Leeds United 1 -
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 Game 26
Saturday 20 February 1999
Elland Road, Leeds
|« Middlesbrough (h)||Ref: David Elleray||Wimbledon (h) »|
|1998-99 Fixtures & Results||League Position: 15th||Premiership Results & Table|
|Leeds United:||Korsten (57')|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
|Leeds United:||Martyn, Halle, Wetherall, Radebe, Harte, Haaland, Hopkin, Bowyer (84' Jones), Korsten, Hasselbaink, Kewell (69' Smith).||Wijnhard, Granville, Robinson.|
Myhre; Dunne, Materazzi, Unsworth, Ball; Oster (75' Weir),
Dacourt, Grant (61' Bakayoko), Barmby; Hutchison (c), Jeffers (61'
Unavailable: Bilic, Collins, Branch, Cleland, Farrelly, Ward, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); Gerrard (on loan).
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United:||Haaland (36'), Hasselbaink (90')|||
|EVERTON:||Barmby (30'), Dunne (31'), Materazzi (85')|||
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Les Anderson||Not all Doom and Gloom|
|Jenny Roberts||We deserved something out of this|
|Martin O'Boyle||Great Expectations and Hard Times|
Leeds' Dutchmen bring Everton back to earth
by Trevor Haylett
|THE SUNDAY TIMES||
Korsten goal enough for ragged Leeds
by Michael Hodges
Korsten snaps back
by Tim Collings
O'Leary keeps aiming high
by Steve Tongue
Tired excuses for state of British industry
by Rob Hughes
|OTHER INTERNET REPORTS|
|THE EVERTONIAN||Link to the latest Match Report||
|THE OBSERVER||Link to Football Unlimited Match Report|
|SOCCERNET||Link to SoccerNet Match Report|
|CARLINGNET||Link to CarlingNet Match Report|
|Not all Doom and Gloom|
Far be it for me to try and wax lyrical about the performance yesterday
I was too far gone to be able to recall most of it. But what I can remember
was a Leeds side that just managed to be first to the ball on most occasions.
They fought us at our own game and stifled any space that we may have capitalised on. Jeffers got some rough treatment from David Wetherall and Hutch never really got the chance to hold the ball up to the same effect he'd managed so well in the previous two games. For that, Leeds can be thankful to Lucas Radebe who had a pretty good game in keeping the Everton attack quiet.
It isn't all doom and gloom though. We've sussed a nice watering hole for future away-days at Elland Rd. Not many Blues in attendance but on the whole, like I've found over the last 14 years of my incarceration up here in the land of streets full of washing, the Wools aren't too bad.
A couple of bright spots and in my opinion, not a game to get too disheartened about. Less disciplined sides would have folded under our endeavours but Leeds, if nothing else, are full of discipline and team work.
On the whole: Not so much a bubble bursting as a bringing back down to earth. We performed well against lesser opposition over the past couple of weeks but we're probably some way off being a real threat to the dominance of Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal. But, we seem to be heading in the right direction. And we can take loads of heart from that. I don't think we'll go down on the last three performances I've seen but at the very heart of that is the 4-4-2 formation. We look more like a team and play better as a unit. For an away game we had out fair share of chances and we can only look forward to meeting a stale Wimbledon at home in a weeks time.
Onwards and upwards.
|We deserved something out of this|
Saturday was a completely new experience for me. I had previously managed
the Anfield derby, and several friendlies at Prenton Park, but Leeds was
my first proper away match.
Upon our arrival in Leeds, we encountered an alien landscape. Our quest to find the fictitious "Holbeck" pub may have been fruitless, but wandering the dated streets of Holbeck was a cultural experience. The ancient terraced houses made those surrounding Goodison "look like palaces" as one discoteer commented. The telephone lines which looped from one house to another were bizarrely draped in washing.
Eventually we arrived at the Britannia, and were (thoroughly deservedly) severely reprimanded by Liz for getting lost! The Netley Tactical Assault Squad made it up to the ground, the majority of us missing the kick-off, and lined up, ready for combat, behind the South Stand goal.
As I ascended the gaudily painted yellow steps, I surveyed the ground with curiosity. Leeds only have one half-decent stand and their enormous scoreboard, squashed into a corner, was pretty useless, unless you could twist your head around to a peculiar angle. I was amazed that they appear to have no equivalent of Z-Cars to inspire their players and fans. We were habitually noisy from the very beginning, yet only one small slice of their crowd actually sang. Usually their meagre efforts were composed of an unimaginative "Going Down" or "Stand up if you hate Scousers."
Their team, although strong, hardly appeared a match for the Everton which I had already watched twice that week. However, as predicted, we looked especially tired. The Wednesday scoring spree had evidently taken its toll on Jeffers and Hutchison in particular. Neither of them could produce performances akin to those which they had earlier in the week.
It was refreshing to see Smith insist on the same formation and players, even though Dunne was still pushed out to right back.
The first half showed us to be a worthy contender for the three points, with equal chances for both sides. We jumped to our feet several times in order to applaud Myhre, especially for the save in which he diverted Jimmy Floyd Hasselhof's fierce shot above the crossbar. This earned Myhre several pats on the head, from Hutchison, Dacourt, and others.
Another time, Leeds broke down the wing, and passed John Oster with apparent ease. Tommy managed to get the ball, and began screaming at Oster, infuriated at his lack of concentration. Oster turned around and yelled "Fuck You!" It was nice to see Myhre later pat Oster on the head, to forgive him. However, as the chants of "Tommy, Tommy, Tommy" hardly ceased during the first half, we were evidently on his side.
Richard Dunne, was obviously growing weary at feeding the midfield, only to see his efforts come to nothing, eventually picked the ball up, and raced out of defence with it. He chugged down the right wing, as intimidating as a tank. This was reminiscent of the Sunderland cup game, when he charged down the wing again. Unfortunately, his over-ambitious final ball, which seemed like a combination of a cross and a curling shot, went horrifically wrong, and ended up in the stand.
Franny Jeffers tried to turn the Leeds defenders several times, without success. Usually, the through-ball would be impossible to chase, or his would simply be held by the defender. His frustration was obvious at times, but perfectly understandable. However, Elleray only had eyes for the media darling Harry Kewell, and was hardly sympathetic.
Hutchison broke through the Leeds defence, only to be hassled away from the goal. Martyn saved his tame shot easily.
However, Bally played well at left back. He chased, tackled, brought the ball out of defence with little mishap, and passed accurately. He even resisted the temptation to get involved with an incident involving Hutchison, Dunne and Hasselbaink. It was nice to see Ball keep his temper in check.
Half-time was spent queuing and listening to Leeds's equivalent of Alan Myers, who was sickeningly enthusiastic about everything.
The second half began without changes. We still seemed to match everything that Leeds could offer. Myhre had left us in a state of panic every time he rolled the ball out only for a Leeds attacker to come and pressurize him. Eventually, he kicked very badly under pressure. Leeds picked the ball up, Richard Dunne took a step back, and a Leeds player passed to Hasselbaink. The irony of Dunne's step was that he then became level with Hasselbaink, therefore playing him onside. There was a Leeds player offside, but as he was not involved in the move, pundits would argue that he wasn't interfering with play.
Inevitably, the ball ended up in the back of the net, courtesy of Willem Korsten. The first time I had heard the Leeds fans cheer provoked a definite feeling of discomfort, akin to that when the RS equalised at last year's away Derby. Leeds hardly merited the goal, and that made me even more bitterly miserable. Tommy knew who was to blame, and kicked the goalpost in disbelieving shame.
The goal was shortly followed by a drastic double substitution. Grant and Jeffers were replaced by Danny and Baka. Indeed, Grant had been as ineffective as on Wednesday, but although Jeffers looked tired, he was still our greatest threat. We had just begun to wake up after conceding surely Jeffers could have remained, grabbed an equaliser, and then have been rested? Nevertheless, we were without him. He is, after all, just 18. Burning out our young strikers will not benefit our survival cause at all.
I felt that once Cadamarteri and Bakayoko appeared, we lost our threat. Dacourt's free kick provided a momentary diversion, but Martyn matched it without difficulty. Earlier this week, we had put 5 past another goalkeeper who we had once been linked with. I would have been ecstatic if we had put just one past this guy.
Leeds attacked, seeking a second. Surely Tommy would not comply this time? Fortunately, Hasselbaink chose to calmly place it over the crossbar. We could breathe again.
The final few minutes were unbearable for me. With Everton attacking our end, we saw every single opportunity. Had I not been paralysed with misdirected hope for an equaliser, I would probably have turned away. Everyone (except Myhre, obviously!) seemed to be in the box attacking. Michael Ball adopted a striking role, but his headers were cleared. A perfect Hutchison cross was met by Materazzi. I could almost see the header reach the back of the net, but my victorious cheer was choked, it died in my throat as Hasselbaink headed off the line.
The final whistle was met with elation from Leeds fans. We were distraught. Although we had played appallingly in comparison to our Middlesbrough and Coventry performances, we still deserved something out of that match.
Man Of The Match: Although Michael Ball and Richard Dunne deserve honourable mentions, it goes to Marco for yet another admirable performance at the back with only one real mistake. He also came up to attack when required, and did not argue with Dacourt for taking the free kick.
Tommy may have been at fault for the goal, but it was nothing like the calamitous goalkeeping which saw Liverpool concede a second on Saturday. I took great delight in reminding the Koppites about it all day.....
|Great Expectations and Hard Times|
The last time we beat Leeds away in the league was in 1951. We were a Second
Division club, and my Dad was a teenager. That was a very long time ago.
Naively I thought my presence at Elland Road this season (which was my first
ever away match) might buck the trend... I was wrong.
After asking four different Yorkshiremen for directions (who each said something like; "Eets oop theyre...on right and saade turning left at Libray....") we arrived at the Britannia to meet up with the Netley Crew; only to be informed by Liz that I wasn't the Jarvis Cocker look-alike that she thought I was...(sorry to disappoint you there Liz, but didn't 'Jimmy-Floyd Hasslehoff' have a good game today)?!?!?!
Quickly downing a swift half, we left to find Elland Road. It isn't that easy to miss, but once we arrived there we were not exactly helped by the members of the West Yorkshire Police who sent us on a wild goose chase around the perimeter of the ground. Thanks lads. After the police had their fun I ran through the turnstiles; almost losing Mark Staniford in the process and clambered up the steps to witness my first ever away match...
We were sitting right behind the goal in which Amokachi made himself a hero in that thrilling FA Cup semi-final. The teams had already made their way on to the pitch and were ready to kick off.
Walter had decided to keep with the 4-4-2 formation which had done so well against Coventry and Leeds. My hero Waggy was on the bench along with Weir, Cadamarteri, Bakayoko and Simonsen. The team was the same that lined up on Wednesday night: Dunne occupying an unfamiliar right-back role, Materazzi and Unsworth in the centre of defence, Oster and Barmby out on the wings with Grant and Dacourt in the 'engine room' whilst the profitable partnership of Jeffers and Hutchison continued upfront.
The first half was a pretty even contest. Myhre did well to tip over a goal-bound Hasselbaink effort, whilst Martyn spilled a shot from Dacourt, only for Bowyer to hack clear. Everton's best chance of the half came before half-time when Richard Dunne picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and charged at the Leeds defence. However, at the crucial moment he opted to shoot rather than squaring the ball to Hutchison who was unmarked at the edge of the box. His 60-yard dash had come to nothing and the teams were level at half time.
The fancy scoreboard at Leeds said it all; five shots on target for us... five for Leeds. During the half time interval we were 'entertained' by some very loud car adverts, a cross between Henry Kelly and Eamonn Holmes ,and three fellas in the half-time competition who couldn't hit a cow's backside with a banjo... let alone skillfully thread a ball through the tightest of angles. It was like watching Stuart Barlow all over again....
Both sides trotted out after the interval unchanged and we began the second half brightly. However, a poor clearance from Tommy Myhre found Willem Korsten who slotted home.
That's when it hit me. Having never been to an away match before I was forced to watch thirty-odd thousand joyous, writhing Leeds fans celebrate with each other whilst producing one hell of a racket... it was the only time you could hear them all game. Our 3,000 out-sang their 30,000. However, for once, we were silent. For me, seeing those Leeds fans evoked feelings of vulnerability and anger. We were in the minority... we were behind. These thoughts soon turned to: COME ON LADS... LET'S DO 'EM!
I didn't have time to bask in my own self-righteous pity.... we'd won a free kick. Again, Ollie's effort was poor. Today, a number of players were below-par, but as Mark Staniford pointed out, "When Ollie and Hutch don't 'play', neither do we." How true this was.
Smith tried to rectify the situation by bringing on Cadamarteri and Bakayoko for Jeffers and Grant, the latter having a real 'mare. However, this strike-force was frustrating and largely ineffective; Danny being caught offside on a number of occasions and Bakayoko just coasting through the game. He may have saved us at Bristol, but the man lacks pride and fight. If anything goes wrong, he whines.
I'm far too young to remember Dave Hickson, but apparently he played through a game with concussion and stated: "I'd run through a brick wall to play for Everton." Andy King said: "He'd crawl through glass.." Are you listening Ibrahima?
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink squandered the chance of the season when he fired over from 12 yards with an open goal gaping at his mercy. That brought some light relief for us as it was replayed on the giant screen, but that joy was short lived with the disgraceful behaviour of the stewards around us.
I'd often heard reports about how away fans have been 'bullied' by away stewards and today was no exception. After the ball had been cleared out of play during the second half, it seemed like none of the away stewards could be bothered to throw the ball back on to the pitch. An Evertonian got out of his seat, picked the ball up, threw it back and returned to his seat, only to be escorted out of the ground for his 'trouble.' He was being treated like some sort of criminal.
Davey Weir came on for John Oster, and the Blues reverted to a 5-3-2 formation. In the dying minutes of the match we had our best chances of the game: Barmby fired over from a Hutchison corner, and then in the final seconds Materazzi's goalbound header was headed off the line by Hasselbaink.
The final whistle sounded amid a chorus of cheers from the Leeds fans which I'd hardened myself for. Leaving Elland Road, I paused for a while to take a look at what was left from my first trip with the Blues... an experience which will live with me until my dying day. It was a shame that we didn't come home with a share of the spoils but to be fair, Leeds shaded the match.
Walking through the streets of terraced houses and seeing washing hanging across the roads it reminded me of a setting for a Dickensian novel. Some sort of a cross between my Great Expectations and the Hard Times which followed.....
MOTM: Richard Dunne. Full of commitment, pride and passion in an unfamiliar position.
|Leeds' Dutchmen bring Everton back to earth|
|Trevor Haylett, Electronic Telegraph|
IT would be wrong to classify Everton as a free-scoring outfit just yet.
After surprising themselves as well as the rest of the Premiership by hitting
five against Middlesbrough on Wednesday, they returned to familiar territory
yesterday, although this blank did not reflect another improved performance.
However, had Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink not been positioned on the line to nod away Marco Materazzi's header with a minute left, Everton would have been celebrating another precious point to ward off relegation fears.
It was Hasselbaink who also set up the only goal for fellow Dutchman Willem Korsten, a left-sided attacker on loan until the end of the season. He produced a calm finish in the 56th minute which extended the Merseysiders run without success in league games here which dates back to 1951.
Within 10 seconds Ian Harte attempted to reproduce his piece of magic from a week ago, when his diagonal run from the left of touch line and right-foot shot earned Leeds an FA Cup replay against Tottenham. This time he could not quite generate the power and Thomas Myhre was able to collect without fuss.
That moment aside, little evidence emerged early on that Leeds had celebrated a convincing midweek success; nothing was flowing in their game and scant encouragement came from the way the towering Materazzi was dealing with their attacks.
Everton were not slow to push players forward on the counter and John Oster was bright and threatening down the right as he continued to gather confidence from an extended run in the side. However, it was not until the 23rd minute that they launched their first serious assault on goal. Nick Barmby heading over after Nigel Martyn's two-fisted punch had barely parried beyond the edge of the penalty area.
Shortly before that David Wetherall's presence in the opposing area to try to meet a long throw led to a slow, downward volley from Hasselbaink which bounced into the turf and demanded an upraised arm from Myhre to send it over for a corner.
The best chances continued to arrive for Everton. Martyn failed to hold a fierce Olivier Dacourt drive but no blue shirts were on hand to take advantage. The Frenchman, now coming in from the right hand side, was perilously close to the target with Martyn beaten and when Lucas Radebe found himself hustled out of possession, Don Hutchison saw his effort clear the angle of post and bar by inches.
Everton would have gone into the interval confident that they could achieve a third successive victory. Yet it was a different Leeds that took the field for the second half, their desire no doubt questioned by their manager in the dressing room and within 10 minutes they had taken the lead.
Korsten found his fellow Dutchman Hasselbaink with a pass and then made tracks into the penalty area to receive the return. Korsten's finish was then nicely directed beyond Myhre who tried in vain to narrow the angle.
Everton's response was to send on both Ibrahima Bakayoko and Danny Cadamarteri but Leeds' confidence was on the rise and both Korsten and Hasselbaink had chances to seal victory.
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph|
|Korsten goal enough for ragged Leeds|
|by Michael Hodges, The Sunday Times|
"I'M NOT," claimed the Leeds manager David O'Leary, "fooled by our present
position." Odd, because those of us who thought Leeds were a good side were
fooled for most of the game.
It was attractive enough if you like your football quick with one in five passes completed. Otherwise it was ugly. Both sides started the game seemingly incapable of passing through, by or beyond the opposition's back four. So what we got was something of an awful grind enlivened by briefly pleasurable moments from the youngsters.
Prodigies were out in numbers; for Everton John Oster nipped in and out, for Leeds Lee Bowyer was as lively as ever, but too often casual endeavour was mistaken for skill.
Everton listless, Leeds half-cocked, could these really be the teams that between them demolished Middlesbrough and beat Aston Villa away only days before? The compulsion to shout "somebody do something" became compulsive with the realisation that Ian Harte's early shot might be the only thrill on offer.
Then somebody did something simple, but it pierced the slumber. Alf-Inge Haaland's throw-in from the right was glanced on in the area and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, doing well to get over the ball, smashed his volley in the ground and up. Thomas Myhre saved well, but rather than taking this as a cue for dominance, Leeds proved to be just as open to mischance at the back.
The whole Leeds defence looked up at a ball Don Hutchison should have killed when it dropped and, Lucas Radebe's presence of mind aside, Nick Barmby's occasional trips from the left appeared to frighten everybody. Luckily for Leeds he failed to take advantage.
Everton did have a shot when Olivier Dacourt wandered up to prod straight at Nigel Martyn and it was a mark of how bad things were getting that the goalkeeper's fumble, if not quite high drama, qualified as an incident.
What else had O'Leary said? "We can go on and create an era as successful as Don Revie's." Not like this, and possible criticisms of Revie's Leeds sides apart they did, at least, have guts. Hutchison has them and his dipping shot heralded some Everton pressure.
Leeds had to stir and when Hasselbaink opted to give rather than take, Willem Korsten accepted happily. Slipping past Marco Materazzi, he hit the ball low and beyond Myhre after 55 minutes. So that was what Leeds needed, and once Hasselbaink realised it he went on to barge and pass his way through Everton.
Soon Korsten, still elated by his first goal for Leeds, was through again, shooting wide in a scramble. Hasselbaink shot wide himself as well, but the general effect was that of laxatives on a constipated stomach; at last we were getting some movement.
Increasingly it was Bowyer and Harry Kewell who prompted it. Kewell surged, Bowyer distributed and Korsten ran off the arrangement as the fancy took him. Why O'Leary chose this moment to take Kewell off was moot until his replacement, Alan Smith, showed just how alarmingly good he is.
Too good for Richard Dunne, who kicked him in the face. And too good for Hasselbaink, who put his lay-off, after a fantastic run, over the bar. Although the visitors had a shot cleared off the line, Leeds refused to yield.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|Korsten snaps back|
|by Tim Collings, The Independent on Sunday|
A fiercely competitive contest, filled with bone-jarring tackles and decorated
by four bookings, saw Leeds' on-loan striker Willem Korsten mark his first
home start with the goal which allowed them to claim a hard-earned but
barely-deserved victory at Elland Road yesterday.
Everton, full of spirit, deserved better and almost snatched an equaliser in the final minute when the substitute Danny Cadamarteri saw a header cleared off the line by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Not only the history books were against the Toffees this time.
Despite recent suggestions that this traditionally dour and often goalless fixture might turn from ugly duckling into swan (the evidence being supplied by Everton's rediscovery of the scoring art against Middlesbrough in midweek), the first 20 minutes were as moribund as could be imagined.
A swirling breeze, which made ordinary players look clumsy, resulted in a charmless scuffle. The ball, as so often when conditions are difficult, was treated like an enemy object. Players ran helter-skelter into blind corridors and the width of the pitch was abandoned in favour of a grinding physical contest in midfield.
Old feuds from last September's encounter, which saw Oliver Dacourt sent off, were rekindled with Lee Bowyer snapping everywhere like a latter-day Billy Bremner. In only the second minute he was lucky to escape for jumping on Dacourt. Bowyer received just a warning, but it set the tone.
Hasselbaink had lifted home hopes with a hooked volley which forced Thomas Myhre into a diving one-handed save before the real beastliness began. Nick Barmby, for a late challenge on Gunnar Halle, Richard Dunne, for an offence on Korsten, and then Alf-Inge Haaland, for colliding into Dacourt, were shown referee David Elleray's yellow card in a six-minute spell.
It resulted in Everton taking slight control with Dacourt thumping in three long-range shots. The first flew wide, the second rebounded off Nigel Martyn's chest and the third shaved a post. When Don Hutchison's drive thundered only inches too high, it confirmed that the Merseysiders were in the driving seat.
Of course, it did not stay that way. David O'Leary's team began the second half with much more purpose. Their temperaments under control, they began to let their football talk and, after 55 minutes, took the lead. Hasselbaink's pace and muscle created the chance in an interchange with Korsten, the on-loan Dutchman from Vitesse, who finished with a well-steered shot across Myhre.
Within five minutes, Bowyer sent Korsten clear and only a tackle from Richard Dunne saved Everton. The manager Walter Smith sent on Ibrahima Bakayoko and Cadamarteri for Tony Grant and Francis Jeffers, but Hasselbaink was the man who continued to shine.
|Report © The Independent|
|O'Leary keeps aiming high|
|by Steve Tongue, The Independent|
If the Football Managers' Association was to introduce an award at its annual
end of season bash for "Most Promising Newcomer", there would be few contenders
to challenge David O'Leary of Leeds.
[Blah, blah, blah... Crap about O'Leary and Leeds deleted protect your sanity Ed]
The goal-scorer was Hasselbaink's fellow-countryman Willem Korsten, secured on loan from Vitesse Arnhem until the end of the season with an option to buy, that will certainly be taken up on this form. His promise brought some life to an otherwise dull afternoon in which a more familiar Everton took over again from the wolves in sheep's shirts who had Middlesbrough cowering at Goodison last week.
Their new striking partnership of Francis Jeffers and Don Hutchison achieved nothing and had to give way after an hour to the previously discredited pair, Ibrahima Bakayoko and Danny Cadamarteri, who were equally unsuccessful. Nick Barmby, having remembered how to hit the target in midweek, promptly forgot again and it was a defender, Marco Materazzi, whose header forced Hasselbaink's late clearance.
Left dangling three points above the relegation places, Everton's manager, Walter Smith, professed no interest in other results, arguing: "We can't look at other teams and hope they'll do it for us."
|Report © The Independent|
|Tired excuses for state of British industry|
|by Rob Hughes, The Times|
TIME changes everything. Back when Kevin Keegan ran like a wound-up toy
and Billy Bremner and Alan Ball inflamed the contests between Leeds United
and Everton England's clubs thrived on industry and an appetite for
matches in midweek and at the weekend. Players preferred extra games to the
drudgery of training. Now playing twice a week is the excuse for anaemic
displays such as that which Leeds and Everton served up before 36,344
short-changed customers at Elland Road.
The injury lists are long, young replacements are entitled to some inconsistency, but Leeds, for heaven's sake, are fifth in the FA Carling Premiership. Both managers blamed the strain of midweek, although each had enjoyed handsome, presumably invigorating, victories. Yet this game started tentatively, then slowed into a torpor that Bremner, surely, would have taken by the scruff of the neck.
Leeds, admittedly without seven wounded senior players, got their excuses in first, through the programme notes of David O'Leary, the manager, who said that his lads had been over-achieving. The bright young things who had cut such a vivacious rhythm could not be burdened with sustaining it. O'Leary also suggested that unless he can sign five players of quality before the transfer deadline next month, the challenge for Europe through the league is unrealistic. Nevertheless, a goal from Willem Korsten, on loan from Vitesse Arnhem, enabled Leeds to gain on fellow European aspirants Liverpool and Aston Villa.
"The goal and the three points pleased me," O'Leary said, "not much else did. The babies are playing for me, they are doing fantastically well for themselves, but you need 22 quality players to sustain a challenge. Our injury list is frightening and our bench is nowhere near what you see at Chelsea or Man United."
O'Leary's lament was solemnly echoed by Walter Smith whose Everton side, the same XI that beat Middlesbrough 5-0, returned to their customary blues. A header wildly over the bar from Nick Barmby and a shot by Don Hutchison that drifted beyond the far post were the sum total of Everton's first-half efforts.
Leeds were scarcely more enterprising. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink failed to force the ball past Myhre's left hand. Hasselbaink had two wake-up calls, one in the dressing-room, one on the back of the head where he was stunned by a Marco Materazzi clearance.
Revived, Hasselbaink smartly linked from Hopkin on the halfway line to Korsten sprinting in from the left in the 55th minute. Swift and sturdy, if not yet up to Premiership stamina levels, Korsten struck home a low, angled shot from eight yards. O'Leary has until May to decide whether to offer him a permanent contract.
When Alan Smith joined the attack, Leeds improved and, from Smith's cut-back, Hasselbaink scooped the ball inelegantly high. Hasselbaink later escaped caution for a spiteful lunge at the ankle of Dunne and, in injury time, prevented an equaliser by heading a goalbound effort from Materazzi from beneath the crossbar. It was as close as that.
Everton were not outclassed nor outfought, but Hutchison and Barmby could not reproduce their form of Wednesday and, although Francis Jeffers, slender and precocious, ran imaginatively, he was brushed off the ball lightly. The "boys" may for once be appropriate jargon, but they simply could not raise their game. So memories drifted back to older men, among whom Norman Hunter and Allan Clarke were at the game.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP|
|RESULTS (Game 26)|
|Saturday 20 February 1999|
Arsenal 5 - 0 Leicester City 38,069 Anelka 23,27,45, Parlour 41,49 Blackburn Rovers 1 - 4 Sheffield Wednesday 24,643 McAteer 68 Sonner 20, Rudi 41,44, Booth 82 Coventry City 0 - 1 Manchester United 22,596 Giggs 78 Derby County 0 - 2 Charlton Athletic 27,853 Hunt 64, Pringle 85 Leeds United 1 - 0 Everton 36,344 Korsten 55 Liverpool 2 - 2 West Ham United 44,511 Fowler 21, Owen 45 Lampard 23:pen, Keller 74 Middlesbrough 0 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur 34,687 Nottingham Forest 1 - 3 Chelsea 26,351 Van Hooijdonk 39 Forssell 4, Goldbaek 25,84 Southampton 2 - 1 Newcastle United 15,244 Beattie 16, Dodd 43:pen Hamann 86
|Sunday 21 February 1999|
Wimbledon 0 - 0 Aston Villa 15,582
|LEAGUE TABLE (after 21 February 1999 )|
Club P W D L GF GA GD Pts Manchester United 27 15 9 3 61 28 33 54 Chelsea 26 13 11 2 39 21 18 50 Arsenal 26 13 10 3 34 12 22 49 Aston Villa 26 12 8 6 37 27 10 44 Leeds United 26 11 9 6 39 25 14 42 Liverpool 26 11 6 9 49 32 17 39 Derby County 26 9 10 7 25 24 1 37 West Ham United 26 10 7 9 29 38 -9 37 Wimbledon 25 9 9 7 29 35 -6 36 Newcastle United 26 9 7 10 34 35 -1 34 Middlesbrough 26 7 12 7 33 36 -3 33 Sheffield Wednesday 25 9 5 11 31 24 7 32 Tottenham Hotspur 25 7 11 7 29 31 -2 32 Leicester City 25 7 9 9 25 34 -9 30 Everton 26 6 9 11 19 28 -9 27 Charlton Athletic 26 6 8 12 31 37 -6 26 Blackburn Rovers 26 6 8 12 27 36 -9 26 Coventry City 26 6 6 14 24 37 -13 24 Southampton 25 6 5 14 25 48 -23 23 Nottingham Forest 26 3 7 16 22 54 -32 16