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.
Bloody marvellous this game was - wonderful spirit, players challenging for every ball (until the last 15 minutes when folk got a little tired) giving Chelsea no room for manoeuvre. Back to the old Eddie days (pre-Kidd) of pressing the opposition as high up the field as possible and of trying to smother the game out of them.
Was "concerned" in the pub before hand. Was "deeply concerned" once I heard the team. Needn't have worried every man jack of them gave it their all and can be proud of their efforts - although where it leaves some of them looking back on their previous contributions so far this season is anyone's guess. If we can play like this against the top team we should be mid table no sweat.
For the first 20 minutes or so it was fairly even Chelsea had more of the ball but less penetration - our best moments til then came from Pennant getting by Bridge and swinging the crosses in which he did 3 or 4 times - the main problem being that there were no Leeds players on the end of them. Then he picked a lose ball from Makelele - who was superb other than this - and just ran through the defence - past 3 players - and chipped it over the advancing keeper - a wonderful goal.
After that I thought that we had the best of the rest of the 1st half - Viduka had an effort, he laid one on for McPhail who missed by inches from 20 yards. All the while Smith and Matteo were clamping down on any movement in the midfield and keeping their celebrated midfield from finding a way through to link up with the forwards. Smith was booked - stupidly - basically a revenge for the foul on him on the halfway that the ref ignored. After this the ref lost the plot and was greeted with calls of "who's the Russian in the black?"
The collander looking defence was marshalled brilliantly by Lucas - who had another storming game - with Matteo dropping back to make it a back 5 whenever needed. Duberry played it simple - hoofing it into touch any number of times - which is exactly what was called for. Like others I thought Eddie did well to counter the Gronk threat to Harte on the left by bringing on Domi and Johnson, it certainly shored up that wing.
I thought that McPhail had a good 50 minutes or so. He did get some tackles in, he did win a header (I saw it), he made himself available for the passes from team-mates and passed it around effectively himself - he almost got Smith in with a lovely 50 yard ball over the top. Perhaps in a 5 man midfield he can be effective - or perhaps playing regualrly with Forest has knocked a bit of weight off and given him some confidence. He is a long way off a finished article but on this performance I'd give him another go vs Fulham.
Viduka - put his back into it and looked a handful. Let's hope he can keep his game stepped up to this pace and he'll be worth his place. Pennant was our most effective threat. He really gave Bridge a hard time of it - how much longer is the loan for? Apparently Brum are sniffing around him. Milner worked hard but never really got a look in.
Smith - I'm never happy when he drops into midfield but I can see the necessity in a game like this. It does limit our attacking ambitions an awful lot. Should be back up front vs Fulham with a 4-4-2 line-up.
The second half was backs to the wall - with all their firepower they were going to score eventually - but I thought that the whole team worked really hard to ensure the point.
Oh yeh - Robbo was great - but the haircut was rank.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 08/12/2003.
Much has been made of Eddie Gray's decision to field a Leeds side shorn of the summer's loan arrivals. Gone are Roque Junior, Salomon Olembé, Zoumana Camara and Lamine Sakho from the starting line-up and it was a formula that again worked wonders here. But one hired gun remains and he is desperate to prove himself part of the "family".
Jermaine Pennant did just that on Saturday as his mazy run and goal helped lift Leeds off the Premiership's floor. And the 20-year-old midfielder, on loan from Arsenal, understands every bit as much as his team-mates the depth of Leeds's perils, spelled out as they were in a dressing-room visit from the chief executive Trevor Birch on Friday.
"I definitely feel for people here," he said. "I've got a contract at Arsenal but your mind goes off that - it feels like you're part of it here as well. Everyone's like a big family. If it affects them it affects me.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 07/12/2003.
With 19 places, the best part of £200 million and one generous owner separating them, logic presented us with one of the most emphatic mismatches in Premiership history.
That equality of any sort was possible between Leeds and Chelsea is testament to hard work on the part of Leeds United. Premiership paupers they may be, but they are rich in spirit and loaded in application. A thoroughly deserved draw dragged them off the foot of the table for the first time in five weeks.
Chelsea had a tough time at Elland Road until Damien Duff's late equaliser. Leeds's entire operation is valued on the stock market at £17.38m - the equivalent of what Roman Abramovich provided to bring Duff to Chelsea.