Date: Saturday, 11th September 1999.
Venue: Highfield Road, Coventry.
English Premier League.
City 3 Leeds
City: McAllister (pen), Aloisi, Chippo.
Leeds United: Bowyer, Huckerby,
Harte (pen), Bridges.
Coventry City: Hedman;
Quinn (McSheffrey), Williams, Shaw, Edworthy; Chippo, McAllister, Hadji, Froggatt (Strachan); Aloisi (Hall), Keane.
Unused Subs: Nuzzo, Konjic.
Leeds United: Martyn, Mills, Radebe,
Duberry (Woodgate), Harte (Kelly); Hopkin, Bowyer,
Batty, Kewell; Bridges, Huckerby.
Unused Subs: Haaland, Jones, Robinson.
Referee: Mr S. Dunn (Bristol).
The crowd at Highfield Road for Coventry's meeting with Leeds United in
September 1999 knew they were in for a treat when referee Steve Dunn pointed to
the penalty spot after fifty-seven seconds. A barnstorming start to their
early-season clash pointed to drama ahead during the remaining eighty-nine
minutes, and the teams had traded seven goals by the time Leeds escaped from the West Midlands with three points. United, under
David O'Leary, were beginning to gather the pace that would take them to the
Champions League semi-final at the end of the following season, but their
manager was forced to concede that his side's defending had been
"abysmal" after the finest of spectacles.
Coventry, who flirted with relegation before the season
was out, were allowed to draw first blood with less
than sixty seconds on the clock. Leeds were penalised
after the ball flew between Lucas Radebe and David Hopkin inside the box and caught a flailing arm, and Whites
old boy Gary McAllister stepped up to convert the penalty with his usual
confidence. The start was perfect for Coventry but, as their fans had discovered previously,
defending a lead was never City's forte.
later, Leeds produced their first equaliser when Lee Bowyer conjured a goal at the third
attempt after seeing two shots blocked by the Sky Blues' defence.
The effort, however, was merely the start of a see-sawing fixture which saw the
momentum swing relentlessly until the visitors settled proceedings with an hour
gone. Australian striker John Aloisi reclaimed the
lead for Coventry in the seventeenth minute, rising above Leeds' defence
to head McAllister's dangerous free-kick past Nigel Martyn.
included £4m signing Darren Huckerby in their
line-up, a fortnight after capturing the forward from Highfield
Road, and he made the most of his return to City by scoring Leeds' second goal.
David Batty, a reliable presence in the centre of midfield, fed a cutting pass
through to Huckerby, who was onto the ball in an
instant and curled a brilliant first-time shot beyond Magnus Hedman in City's goal. The effort gave Leeds the initiative, and they took the
lead for the first time with a penalty of their own twelve minutes before
half-time. Batty was brought down by Hedman,
prompting Dunn to point to the spot for a second time, and Ian Harte ended a frustrating run of missed penalties from
United with a cool finish.
Coventry still had time to produce the goal of the game
through Youssef Chippo, an
unstoppable volley, but United refused to be denied. Harry Kewell's
neat build-up laid on a golden opportunity for Michael Bridges, who crashed a
shot home before Bowyer could steal the ball from his feet. "I was aware
of Lee Bowyer steaming in for the kill, I just thought 'there's no way you're
having that one, mate'. It was like a game of basketball out there, end-to-end
stuff with the ball constantly in the net." said Bridges.
rounds Youssef Chippo Harry Kewell out-heads Richard Shaw
Lee Bowyer, Darren Huckerby, Ian Harte (penalty) and
Michael Bridges were the United scorers
Gary McAllister (penalty), John Aloisi and Youssef Chippo replied for Coventry City Harry Kewell
set up the final goal
Lucas Radebe or David
Hopkin was adjudged to have handled David Batty was fouled for the Leeds penalty
Magnus Hedman was in
the Coventry City goal
Barry Quinn and Marc Edworthy were the
Richard Shaw and Paul Williams were in central defence Future United star Robbie Keane and
led the line.
Mustapha Hadji and
Steve Froggatt were in midfield with Goalkeeper, Raffaele
Nuzzo, and Mo Konjic
were unused substitutes
Gary McAllister and Youssef
Gavin Strachan, son
of Leeds legend Gordon, Marcus Hall and Gary McSheffrey
were the substitutes