Football: Leeds strikers end their famine
Thursday 17 March 1994
Aston Villa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
LEEDS and Villa began with an equal chance of claiming an Uefa Cup place via the League but the challenge apparently appeals more to the Yorkshire side than their
opponents, who have been accused of letting their minds stray since they booked a place in the Coca- Cola Cup final.
Manager Ron Atkinson, seldom one to couch his feelings in fancy phraseology condemned Villa's performance in defeat against Ipswich at home last Saturday as 'disgusting'. Last night's result was no
better but at least there was more conviction about the way they approached the job. 'We could not have played worse than last weekend,' Atkinson said.
However, goals by Rod Wallace and Brian Deane provided Leeds with just reward for almost complete domination of midfield, in which the industry of Gordon Strachan and Gary Speed was ceaseless and Gary McAllister's intelligent distribution always liable to undo the efforts of a Villa defence reinforced by the return of Paul McGrath to contain the threat of the front runners.
Heavy sleet showers, driven by an icy wind, meant conditions were less than pleasant but the pitch - made fit only by two hours work by the ground staff right up to kick-off - played surprisingly well and the football was of a higher quality than one had dared expect.
Villa might have taken an 11th minute lead when Dalian Atkinson met Garry Parker's free kick with a forceful header from seemingly
unstoppable range. John Lukic pulled off a brilliant instinctive save to deny the striker. It will be a serious blow to the Birmingham side's Wembley chances if Atkinson is
unfit to face Manchester United but a hamstring injury suffered in the second half has brought unwelcome doubt.
Leeds, who have kept in touch with the Premiership front runners despite winning only two of their last 11 games, went ahead when Speed's excellent pass allowed
Wallace to sprint between McGrath and Shaun Teale before shooting high to Mark Bosnich's left.
It was Wallace's first goal since 13 December, when a sequence of eight in as many games ended, and he turned provider in the second half with the cross from which Deane, who himself lifted a three- month famine only last Sunday, squeezed home a low header from the narrowest of angles.
Wallace might have added a third, rattling a post after McAllister's
diagonal pass gave him more time than he seemed to realise, but the Leeds manager, Howard Wilkinson, was more than satisfied. 'We have been deserving a result for a while but not getting them. It keeps the season alive for us.'
Leeds United (4-4-2): Lukic; Kelly, Wetherall, O'Leary (Newsome, 40), Dorigo; Strachan, McAllister, Fairclough, Speed; Deane, Wallace. Substitutes not used: Whelan, Beeney (gk).
Aston Villa (4-4-2): Bosnich; Barrett, McGrath, Teale, Small (Yorke, 56); Cox, Parker, Richardson, Froggatt; Saunders, Atkinson (Fenton, 72). Substitute not used: Spink (gk).
Referee: D Allison (Lancaster).
Latest in Sport
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
England vs San Marino, Euro 2016 qualifier: Jamie Vardy cleared to make first start for country
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...