Date: Sunday, 17th November 2002.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
English Premier League.
United 2 Bolton Wanderers 4
United: Smith, Kewell. Bolton
Wanderers: Pedersen (2), Djorkaeff, Ricketts (pen).
Leeds United: Robinson; Kelly, Woodgate,
Lucic (Duberry), Wilcox; Barmby, Burns, McPhail (Milner), Kewell; Smith, Viduka. Unused
Subs: Bridges, Richardson, Martyn.
Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen;
Barness, Campo, N’Gotty (Tofting), Mendy; Okocha, Frandsen, Nolan
(Ricketts), Charlton; Djorkaeff, Pedersen. Unused
Subs: Holdsworth, Smith, Poole
Referee: Mr A. Wiley (Burntwood, Staffordshire).
Leeds United’s roller-coaster season continued at Elland Road against the Premiership's bottom
club. After the high of Florence in the previous week, United's season hit another low as Bolton Wanderers hauled
themselves away from the foot of the table with a clinical display. Enforced
changes meant it wasn't the same United side which
destroyed Hapoel Tel-Aviv three days earlier and too
many vital ingredients were missing against Bolton.
showed few of the traits that saw them go into the clash on the back of scoring
eight goals in recording back-to-back victories, even if they did have their
moments. They did show plenty of character in hauling themselves back into the
game twice after Bolton had gone ahead, but it wasn't enough to pull off a much-needed home
win. The game had been seen as the ideal opportunity for United to set the
record straight in front of the Elland Road faithful. They had showed guts,
skill and determination in winning two games on the road and struggling Bolton were viewed as the perfect tonic by
the success-starved home fans. If only life was so predictable.
Bolton belied their lowly status by
hitting Leeds where it hurts, four times, and
they were worthy winners. The battle was won in the centre of the park where Bolton dominated possession and created
far more than their hosts. Jay Jay Okocha was at his inventive
best while Per Frandsen and Kevin Nolan linked up
well with the lively attacking pairing of Youri Djorkaeff and Henrik Pedersen.
contrast, Harry Kewell was United's
biggest threat in the centre of the park while Jason Wilcox, playing at
left-back, and Gary Kelly pushed forward well on the flanks. But there was a
spark missing from United's play and Bolton played with an unerring confidence
given the fact that they seem destined for a season of struggle. United were
guilty of some sloppiness at the back, but Gary Kelly and Jason Wilcox grafted
tirelessly and Jonathan Woodgate and Teddy Lucic made some timely interventions to deny the visitors.
Paul Robinson, who was guilty of conceding a late penalty which gave Bolton a
lead they wouldn't surrender, also made a tremendous save from point blank
range to deny Youri Djorkaeff.
Alan Smith's commitment and effort went without saying, but United failed to
hold onto the ball long enough to give their strikers the service they badly
needed. The injury crisis and the absences of Danny Mills and Lee Bowyer had
played a part in United's downfall, but they had now
lost five of their seven home games and Elland Road was a fortress no more.
Bolton clearly knew that they could rattle
the home side by going for the jugular and it took less than three minutes for
the visitors to make their mark. Referee Alan Wiley played advantage after
Jacob Burns chopped down Kevin Nolan and Youri Djorkaeff seized on the loose ball to feed Henrik Pedersen who stroked home past the helpless Paul Robinson
with United's defence at
sixes and sevens. United's response was
instantaneous. Stephen McPhail found Harry Kewell and his pull back was met by the defiant boot of the
in-form Alan Smith.
entertainment went, the game died a slow death after the opening four minutes
with both sides failing to keep possession long enough to create any serious
chances. But Leeds attempted to light up the second
half and Mark Viduka was twice denied by tremendous
tackles while Alan Smith showed great skill to create an opening out of
nothing. Bolton were in no
mood for giving up either, though, and Henrik
Pedersen rattled the inside of the upright with a stinging drive after showing
Jonathan Woodgate a clean pair of heels.
the crescendo came in a storming final ten minutes which saw Bolton finally emerge victorious. A lovely
move involving Jay-Jay Okocha and Henrik
Pederson saw Youri Djorkaeff
make it 2-1 to the visitors before Alan Smith and Mark Viduka
showed some neat touches to allow Harry Kewell to
hammer home a second immediate equaliser. Three
minutes from time Bolton were back in front again after Paul Robinson brought
down Michael Ricketts and the Bolton substitute converted a cheeky penalty to
all but end Leeds' hopes. That should have been it, but there was still time
for the impressive Henrik Pedersen to rifle home a
left foot volley after Stig Tofting's
cross to pile the misery on for Leeds.
goal was the cue for the home supporters to vent their frustrations again and,
not for the first time that season, chants of "Venables
out" emanated from the Gelderd End. It was
certainly clear that Terry Venables was fighting a
battle on all fronts and Elland Road wasn't providing any welcome relief.
It was another case of two steps forward and one step back for Leeds, and with Tottenham
and Robbie Keane lying in wait the following weekend the games were not getting
any easier. Having said that, with Teddy Lucic
limping out of this game, then neither was United's
Henrik Pedersen opens the scoring for Bolton and celebrates with Youri Djorkaeff
Smith celebrates his equaliser with Nick Alan Smith gets equaliser
and salutes fans
Barmby, Mark Viduka and Jason Wilcox
Smith is congratulated by Nick Barmby, Mark Viduka, Jacob Burns, Jonathan Woodgate,
Jason Wilcox and Harry Kewell
James Milner came on as substitute
Harry Kewell gets his shot in despite the challenge of Ivan Campo
and Bernard Mendy
Alan Smith on his haunches
Woodgate, Mark Viduka and
Nick Barmby hang their heads at the end of the game
Woodgate, Michael Duberry,
Mark Viduka and Jacob Burns on the pitch and Roy Aitken, Eddie Gray, Terry Venables
Kidd in the dug-out are glum
Smith and Harry Kewell scored for United,
while Henrik Pedersen (2) Yori
Djorkaeff and Michael Ricketts
(penalty) scored for Bolton Gary Kelly and Jason Wilcox, the
United full backs, grafted tirelessly
Jacob Burns chopped down
Robinson conceded the penalty
and Jonathan Woodgate made timely interventions
Mark Viduka showed neat touches
started the move for the first goal
Mills and Lee Bowyer were sorely missed
Robbie Keane was to
be United’s next foe
Jussi Jaaskalainen was in goal Anthony Barness
and Bernard Mendy Stig Tofting and future United player
were the full-backs
Ricketts were the used substitutes
Bruno N’Gotty and Ivan Campo were in central defence Youri Djorkaeff and Henrik Pedersen
were the strikers
Jay Jay Okocha, Per
Fransen, Kevin Nolan and Simon Charlton started in
Smith, Kevin Poole and Dean Holdsworth were the