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This Season 
 Match Report 2001-02 - Leeds United (h) 

This report is brought to you by a healthy choice chicken salad sarnie.
Newcastle United - fat trimmed off, tasty wings (sometimes) 
(click on food for details)

Sat 12th January 2002, 3.00pm.

Venue: St. James' Park 

Conditions: Exhilarating


Newcastle United 3 - 1 Leeds United


Please note: Those lovely people at the FA sent us yet another snotty letter (we're building up a fair collection now) threatening us with legal proceedings for linking to MPEG clips of the goals. Unfortunately, we have had to remove the links but we spoke to the FA and they are happy for you to shut down your browser, open it again and type the address. (How ridiculous is that...?) 

We would like to fully acknowledge the part played by PremiumTV and/or Newcastle United Football Club in keeping the FA fully informed of possible copyright infringements on, our gratitude knows no bounds. However, can we respectfully suggest that their time would be better served by attending the craphole laughingly called the official site, rather than hounding us....

27 seconds Almost before anyone had drawn breath, Leeds had kicked off, lost and regained possession and seen Viduka head the ball forward for Smith to run on to. Leaving Dabizas trailing in his wake, he headed into the box and blasted a strong shot past the helpless Given.  0-1

(An MPEG clip of the goal may be available at this web address:

44 mins After a period of Newcastle pressure had brought no reward, a cross from the right flank by Bellamy got the merest of touches from the head of Solano and fell perfectly for Duberry to power a straight header into his own goal, under no pressure from a Newcastle attacker.  1-1

(An MPEG clip of the goal may be available at this web address:

Half time: Newcastle 1 Leeds 1

60 mins The Magpies scored another classically simple but devastatingly effective goal against Leeds when Dyer brought the ball upfield before laying it off and continuing his forward run. When the ball was played by Solano in to Bellamy on the edge of the Leeds box with his back to goal, he simply chested it into the path of Dyer, who converted with a low shot into the bottom right of the goal. his celebration consisted of uprooting the same corner flag that Tino had seized against Metz, only instead of sticking his shirt on it, wor Kieron mimed a golf chip into the crowd. Showing some common sense for once, the referee refrained from booking the player but sent him back to replace the corner flag before the game resumed.  2-1

(An MPEG clip of the goal may be available at this web address:

87 mins A strong header out of defence from Distin dropped for Bellamy, who found the advancing Dyer on the United right before haring off in the direction of the Gallowgate goal. Dyer supplied a perfectly-weighted pass for the Welshman, who shot low to Martyn's left and buried the ball in the same corner of the goal as Dyer.  3-1

(An MPEG clip of the goal may be available at this web address:

Full time: Newcastle 3 Leeds 1

We Said

Uncle Bobby said: 

"It has been a hell of a week for David O'Leary.

"He didn't need to come here, after losing a dramatic FA Cup tie at Cardiff, and play this sort of game.

"He lost Rio Ferdinand to injury and then Robbie Fowler, so with respect, he could have done with a much more simpler game rather than facing a side challenging for the championship."

"It was a high-quality, high-temper match but there were too many fouls littered through it," added Robson.

"There was a lot of persistent fouling and the referee must have thought 'It will be handy to take some names'."

About Dyer:

Dyer was sent home felling unwell on Friday. We did not know whether he would be fit to play but he gave a great performance. I don't know where he gets his energy. Nobody can stay with him. Sven will know he has another brilliant player to add to his squad. There's another 20% to come on what was seen there.

About Bellamy's booking:

"It wasn't a dive."

"Referees have to get this right. I appreciate he may have been looking at it from a different angle, but they have to make an honest decision for an honest player and a good decision for a dishonest player.

"It wasn't a foul. It wasn't a dive, It wasn't a penalty, so play on.

"But they are under so much pressure sometimes from the media and sometimes from the match assessor in the stand, that every time a player goes down they have to decide whether it's a dive or not. On this occasion it wasn't."

On the title:

I still feel we cannot win it. We are close to Arsenal and Manchester United but I still think those two head the field. We'll keep quiet about it and just try to keep going.

They Said

David O'Leary said 

"The lads playing have done marvelously but we seem to be losing big players every week."

"Newcastle deserved to win today and good luck to them.

"We got a good start thanks to Alan Smith's goal, but then lost our way and although we were a bit unlucky with the own goal for their equaliser and we gave away a poor second goal.

"We had a good little spell after we went down to ten men and Mark Viduka could have grabbed a second goal for us, but then we let in another poor goal which finished the game.

"I know we are now going to be without key players and we must get some of injured stars back.

"But I am still happy at where we are in the league and if we can get our class players back I'm still confident we can go on and push for a top four finish."

about Danny Mills:

"I will deal with him internally." [We hope this refers to some medical procedure....]

"We have a former referee in Steve Lodge to help us out and does well for us, but players when they go out onto the pitch, despite all the talking to them, have to look after themselves.

"Danny Mills did not do that. I cannot condone what he did. The referee was spot on.

"I am getting worried about the suspensions, and now we have got a right-back who is going to be out for a few games, someone you would want playing in your team.

"It is no good having him miss games for stupidity like that. In a game of football you don't want that."

Match Stats

Four times we've beaten Leeds in succession now, and in all four games we've come from behind - that's damn impressive.

Our second league double of the season, after having done the trick against the smogs.   

One day short of a year since Kieron Dyer scored his last goal - also in a 3-1 win at St.James' Park (against Coventry.)

Alan Shearer was unable to mark his 150th league start for Newcastle by scoring in a seventh successive game, but didn't seem overly bothered. Nearest he came was a close-range far post header in the first half that struck the woodwork - however he was adjudged to have impeded an opponent when moving toward the cross.

Robbie Elliott almost scored on his 100th league game.

We extended our record of scoring in every league game to a run of 13 league matches - previous best under Robson was 6.


While the Premier League continue to dream up ever-more ludicrous ways of separating fans from their hard-earned cash, along comes yet another game that reminds those present and watching all over the planet what a bloody marvellous product they have to exploit.

Teams of scriptwriters, choreographers and the most eminent Hollywood directors couldn't have come up with a more irresistible plotline than that which unfolded at St.James' Park on Saturday, and bucking the celluloid tradition, this sequel to the first Clash of the Northern United's was even more rip-roaring than the first version had been in December.

While Bobby's heroes once again overcame all the odds and ended up with the plaudits, for the sinister bad guy and his wild bunch, recriminations and infighting were the order of the day - like the Borgias with bovver boots, you wouldn't want to live next door to this family.

After seeing the miserable whinger Trevor Francis endure a fruitless afternoon before sliding back to his latest bolt hole the previous Saturday, it was the turn of David O'Bleary to stand in front of the post-match cameras and struggle to invent more instances of the perceived vendetta against him and his side. At least he didn't have to worry about meeting Freddy Shepherd in the car park for a dust up though, and rather than 20,000 Welshman making his life uncomfortable, it was just two this time - Speed and Bellamy.  

The day had started with the veteran toon boss receiving his award for steering us through a December which will live long in the memory, and then presiding over a demolition job par excellence, save for the inevitable slapstick opening 30 seconds - this is Newcastle of course, where the phrase operation own goal was first coined.

Quite simply Newcastle were stunning - encouragingly positive and driven during the first half and single-mindedly intent after the break on dismantling their supposed rivals. It's to their considerable credit that they triumphed through sheer force of will and superior footballing ability, against an opposition who appeared to be auditioning for places in the Leeds Rhinos Rugby League side. Quite simply they were a disgrace, and were it not for the competent and fair-minded performances put in by Woodgate and Bowyer, things would be been very grim indeed for them. An afternoon of lunges, kicks, elbows, tantrums and time-wasting was only punctuated by a tremendous goal in the opening seconds, and industrious work from the afore-mentioned notorious duo.

As has been the case on previous momentous occasions in this unfolding season of delight, the three points were secured thanks to graft and commitment from the whole side. Given didn't have much to do, but saved us at 2-1 with a remarkable smothering of the ball, while his defence recovered from earlier difficulties to look more competent as the game went on. Dabizas laboured manfully to compensate for his lack of pace, while O'Brien looked clearly shattered when he was replaced late on. Hughes benefited from a solid shift put in by Solano, who didn't languish on the halfway line when not in possession, but was continually tracking backward and forward. Even the perceived weak link Elliott had a good day, with some enterprising forward runs and a series of probing and accurate passes on his 100th league appearance. He also galloped forward to try his luck with a shot, but it fell to his right foot and passed harmlessly wide of the goal.

Midfield was as keenly contested as expected, with Speed once again excelling in a central role, while Dyer defied an apparent illness to cruise up and down the mud heap of a pitch and stay away from the boots of Batty (time for him to pack in, nothing positive about him at all now, just spitefulness) while playing killer balls. Out on the left Robert certainly looked as if he was trying to bring himself into the play, rather than stranded forlornly waiting for a pass out on the left, and after an early smack in the mouth from Mills that had him spitting blood on the turf, he did well to keep going as he did.  However, there must be more to come from him, and he shared the Bellamy trait of getting to the byline and being unable to find a black and white shirt.

And as for our Welsh dragon, another typical day at work for him. An early booking for what the referee saw as a dive to claim a penalty, some frustrating work in front of goal (another 1:1 ballsed up) and the usual running commentary. Oh, and some devastating forward running and dribbling, an assist for Dyer's goal and a tremendous finish for a deserved goal to seal the win.

Finally there was the record-chasing Shearer, who didn't score but hit a post and had an afternoon of toil against Duberry and Woodgate with some reward - one great leap took him beyond two defenders to nod down a perfect ball for Speed, who should have scored but screwed his shot wide to his obvious anguish. While his name didn't appear on the scoresheet for a 7th consecutive game, his presence was vital and allowed the younger lads with good engines to do their stuff around him while he won free-kicks and diverted the attention of the Leeds backline.

So, regardless of what else is to come and where we end up, a team and a manager to be proud of, playing an irresistible brand of football and prospering as a result. As long as we can maintain our standards and be as motivated against "smaller" teams the future looks bright, whether we're top or not.

PS - The home crowd at last found their voices and provided a fitting backdrop, while the Leeds fans gave up singing as the afternoon progressed and some devoted their attentions to racially abusing Duberry or throwing missiles down on the toon fans below. Not much different to the team then - bad losers.

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Page last updated 14 July, 2016