Yeboah hits jackpot to ruin Monaco

Monaco 0 Leeds United 3
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The Independent Online
Football

Tony Yeboah's honeymoon period with Leeds United simply goes on and on. A virtuoso hat-trick on a balmy Mediterranean evening - his second in the six months since he forsook Frankfurt for a Yorkshire winter - took the Ghanaian's tally to 20 goals in 23 games for Leeds and rendered the second leg of this Uefa Cup first-round tie a formality.

Monaco, who had pressed strongly for an equaliser after succumbing to Yeboah's striking prowess in only the third minute, will perform worse in the Louis II Stadium and win. The French League's seventh-placed side finished the match with 10 men, having seen both Basile Boli and their substitute goalkeeper, Marc Delaroche, carried off after a forlorn attempt to prevent Yeboah's coup de grace.

Boli was reported to have swallowed his tongue and was apparently suffering convulsions as he was rushed to hospital on a stretcher. Delaroche departed with his neck in a brace, leaving Monaco to play out the final minutes with a midfielder, Claude Puel, as their third goalkeeper of the night. Both injured players suffered a slight concussion and were detained overnight in hospital.

The more prescient members of Leeds' sizeable following had arrived flying the red, green and gold of Ghana. The players had barely broken sweat before Yeboah had them raising it in rapture. A throw-in on the Leeds left found Tony Dorigo, who skipped past a defender before delivering a cross which seemed to offer Fabien Piveteau a simple catch. In keeping with the way malign fate was to treat Monaco's custodians, Lilian Thuram backed into Piveteau. Yeboah, showing a predator's instinct, hooked the loose ball over his head into the unguarded net.

Monaco initially responded to their set-back with resilience. Their strikers, Brazil's Sonny Anderson and the French-Liberian, Christopher Wreh, caused Leeds frequent problems with their touch and mobility. John Lukic did not inspire confidence when he sliced a clearance behind for a corner.

Lukic also needed two attempts to field several of the shots he faced, and for a time, with Enzo Scifo prompting Monaco from midfield, Leeds looked as if they would be relieved to reach half-time with their slender lead intact. The referee certainly detected time-wasting as Gary McAllister delayed taking a corner, brandishing a yellow card at the captain.

The hapless Piveteau did not reappear after the interval, during which McAllister had evidently been instructed to stifle Scifo's service to the strikers. While looking more composed, Leeds had still not tested Delaroche when their goal endured a remarkable escape on the hour. Anderson, 35 yards out, embarked on a run which burnt off three defenders before he advanced in the inside-right channel, level with the penalty spot. With Lukic an onlooker, his fierce shot cannoned off the woodwork to safety.

Within five minutes, Leeds had doubled their lead. Taking possession from McAllister some 22 yards from goal, Yeboah switched the ball on to his left foot and curled it high over the flailing arms of Delaroche into the far corner of the net. Yeboah claimed his seventh goal of the season nine minutes from time, contemptuously chipping Delaroche. Leeds' euphoria was, however, tempered by the aftermath of the sickening collision involving the two Frenchmen.

Monaco (1-2-5-2): Piveteau (Delaroche h-t, Puel, 82); Dumas; Boli,Thuram; Valery, Legwinski, Scifo, Dos Santos, Di Meco; Wreh, Anderson.

Leeds United (4-5-1): Lukic; Kelly, Wetherall, Pemberton, Dorigo (Beesley h-t); Whelan, Palmer, McAllister, Speed, Deane; Yeboah.

Referee: J-M Garcia-Aranda (Sp).

More reports, results, page 25

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