Football: Leeds celebrate open and Shutt case

Leeds United .........2 VfB Stuttgart ........1

TO THE satisfaction of all but the most one-eyed Stuttgart fan, justice was done in the Catalan capital last night, when an improbable hero finally installed Leeds in the second round of the European Cup.

The third game, which should never have been necessary, was settled after four and a half hours by a player who had been involved for barely a minute. Carl Shutt, a journeyman striker who was on loan to Sheffield United the day the title was won last season, had just replaced Eric Cantona when he scored the 77th-minute winner which sets up the Battle of Britain - Leeds v Rangers - in round two.

Shutt, restricted to just six starts in the championship campaign, and denied a medal, is 31 today. Needless to say, the birthday celebrations started early and went on late.

Utterly deflated last week, when they thought they had been eliminated on the away-goals rule, Leeds made the most of the reprieve, which came with the revelation that Stuttgart had fielded a fourth, ineligible foreigner, and go through strictly on merit. With the exception of a manic second half in Germany, they were the better side over the three games and Howard Wilkinson deserved the champagne he drank to salute his team's achievement.

'A magnificent night, a magnificent result and a terrific performance,' was his justified verdict. 'Now we can look forward to a great all-British tie with Rangers.' Their sense of anticipation will be heightened by the prospect of further progress: Scotland's champions are not as good as Stuttgart.

To claim their place in the second round Leeds needed to assemble a game of two halves - the first half from Germany, where they defended assiduously and created chances on the break, and the second 45 minutes from Elland Road, where they rattled in the goals and had Stuttgart on the run. They got the balance absolutely right.

They had the start they wanted, taking the lead after 34 minutes when Gordon Strachan drove in a handsome 25-yarder, but the Germans equalised five minutes later through Andrei Golke and, as expected, it was nip and tuck.

The 20,000 or so spectators dotted around the Nou Camp created an atmosphere more Wimbledon than Barcelona, but it was the real thing out on the pitch all right.

Away from their Yorkshire fortress, Leeds sought security in an extra defender, recalling Jon Newsome in central defence to the exclusion of Scott Sellars.

The Germans also made a defensive change, recalling Uwe Schneider, who had shackled Cantona effectively in the first game, and was to do so again. The most notable absentee, of course, was Jovo Simanic, the Yugoslav whose brief appearance last week had necessitated the replay.

Chances were few and far between during a cagey opening, but after 13 minutes Thomas Strunz was desperately close to an own goal when he lunged in to cut out David Batty's driven centre and the ball flew only inches over Eike Immel's crossbar.

The Leeds following, in good voice throughout, exhorted the troops with 'Marching on Together', drowning out the larger German contingent. They might have had a penalty to shout about when Strunz halted Gary McAllister's surge into Immel's area with what amounted to a body-check. Penalties have been given for less, but rough justice was done when Strunz immediately retired, limping.

Leeds' first goal attempt of real consequence was delayed until the 29th minute, when Gary Speed dashed into the D, where he was felled by Gunther Schafer. McAllister's free-kick, from 20 yards, was a good one, but Immel's reaction to it was even better, and when he beat the ball out he deserved his good fortune when Chris Fairclough was unable to direct the rebound on to the target.

Promising stuff, and the promise had handsome fulfilment when Strachan fastened on to a loose clearance from Golke and unleashed a crisp shot from the inside-right channel which Immel could only help into his right-hand corner, via the upright.

The Yorkshire hymns of thanksgiving were still in their first verse when Stuttgart hit back, hard. Serbia's Slobodan Dubajic released Alex Strehmel on the right, from where he delivered a precise cross which invited the firm, downward header with which Golke beat John Lukic's dive.

The goals served to enliven the game, with Stuttgart's change in attitude the most marked. Largely passive until they fell behind, they were suddenly full of vim and vigour, and Leeds needed the tackle of the night, by Newsome on Fritz Walter, to save what looked like a certain score.

Leeds revived in the second half but Lee Chapman got nothing out of Guido Buchwald, Cantona had one of those nights when his little flicks and feints come to nought, and a change was inevitable.

It was Shutt who replaced Cantona - an inspired decision. Shutt had been on for barely a minute when he settled the issue with a goal of the highest class, accepting Tony Dorigo's through-pass and drifting left, past Schafer, before shooting under Immel from 12 yards.

Leeds United: Lukic; Newsome, Dorigo, Batty, Fairclough, Whyte, Strachan, Cantona (Shutt, 76), Chapman, McAllister, Speed.

VfB Stuggart: Immel; Schafer, Frontzeck, Dubajic, Strunz (Strehmel, 22), Buchwald, Buck, Sverisson (Knup, 81), Walter, Golke, Kogl.

Referee: F Baldas (Italy).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable