telegraph now seem to require registration to view articles on their sites, with the Times and Sunday Times charging readers outside the UK. The Times/Sunday Times has also moved some of the older articles into an archive which requires separate registration and requires you to pay to access the content. The Independent now charges for access to articles more than a week old.

Man City - Rich Walker

Don't worry folks - just a blip, Tel has really turned things around just look at those results against Brum , Bolton and Scunthorpe. What a joke. I don't think I've been as pissed off with a game as I was yesterday for a long long time. First of all I had to watch the first half through the perspex end of the Kippax stand. The temporary 'golf' stand they have erected for the away fans is a disgrace and is the worse in the league and something that Farnborough would be ashamed of. With the sun shining you couldn't see a thing for the first 20 minutes.Fucking rip off of the highest order. No roof, no atmosphere, shit game, shit Leeds team.

Let's look at what the tactical genius came up with this time around. As far as I could make out it was 4-5-1 with Kewell on the left slightly pushed forward and Smith on the right slightly advanced. Viduka was on his fat f'cking tod up front. Tel played 3 in central midfield - Bakke, Okon and Wilcox !!! So what's wrong with the whole formation. Here we go :-

Kelly is not the best right back at the club.

Matteo is not a left back. He is the club captain and is not been played in his best position. Strange that.

Mills is a right back. He actually plays for England in this position.

Wilcox is not a central midfielder. All the good things that have come out of Leeds's recent decent performances have come as a result of the balance and width that Wilcox has provided. Tel loses all that by choosing to tuck Wilcox inside and push kewell onto the left. Tel obviously doesn't have much faith in his central pairing (who f'cking would !?).

Smith isn't a right wing and looks completely lost in this postion. It's actually ruining him as a player. He's a bleeding forward for God's sake.

Kewell is not a left winger. In fact I'm not sure where Kewell is supposed to be playing. Tel's not sure and Kewell certainly isn't. Viduka is ineffective up front on his own.

So how did they play.

Worse player by a mile - Mark Viduka. When the fat bloke isn't even holding up the ball well then what is his purpose in the team? No pace, no runs, no shots, no headers, no fitness, no nothing. Attrocious. A few decent holding the ball up games against mediocre oppostion doesn't fool me. this guy is not nearly mobile enough to be a number 9 in our team. Give Smith the shirt now. Surely everyone at the game today can see this. Never mind selling Fowler, we need to offload Viduka. He is bad for the team. Have you ever seen a premiership player crouched down with his hands keeping him up right trying to catch his breath.

Unbelievable. This guy is a disgrace. Compare Anelka and Viduka. Anelka doesn't hold the ball up particularly well. Did you know that this quality is not that high in the priority list of a striker's qualities. It's pace, shot, runs and scoring goals, all the things that Viduka just doesn't do.

We started brightly today and broke with pace early in the game. Many times Smith got down the right and Matteo (!??) and Kewell got down the left. They look into the centre and who is there? No f'cker ! Cos Viduka is still making is way forward. Happened half a dozen times. Holding up the ball well is just not good enough. He was dragged off 70 minutes too late.

Kewell - made runs , got involved but I really don't think he knows what his role is. Is he supposed to get up and support Viduka or is he expected to make runs down the left. His control let him down badly. Not been used correctly. If we're going to play with one up front it should be Kewell. Too many times Kewell fails to deliver from the left. One incident in the second half summed it up. We broke down the left. All Kewell had to do was roll it in the box for Viduka (for once he was there - probably from the last attack !) but Kewell failed to deliver. He's just not a left winger. Wilcox would have done this with ease but he was too busy soaking up the central midfield pressure. Smith - poor lad. What can you say He looks like a desperate player at the moment.

Midfield - the real weakness today. Berkovic is a class above our midfield pair. Bakke is a bit player. He skirts around the game occassionally putting in a good challenge and decent pass but more often than not he's absent. We'll never win anything with Bakke in the team. A hard working performances change nothing in my mind. Okon - pedestrian. has done ok but is he Batty? No. Is he Dacourt? No. Is he Lee Bowyer? No. What is he? An average, tidy player but coupled with Bakke together they are a weak midfield. Wilcox - what the f'ck is tel playing at? Wilcox didn't make on cross? Why? Cos he's playing in central midfield. Tel you are a joke.

Defence - all over the shop. Mills - poor. Woodgate - no support. Kelly - distribution poor. Matteo - looks as out of position as Smith and Wilcox. Tel, bite the bullet and drop Kelly, get Mills at right back and play Johnson at left back until you buy a left back which should be a priority. Did you know that Seth Johnson has played left back for England? Apart from the consolation goal by Kewell at the end we didn't make their keeper make one save during the whole match. One deflected shot which nearly deceived their keepr and a header from Wilcox which was basically a back pass.

Milner, Johnson and Fowler came on but it was all too late. I thought Milner tried too hard but still created chances and I thought Johnson showed enough bite and skill in 10 minutes to be given a chance in place of Bakke or Okon next game. Fowler just strolled through the game. He took a corner ,got a great reception from the City fans and then plopped it on hte head of the City man on the near post , Ian Harte style. I am not happy with Folwer's appearance in this game.

City fans : "Robbie Fowler is a blue , he hates Munichs". He also got the biggest cheer of the day. I think he's going. Get used to Viduka at no 9 folks , he's the future.

Tel says : we were unlucky , created chances and should have had a penalty. Dream on. We didn't create any chances, Viduka fell on his arse, and we certainly deserved to lose. City were the better side. Robinson made 2 top class saves and in Anelka and Berkovic City have too players that are a class above anything we have got.

Tel doesn't know his arse from his elbow. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.

The Maine problems - Robert Wood

Maine Road is one of those old fashioned grounds, secreted in a maze of run down, grotty side streets with dilapidated shops, grimy houses and hole filled roads.

I won't miss it.

Next year we'll be watching City in a new stadium and maybe the atmosphere at the game will be less poisonous with better surroundings. Maybe the football will be better too.

Yesterday, all the hard work, endeavor and (albeit slight) improved play of the last three matches disappeared into a cold winter's afternoon; only the thin wafts of mist gave any hope of Leeds not losing this game as we willed the wisps into a pea souper. No such luck.

Down on the front row, peering over the wall we could see wave after wave of City pressure on Robinson's goal; up the other end a weak header and a scramble in the box all Leeds could muster. It seemed like Kewell and Viduka would play up front again, with Smith on the right wing, Bakke and Okon in the centre and Wilcox on the left. However, Kewell seemed to be playing on the left wing with Wilcox inside of Kewell. It's either too empty or overcrowded in the Leeds midfield these days.

Smith looked bewildered and his levels of effort seem to be slipping; Kelly went back to his wildly inneffective mode; Mills looked out of place at centre back; Matteo looked out of place at left back. It was all a bit of a mess and when Goater latched on to Mills' poor clearance it was no surprise he fired City into the lead.

No personnel change for the second half found more of the same and it wasn't long before City were two up with an absolute peach of a goal. The ball was swung over from the right hand side to find an unmarked Jensen a long way out just to the left of the area. A first time volley saw the ball soar past Robinson. It was goal worthy of winning any match.

Smith went off, presumably injured and on came Milner. Having gone two down Leeds switched up a couple of gears and started crating chances. Milner ran on to an excellent through ball from Okon, but his first touch let him down. He had a few more chances, but just couldn't quite find a good cross or found one too many defender in his way. Kewell alternated between running his arse off and standing with hands on hips in disgust at not being awarded a free kick. He started to become menacing to the City defence, running on to a number of through balls, trying to beat the City offside trap and a couple of times managing it. Once, when through on Schmeichel he looked like we'd try and blast it in from an increasingly narrowing angle, but tried to cut the ball back to Viduka only finding a City defender.

While pressure was being applied to the City goal, there was still pressure on Robinson's goal. He pulled off a great save from a free kick brought forwards because of Mills complaining about the foul being awarded and an astonishing diving save from a fiercely struck, deflected shot.

With far too little time left a change was made. Johnson and Fowler for Viduka and Bakke. In the fifteen minutes or so he was on, Seth got stuck in more than Okon and Bakke together had in the rest of the game. He looks a class above anyone else who's left at the club in midfield. He probably won't start until Bakke or Okon get injured.

When Fowler came on it was the first time I think I've ever heard the opposition fans sing for a Leeds player. He looked pretty ineffective, like his mind was elsewhere. Like somewhere in a blue shirt maybe...

Into injury time, Kewell, the classiest and possibly hardest working of all yellow clad players on display raced onto a through ball to be one on one with Schmeichel. He had to shoot with his right foot because of the angle and surely a weak effort wide or straight at the 'keeper would be the end result. Surprisingly, Kewell rammed it home with his right to some strangely muted cheers.

This caused some panic in the City defence with a number of white shorts turning brown as Kewell's dying seconds corner was swung in. An equaliser would have been very harsh on City.

Fowler eyes an upwardly mobile move - Daniel Taylor

Copy from Football Unlimited of 13/01/2003.

There was a time when leaving Leeds for Manchester City would have been perceived as an exercise in stripping oneself of ambition. These days it is a step up the ladder. Robbie Fowler's inspection of Maine Road on Saturday found a club brimming with optimism, an upwardly mobile team with a manager who craves success, a board with money to spend and a gleaming new stadium waiting for their tenancy. It was everything, in fact, that Leeds want but cannot have.

There is a feel-good factor here right now that is not misplaced and Kevin Keegan's belief that his side are capable of finishing in the top six does not look half as rickety as when the leaves started falling from the trees and City found themselves hovering just above the relegation quarters.

"A lot of people laughed," said Keegan. "I could sense people thinking: 'Top six? More like bottom six.' But I've always thought it's achievable. We've got only the league to concentrate on and we're maybe the Premiership's in-form team. I've not spoken about qualifying for the Champions League but it would be very nice."

Read the rest...

To Goater goes the glory, to Venables the gloom - Sarah Hughes

Copy from Football Unlimited of 12/01/2003.

The talk around Manchester City this week has been all about the expected signing of Leeds striker Robbie Fowler for £7m, but in a game City dominated without having to excel, the plaudits went to a less venerated forward, Shaun Goater. The frequently ungainly, but surprisingly effective Goater has a record of a goal in every two games since arriving at City, and while he might not be the most skilled striker around he is certainly one of the most consistent. In the 29th minute he ably demonstrated that consistency, latching on to Eyal Berkovic's pass to shoot home his sixth goal of the season.

'The thing about Shaun is that you know he will always try his best when he's picked,' his manager Kevin Keegan said. 'I dropped him for a couple of games because I wanted to try something different. But all credit to him - he has never complained.'

Buoyed by the result, Keegan remains convinced that City can challenge for a European place this season. 'It will be hard, but we have only the league to concentrate on,' he said. 'I have told the players that. I believe that we have a team that could make Europe and I refuse to say otherwise.'

Read the rest...

Leeds United Web Ring
Prev 5 | Skip Prev | Prev | Next | Skip Next | Next 5
Random | List | Join | Awards | Member : Jabba

Counter is run by Jabba. Last modified $Date: 2003/07/20 10:02:48 $. Credits