Date: Sunday, 10th November 2002.
Park, West Ham.
English Premier League.
Score: West Ham
United 3 Leeds United 4
Scorers: West Ham
United: Di Canio (2, 1pen),
Sinclair. Leeds United: Barmby,
Kewell (2), Viduka.
West Ham United: James;
Dailly, Repka (Schemell), Pearce, Winterburn; Lomas (Cisse), Carrick, Cole,
Sinclair; Di Canio, Defoe.
Unused Subs: Minto, Camara, Van De Gouw.
Leeds United: Robinson; Kelly, Radebe,
Lucic, Harte; Barmby, Bakke, Bowyer, Wilcox
(Milner); Viduka (Bridges), Kewell
(McPhail). Unused Subs: Duberry,
Referee: Mr S. Dunn (Avon, Gloucestershire).
United had suffered a
succession of embarrassing defeats, including a master-class at the hands of
Arsenal at Elland Road as their season started to
fall apart. They suffered further embarrassment being knocked out of the League
Cup at Bramall Lane, the previous Wednesday and they
went into this game knowing that if they lost to West Ham they would be level
with them and firmly anchored in the relegation zone.
gain was the order of the day for Leeds United at West Ham yesterday, but Terry
Venables' side were made to
work hard to come away with the much-needed points. To say United romped to
victory would be an overstatement. Leeds played their best football of the season in a
devastating opening spell that should have put the Hammers beyond reach, but
finished the game clinging on after a fight-back from the hosts. It was another
game of two halves where Leeds
took control for forty-five minutes then lost their way when under pressure and
were forced to dig deep in the closing moments to
prevent the Hammers from completing a stunning comeback.
Boss Venables was simply relieved to leave Upton Park
with a first Premiership win since September, but knew there was still plenty of work to be done
after some of his side appeared to take an early leave. In the first half, Leeds made a mockery of their recent poor
run and seized upon some awful defending by the home side. West Ham boss Glenn
Roeder was coming under increasing pressure and, for the first forty-five
minutes at least, there was a fear factor in evidence among his shell-shocked
troops. But Leeds still needed to capitalise
and they did that to great effect by playing their best football of the season.
Terry Venables stuck with the 4-4-2 system used against Sheffield
United on Wednesday night and United were in complete control by half-time.
Harry Kewell was looking more at ease by the week in
a striking role and he was finally rewarded for his efforts yesterday with two
goals. Mark Viduka also worked well to frustrate the
Hammers defence and the burly striker proved a
handful for the over-zealous Tomas Repka, who
appeared to be more interested in fighting than playing. But Leeds also looked strong in midfield.
Jason Wilcox giving added width while Lee Bowyer, Nick Barmby
and Eirik Bakke caused
plenty of problems in the opening forty-five minutes.
back, there is no doubt that Leeds missed the influence of Jonathan Woodgate (groin) and Dominic Matteo
(knee), but Teddy Lucic looked solid and Lucas Radebe was his usual dependable self. Added to that there
was the threat of Gary Kelly pushing forward on the right flank and Ian Harte's set-pieces, and United looked the complete side for
forty-five minutes. More importantly, Leeds enjoyed another missing ingredient yesterday
with Lady Luck definitely coming out to mark Terry Venables'
return to within spitting distance of his Dagenham birthplace.
just twelve minutes for Leeds
to light up the dull east London afternoon when Harry Kewell seized on a poor defensive header by Ian Pearce and
the Aussie's deft chip over David James was met by the head of a lively Nick Barmby. Such was United's early
pressure they had another three opportunities to score before West Ham hit
back. Michael Carrick seized on a poor clearance and an unsighted Paul Robinson
was only able to parry his long-range effort to the feet of Paolo Di Canio who levelled.
That would have been the cue for Leeds to slip back into their shells as in recent
weeks, but with West Ham offering some early Christmas gifts United weren't
going to pass them up.
It was 2-1
before the half-hour when Harry Kewell met Ian Harte's pin-point corner and United's
confidence was lifted again. Harry Kewell's second
goal came four minutes before the break when he rifled home a powerful
right-foot drive and Mark Viduka completed the Leeds scoring after a misunderstanding
between Christian Dailly and David James. That looked
like game over and the frustrated home supporters were already departing the
ground in droves. But things are never quite as they seem with Leeds this term and, just as their fans
were looking forward to a landslide victory, United took their foot off the
pedal and almost allowed the Hammers to steal a share of the points from what
was a truly remarkable game.
While Leeds had dominated the first half and
could afford to ease off, they hadn't banked on West Ham suddenly discovering the
fighting spirit that they have been lacking all season. Paulo Di Canio was brought down by Gary
Kelly just seven minutes into the second half and, while the successful penalty
appeared to be a minor consolation, the Hammers most certainly had their feet
on the bottom rung of the ladder. Paulo Di Canio ran proceedings for the Hammers while Michael Carrick
and Joe Cole were both rejuvenated and proved much bigger threats with the ball
at their feet than when defending.
Leeds looked a spent force and were suddenly penned back in their own half. They only
really escaped once when Mark Viduka opted to go it
alone instead of sending Lee Bowyer into the clear. The Hammers bashed away and
fifteen minutes from time they reduced the arrears further when Trevor Sinclair
headed home a Sebastien Schemmel
free-kick. It was bite your fingers time for Leeds as the Hammers scented a draw but
United managed to hold firm.
Terru Venables even handed sixteen-year-old James Milner his
first taste of Premiership action as Leeds continued their backs-to-the-wall display. But
the final whistle was greeted with relief by the travelling
supporters and frustration by the home fans who felt their side had done enough
to salvage a point. Maybe the Hammers had done enough, but Leeds' first-half performance should have
merited a comfortable victory and there were more signs that Venables' side are heading in the right direction. The win
would certainly have eased the pressure on the Manager going into Thursday's
UEFA Cup clash with Hapoel Tel Aviv, but he would
have still been concerned that his side scored four goals away from home yet
were still forced to hang on.
Mark Viduka salutes
Harry Kewell’s first goal
Viduka powers past Michael Carrick
Paulo Di Canio scores from the spot
Paulo Di Canio shows his delight at scoring
Sebastien Schemmel and Ian Pearce combine to try and
stop Mark Viduka
chops down Harry Kewell in full flight Gary Kelly faces the masked Trevor Sinclair
Nick Barmby cuts out
Terry Venables looks
for divine intervention as West Ham start to get back in the game
Glenn Roeder points the finger at some of his
Terry Venables watched initially from the
Nick Barmby opened
the scoring, Harry Kewell scored twice and Mark Viduka got the Leeds goals
Trevor Sinclair scored the third after Paulo Di Canio had got two, Jason Wilcox added width Paul Robinson was unsighted
including a penalty
for the first goal
Lee Bowyer and Eirik Bakke caused problems in the first half
James Milner came on as a substitute
Dominic Matteo and
Jonathan Woodgate were missing due to injuries Teddy Lucic
looked solid and Lucas Radebe was as dependable
Gary Kelly was a threat down Ian Harte’s
set pieces were Eduard Cisse and Sebastien Schemell came on as
the right a
David James was in goal Christian
Dailly and Nigel Winterburn were the full backs
Tomas Repka and Ian
Pearce started in central defence Paulo Di Canio and Jermain
Defoe were the strikers
Steve Lomas, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and
Trevor Sinclair started in midfield for West Ham
Van Der Gouw, Titi Camara and Scott Minto were the unused substitutes