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Leeds United

Premier League
Game 01: Sunday 17 August 2003

Leeds United 2 - 2 Newcastle United
(Half-time: 1 - 1)
Crowd: 36766
Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)
Newcastle United
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Match Facts
Leeds United Team Newcastle United
Paul Robinson   Shay Given
Gary Kelly   Aaron Hughes
Dominic Matteo   Olivier Bernard Subbed - 73 minutes
Lucas Radebe   Jonathan Woodgate Booked - 42 minutes
Zoumana Camara   Andy O'Brien
Booked - 35 minutes Seth Johnson   Laurent Robert
Booked - 67 minutes Jody Morris   Lee Bowyer Subbed - 73 minutes
Subbed - 74 minutes Booked - 21 minutes Jason Wilcox   Kieron Dyer
Subbed - 60 minutes Lamine Sakho   Gary Speed
Goal - 57 minutes Alan Smith   Craig Bellamy Booked - 90 minutes
Goal - 24 minutes Mark Viduka   Alan Shearer Penalty - 19 minutes Goal - 88 minutes
Nigel Martyn   Stephen Harper
Sub - 60 minutes Booked - 71 minutes Didier Domi   Andrew Griffin
James Milner   Jermaine Jenas Sub - 73 minutes
Sub - 74 minutes David Batty   Nolberto Solano Sub - 84 minutes
Aaron Lennon   Shola Ameobi Sub - 73 minutes
Match Reports
Kev Lewis I liked most of it
Matt Gaynor Newcastle
BBC Shearer breaks Leeds' hearts
The Guardian Shearer's double puts Leeds' tonic on ice
The Independent Leeds frustrated by Shearer's late strike Late Shearer spoiler hurts Leeds
The Sporting Life Leeds 2 - 2 Newcastle United
The Electronic Telegraph Shearer checks Leeds revival
The Times Leeds offer Reid hope
Yorkshire Evening Post United in crisis? Do not believe it

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.

I liked most of it - Kev Lewis

Some fairly encouraging stuff in the Barcode game.

For a start I liked the balance all over the pitch.

Full Backs: One who is an out & out defender (Matteo) who will cover round behind well if a CB gets dragged out wide. Also his height is useful as our CBs are not THAT big. Kelly on the other side gets forward whenever possible, leaves gaps occasionally, but you can afford that on one side.

Midfield: One attacking player (Sakho) who will not do much defending, but Matteo behind him won't wander much and the other three midfielders fill in nicely to allow this. Having Johnson there means he is quite at home covering the left side. Sakho can then do the Kewell job of getting forward either wide or more centrally to support the attack. The right side player tucks in allowing Kelly to get forward and Johnson to cover the left if needed. It would be better if the right mifielder was a) right footed and b) better than Wilcox is now, but he is just the right profile.

Strikers: Well, Viduka and Smith between them gave us a target man, a striker who was prepared to work the whole width of the field. We got work-rate, skill, attitude, and even a bit of vision. PLUS A GOAL FROM EACH. OK no pace, but a midfield that allows Sakho to get forward and give us some pace and flair sort of compensates.

Now I only saw the game from the barstool, much of the time with some twat standing right in the way, but my view on Wilcox is more in accordance with Nick than Rich. Yes he did get stuck in, yes he did get around the pitch and tuck into the centre when needed. However he looked like he was on a mission to get himself sent off as he was always that bit behind the pace when making his tackles. True he played a couple of good balls with his left foot, but much of the time he also looked awkward on that side, when simple right-footed passes were needed. He is the only change I would consider making, but with whom I am not sure.

Barmby, Milner, Pennant (if we sign him) - None of them tuck in, and it would leave Morris and Johnson overworked.

Batty in the centre moving Morris out to the right, would upset what I thought was an effective partnership in Morris Johnson.

Mills at RB and push Kelly forward, might be the best bet, although it would upset that defensive balance I talked about, and I'm not really convinced Kelly can play the tucked-in role.

Perhaps give Wilcox another game to get used to the position and see how it all works in an away game.

Newcastle - Matt Gaynor

Have to confess to being very scared on arriving to find the midfield was: Jason (my legs have gone) Wilcox, Jody ( i'm smaller than the mascot) Morris, Seth (ow my knee hurts) Johnson and Lamine (where am i) Sakho.

However the team confounded all my expectations and played excellently - we nearly held on for a win though a draw was probably a fair result. But the team worked their socks off, gave Newcastle little time to settle and kept up constant pressure upfront.

I thought we were dead and buried after the first goal but we got back at them quickly too equalise and had them rattled in the second half. Stood off them a bit too much at the end and dropped deep with only a knackered Viduka upfront but nearly held on til a rare defensive slip let Shearer in for a rare Elland Rd goal. Still at least Bowyer didn't score.

Robinson 7 - Couple of decent saves not much chance with the goals.
Kelly 7 - Little threat from Robert and covered the CBs well
Matteo 8 - Looked like he'd done his knee at one point in the 2nd half - 30 seconds later was up arguing with Bellamy. Snuffed out any threat from toerag. A captains performance
Camara 7 - Coped much better than i expected with Shearer and Bellamy
Radebe 8.5 - Those knees carried him through another great performance, caught out for the pen but redeemed himself with a great goal-line clearance near the end.
Wilcox 6 - Not really with it anymore but never gave up.
Morris 7 - Miles better than expected got a few good tackles in and a good pass to help set up the first goal. Could have seen red though.
Johnson 8 - Strong in the tackle and despite not being fully-fit covered a lot of ground. we need his presence this year.
Sakho 8 - Another impressive game, made little attempt to track back with Bowyer but was a threat going forward, set up one goal and looked our most creative player.
Viduka 6.5 - Tired spectacularly at the end, took his goal well, effort levels no better or worse than usual.
SMith 9 - MOTM - Let the line superbly, showed skill, control and agression in all the right levels and deserved the goal his never give up attitude brought him.

A rare moment of praise for ex Leeds players on return, Speed jumped up quickly to save Morris from a potential red card after a wild tackle and also put a good word in with the ref for Smithy after Bernard rolled around on the ground and Woodgate stopped Smith from getting involved with Given and was happy to wear a white shirt at the final whistle.

Now we've just got to keep repeating that performance.

Shearer's double puts Leeds' tonic on ice - Michael Walker

Copy from Football Unlimited of 18/08/2003.

Peter Reid fancied a glass of water; Sir Bobby Robson's first word was "gin". But it was the Leeds United manager who was given a tonic yesterday.

A grim pre-season of defeats by clubs such as Shelbourne, Hull City and Burnley, allied to the sale of Harry Kewell and the training ground arguments with Mark Viduka, had left Reid regretting his annual month off alcohol and perhaps even his decision to succeed Terry Venables five months ago. Leeds were in a mess and Reid could not find solace even in his local.

Then when the August tipping spree started, Leeds were suddenly among those teams regularly being mentioned as candidates for relegation. Reid admitted to being worried himself about yesterday and what the rest of the season might hold.

Read the rest...

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