Season over for injured Bridges, players argue on pitch and spectator confronts manager in dug-out on a bleak night at Elland Road

Fans turn on Venables as Leeds limp out

Leeds United 1 Malaga 2 Malaga win 2-1 on agg

Leeds found precious little to distract them or their beleaguered manager from their domestic misery as they went out of the Uefa Cup and lost the services of Michael Bridges for the season.

Two goals from the Panamanian striker, Dely Valdes, were enough to eliminate a side showing evidence of all their recent problems, with Terry Venables grim-faced in the dug-out as Malaga's second, 11 minutes from time, ensured that their European adventure was over.

The whole season is over for the injury-prone Bridges, who was taken off on a stretcher in the first few minutes with what is feared to be a ruptured Achilles' tendon. It was only the 24-year-old's second start following two years out with ankle and knee injuries, as well as a bout of meningitis. It meant a longer stint than planned for the returning invalid, Robbie Fowler, but, although he helped to create Leeds' equaliser, he could not salvage anything from the eventual wreckage.

"I am just heartbroken for the lad," said Venables of Bridges' injury. "He's been out for two years and worked so hard to get back."

Leeds should also have lost another player, but Lee Bowyer somehow avoided being sent off when he not only hacked down Gerardo, but also appeared to stamp on him while he was on the ground. He got away with a lenient yellow card, but he is unlikely to have heard the last of the affair.

"I didn't think he did and I was as close as anyone," said Venables of the stamping allegations. "I thought he was acting."

By the time of that incident, Leeds were already one down and the two-leg tie had its first goal. Musampa, the Congolese winger who was a handful for them all night, beat Danny Mills on the by-line with alarming ease and pulled the ball back for Dely Valdes, who side-footed it home. Given that Leeds had not come back from a goal down to win all season, it was a gloomy beginning to the game.

Leeds showed little sign of being able to respond until midway through the half when Gary Kelly crossed from the left, Fowler produced a vintage touch to volley it back into the goalmouth and Eirik Bakke was there to hammer it into the roof of the net for his first goal of the season.

"To come back at them showed the sort of spirit I am looking for," said Venables, who even managed to put a positive spin on a bout of arguing and pushing between two of his players, Kelly and Jason Wilcox, in the second half.

Apart from fighting among themselves, however, Leeds lost their way after the break. Once Bowyer had put a diving header into the side-netting from Alan Smith's cross, their scoring threat all but disappeared and they were increasingly frustrated by Malaga's time-wasting tactics.

An away draw would have been enough to take the Spaniards into the fourth round, but the skills of their front two always looked liable to produce a second goal and win the tie outright.

Paul Robinson had already had to save well from Marcelo Romero and Manu in the first half and from Musampa as time began to run out for Leeds in the second.

In the 79th minute the identity of the team going into the next round was determined beyond any doubt when Dely Valdes cleverly flicked the ball between Jonathan Woodgate's feet and lashed it left-footed into the net off Robinson's fingertips.

As the final whistle signalled a return to the grim realities of the Premiership – with a high-pressure fixture at Bolton who are three points behind Leeds coming up on Monday – there were chants of: "Terry, Terry, time to go".

"I've been aware of that for a long time, but I keep going," said Venables, who had also seen one angry young fan escorted away from in front of the dug-out in the first half. "It has no effect on me. It's become a way of life."

Leeds United (4-4-2): Robinson; Mills, Duberry, Woodgate, Kelly; Bowyer, Okon, Bakke, Wilcox; Smith, Bridges (Fowler, 8). Substitutes not used: Martyn (gk), Harte, Radebe, McPhail, Johnson, Kilgallon.

Malaga (4-4-2): Contreras; Josemi, Sanz, Roteta, Valcarce; Manu (Sandro, 57), Romero, Gerardo, Musampa (Angel, 79); Silva, Dely Valdes (Litos, 90). Substitutes not used: Arnau (gk), Iznata, Leko, Koko.

Referee: M Busacca (Swit).

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor