22nd February 2003, 3.00pm
skies, except above the boardroom....
17 mins Laurent Robert chipped a
measured pass to Alan Shearer on the edge of the area. Al chested it down and
played in Kieron Dyer, who timed his run perfectly before steadying himself and
lashing a left foot shot between Paul Robinson and his near post. 1-0
Half time: Leeds
0 Newcastle 1
48 mins Craig Bellamy scampered
through the middle before finding Kieron Dyer on the left edge of the box.
Shearer ran outside him, but the midfielder held onto the ball before
slotting a low curling effort inside the far post to
the delight of the travelling support massed behind that goal. 2-0
54 mins The Magpies took advantage of the referee ignoring the linesman
signalling a Titus Bramble foul on Alan Smith at the other end of the field.
Laurent Robert ran with the ball down the left
before Danny Mills pushed him into touch. From the resultant free-kick, a perfect
cross was headed down and in by Alan Shearer who timed a late run perfectly to
move past Michael Duberry. 3-0
Full time: Leeds 0 Newcastle 3
enthused about two-goal Dyer:
"I'm surprised he doesn't score
more in the league because he gets into some great positions, but he just
doesn't put it past the keeper.
"But he has done it three times today, although he hit the post with
the third effort. His second goal was beautifully taken. It was the
sort of goal you would see Robbie Fowler or Thierry Henry take. He made it
look easy when it wasn't.
"But his runs were unbelievable. He saw more of the ball than anybody
else and I just don't know where he gets all his energy from.
"He deserved a hat-trick and Leeds couldn't hang onto him. But he has to
learn to put that ball past the keeper more.
"I thought it was going to be a tricky game for us. It was at 3pm but
just after four it was a little bit different.
"We've done well yet again after coming back following an European
match. We don't seem to let it affect us.
"In the second half we were outstanding, but we squandered some late
chances. If it had been 0-0 late on and we had done that then I would have
been pulling my hair out."
Eddie Gray (in
the absence of the poorly Terry Venables) said:
About the 'Sack the board
"It was disappointing. But it's the
team on the park that dictates the reaction of the crowd and things
don't happen like that when it is you who are winning two or 3-0.
"For 45 minutes we competed reasonably well, but when the second goal
went in it was disappointing to see heads go down and they then took
complete control of the game."
"It's a lesson for our lads because if we want to get back to the top
this is the type of team we have to compete with and in the second half we
didn't do that."
Magpies @ Elland Road
2002/03 Won 3-0 Dyer 2, Shearer
2001/02 Won 4-3 Bellamy, Elliott, Shearer, Solano
2000/01 Won 3-1 Solano, Acuna, Ameobi
1999/00 Lost 2-3 Shearer 2
1998/99 Won 1-0 Solano
1997/98 Lost 1-4 Gillespie
1996/97 Won 1-0 Shearer
1995/96 Won 1-0 Gillespie
1994/95 Drew 0-0 No scorer
1993/94 Drew 1-1 Cole
The three points made Elland Road our most profitable
Our record at Leeds since we
were promoted now reads:
P10 W6 D2 L2
F17 A12 Pts 20
While at Aston Villa it's:
P10 W5 D4 L1
F12 A6 Pts 19
Newcastle have still never lost a game that has followed
a European game under Bobby Robson. The run now stretches to 19.
Apart from seven minutes at Highbury in the FA Cup last
year, Brian Kerr has been something of a lucky charm for us. His record so
Coventry 0 Newcastle 2 (sub 89th min)
Peterborough 2 Newcastle 4 (sub 89th min)
Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0 (sub 83rd min)
Newcastle 4 Zeljeznicar 0 (sub 75th min)
Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0 (played 73 mins)
Newcastle 2 Man City 0 (sub 89th min)
Newcastle 1 Bolton 0 (sub 84th min)
Tottenham 0 Newcastle 1 (played 61 mins)
Leeds 0 Newcastle 3 (played 81 mins)
Saturday's shutout by Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given was his 11th
of the season in the league from 27 games, officially the safest pair of
hands in the Premiership.
Dyer's two goals were his first senior strikes since the
Worthington Cup penalty defeat at home to Everton back in November 2002,
when he also struck twice. His last Premiership goal came in April 2002
in a 3-2 away win at Derby County.
Another formidable display on foreign soil from the black and whites,
as Sir Bobby's birthday bash extended into the weekend.
In truth it's hard to recall a Premiership game in which we've featured
when the opposition were in such disarray by the final whistle and
the Toon fans had sore throats from "oléing" each successful
pass and move.
And had the comparatively proficient BBC been covering the game rather
than the slipshod ITV crew, then there's a good chance Barry Davies or
Motty would have been drawing comparisons with the memorable runaround
Southampton received on this ground in the 1970's.
At a venue that has become an increasingly happy hunting ground in recent
seasons, we reshuffled our resources after the Leverkusen success and once
again came up with an irresistible blend of attacking prowess.
Happily our backline also played their part, with Andy Griffin in
"take no prisoners" mode as he returned to compensate for the
loss of the suspended Bernard. After an early skirmish with Wilcox, the
Leeds player wisely sought to avoid the man known in the club as
"Fred West" and hid behind the Leeds fullback before wimping out
at the interval.
Pre-match media talk had sought to make an issue out of the Woodgate
situation, but with the player remaining on Tyneside and O'Brien, the man
likely to make way excelling in defence, then it was a bit of a dead
The inevitable Woody chants from the toon fans in the early stages didn't
provoke much of a response from a home crowd who appeared to have
undergone a programme of mass sedation, and thereafter only the
increasingly popular Peter Ridsdale song got an airing, interspersed with
our more regular away repertoire.
Early stages of the game saw us easing our way into proceedings, rather
than the turbo-charged opening salvo that has been our trademark on other
occasions. However we still took the lead just after the quarter hour mark
and never really looked likely to be pegged back after that as Leeds heads
Terry Venables had opted to avoid the match with the flu, and although his
club fielded a full side for the game, many of those seemed equally under
the weather and incapable of shaking a leg. A notable exception to this
was Radebe, who once again did his level best to stem the tide and limped
off with twenty minutes remaining after having bravely launched himself to
deny Newcastle at least one certain goal.
Alan Smith also at least had the good grace to look p'ed off about the
whole situation and did what he could by fair means and foul to try and
raise his side and their moribund fans. In the absence of Viduka the
responsibility for leading the line fell to him and he was as robust as
ever, while maintaining the ability to tumble over at the slightest
Having seen his music hall act before though, Alan Wiley was wise to it
and ignored a large proportion of his free-kick seeking antics, as well as
the flag-waving of his linesmen when they attempted to halt play in
After two anxious moments each side of the break when Kewell looked set to
test Given from positions that favoured the attacking side, Newcastle
moved on to what aged hacks always call easy street with a stylish second
While he celebrated along with the toon end, the mood of the home fans
darkened still further and many in the Lurpak Stand were quick to join in
the ironic sack the board chants coming from the away sections, with a few
daubed bedsheets being unfurled as a dry run for the post-match protest by
home fans outside the main entrance.
Enough of the yorkies though, we've done our bit to help them out by
agreeing the wedge of cash for Woodgate. And in return they go away and
give more players undeserved pay increases and contract extensions.
Let's concentrate on the United that matters, and although the deluge of
goals we threatened never appeared, the manner of our second half
performance was one of a side oozing confidence bordering on arrogance as
opponents were brushed aside by what was becoming an irresistible force.
One is almost tempted to say that it was the sort of performance often
seen from Arsene Wenger's side on away grounds, with Dyer's second strike
akin to some of the seemingly effortless goals scored by Henry et al.
Text and radio updates though in the first half had confirmed that Arsenal
were inflicting even greater punishment on Kevin Keegan's side - as we
seem to catch up then so they find an extra gear....
It's worth recalling though that while both our away wins this week were
impressive results and deserved victories, the opposition in both matches
was somewhat dispirited and had taken their eyes off the ball,
But how many times have Newcastle gone to grounds where points seem to be
there for the taking, only to underachieve and hand the initiative to an
inferior side? Far too often we've been the obliging guests dispensing
relief to beleaguered hosts - West Ham away last season still sticks in
the throat, but there are others....
Heartening then to see a toon team in form, playing with a purpose and a
lack of fear and reaping the benefits. It's also reassuring to see that
players are doing their allotted jobs, whether it's their chosen position
or not. While Brian Kerr was unhappy at being forced into a wide right
role when on loan at Coventry, he's giving it his best shot in our first
team, happy just to be involved after a frustrating year or two when
injury saw him fall behind McClen in the pecking order and then the likes
of Jenas appeared.
He would be the first to admit he's not an attacking right-sided player,
but he was deservedly applauded from the field by the toon fans for his
whole-hearted contribution. Also in that category is Aaron Hughes, who
occasionally gets found out by top-class players when employed in a full
back role but slots in with the minimum of fuss and plays his part in a
vastly improved defence among the meanest in the country.
While some mix and match, there are others who have their specific jobs
and they were also earning their keep at Elland Road. Bramble again looked
the part and rode his luck a little as he had in Germany but emerged
unscathed, while Robert kept that goals / assists tally clicking on - now
two converted crosses and one goal in as many games.
On a purely personal note, it was reassuring to see that Robert had
pulled out of his end of year depression that culminated in tossing off a
performance at Wolves and looked to be enjoying proceedings at Leeds as
much as anyone. He also broke with recent tradition and acknowledged the
crowd with smiles and thumbs up while waiting to take a corner -
acknowledgement richly returned by the Mags.
We now genuinely seem to have a squad in place that allows us
flexibility to turn out different forward lines and not worry too much
when key players aren't available about weaker replacements letting the
It's also prudent to remember that with three of the promising players
in Premiership unavailable to us and therefore some £20m+ worth of Viana,
Jenas and Woodgate not on the field, we won at a canter.
Our away record is being repaired game by game - long may it continue as
success breeds success. At present we fear no-one, and while Arsenal seem
to be disappearing over the hill our interest levels in this season
continue to rise - big games on Tyneside interspersed with a massive
Italian jaunt and more mundane but vital visits to Moyes-eyside and that
Exciting times to be watching this team who are growing visibly in front
of us - Sir Bobby is rightly proud and so should the fans be. Appreciate it,
support it, enjoy the moment - like Leeds you never know what the future
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