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
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...