Football: Parker bleeds Leeds

Leicester City 1 Parker pen 44 Leeds United 0 Attendance: 21,244
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The Independent Online
NOSE bleeds all round again in Leicester yesterday as Martin O'Neill's side continued their remarkable climb towards football's highest peaks with a victory over Leeds. Other results meant Leicester stayed in ninth place, but these three points should give them a genuine base not just for survival, but to challenge for a top-six place and another bash in Europe next season.

George Graham, the Leeds manager, described it as a game of two penalties, with Leicester's Garry Parker scoring just before half-time and Leeds' Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink firing wide in injury time at the end. Hasselbaink's miss left Leeds without a single shot on target - an accurate reflection of the match.

O'Neill had no need for concern once Leicester had survived a fitful first five minutes, during which Hasselbaink missed a great chance to score for Leeds. Barring another good opportunity midway through the second half, when Harry Kewell shot into the side netting, and the 90th-minute penalty, Leeds never looked like scoring. Leicester, however, could have had a fair few more, with Nigel Martyn saving well from Robbie Savage, Steve Guppy and Matt Elliott, to name but three.

Graham accused referee Neale Barry of ruining much of the game and O'Neill was sympathetic, as they both agreed that few, if any, of the seven bookings were justified. There was an element of doubt when Gunnar Halle was penalised for holding Emile Heskey for Leicester's penalty. But there was no question over Parker's shot, cracked into the top left- hand corner.

Barry awarded his second penalty when he spotted a Spencer Prior handball amid a goalmouth scramble. Hasselbaink aimed for a similar spot to Parker, but missed by a footballing mile. As O'Neill said: "It's amazing how a missed penalty can make your weekend. For the first time, I am seriously going to look at the other end of the table. I mean the top end."

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