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The BBC's Bob Ballard
"Another below-par performance from Leeds"
 real 28k

Sunday, 9 April, 2000, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Leeds lose in controversy

Joachim celebrates as Martyn protests
Aston Villa 1-0 Leeds

A controversial Julian Joachim goal handed Villa all three points and ended a gloomy week for the visitors.

Joachim appeared to clip defender Gary Kelly's heels before running in to score.

Key moments
Minute's silence is immaculate
Half-hour mark: James makes three crucial saves
39: Joachim scores after Kelly's tumble
58: Bridges misses open goal and is taken off
Leeds dominated the chances in this game and deserved to have their morale boosted by taking at least a point instead of a fifth successive defeat in all competitions.

They would have got that point if Michael Bridges had kept his cool and slotted into an empty net, but he spooned the chance over from just 10 yards.

Villa then held out to justify their record of the best home defensive record in this season's Premiership.

Leeds players during the silence.....
Before the game a minute's silence was observed to mark the deaths of two Leeds fans in Turkey this week.

The management and officials of Leeds showed clear emotion while the club's players formed a huddle and linked arms during the silence.

The silence was immaculately observed by fans of both clubs, whose players all wore black armbands unlike last Thursday when Galatasaray refused to do so.

....and their fans
The game started in an open fashion with Michael Bridges and Benito Carbone going close.

Villa struck the woodwork as Gareth Barry's 30-yard drive was deflected onto the foot of a post.

But David James was a far busier goalkeeper than Leeds stopper Nigel Martyn.

The Villa keeper denied Kewell at point black range and beat out a Lee Bowyer drive.

We saw it as a clash between two players going for the same ball and arriving at the same time

Villa assistant manager Steve Harrison on the goal
Bridges then wasted a glorious opportunity after running in behind the Villa defence before Wilcox was denied by a third good save from James.

After weathering the storm Villa then scored their controversial opener.

Joachim chased a hopeful ball out of defence but two visiting defenders looked strong favourites to reach it.

Joachim shoots after running clear of Kelly
Jonathon Woodgate left it to Kelly but he fell under Joachim's challenge.

The pacy striker, with a sheepish glance towards the linesman, ran through to slot the ball underneath Martyn with referee Barry Knight deaf to the Leeds protests.

James had to save from Bowyer again before the break but Kelly's miserable half ended with a booking for a tackle from behind on the Villa goalscorer.

The second period saw McPhail and Wilcox firing over before Bridges wasted a glorious chance.

It was a game we definitely didn't deserve to lose and a game we controlled..........their goal was a disgraceful decision

David O'Leary
It was reminiscent of the miss of Bolton's Dean Holdsworth against Villa in last week's FA Cup semi-final.

Kewell did brilliantly to get to the byline and cut the ball back for Bridges to smash the ball over from 10 yards.

It was the striker's last contribution as Darren Huckerby was sent on in his place.

A Villa substitution saw Dion Dublin replace Carbone - without a repeat of the Italian's Wembley histrionics.

Joachim should have got his second when Merson chipped the ball over the Leeds wall at a free kick, but he failed to get a decent connection with only Martyn to beat.

Wilcox denies Carbone
Harte then wasted two free kick opportunities just outside the box for Leeds while Kewell scooped an effort straight into James' arms from 15 yards.

A teasing cross was also headed just past the far post by Bowyer with James well-beaten.

Towards the end there was a succession of Leeds corners but Villa, with the best home defensive record in the Premiership, held out.

It gave the FA Cup finalists a third win this season over Leeds, who also lost second spot to Liverpool with this result.


Aston Villa: James, Ehiogu, Samuel, Barry, Watson, Hendrie, Boateng, Merson, Wright, Joachim, Carbone. Subs: Dublin, Thompson, Ghrayib, Delaney, Enckelman.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Bakke, Bowyer, Wilcox, McPhail, Kewell, Bridges. Subs: Haaland, Huckerby, Mills, Jones, Robinson.

Referee: B Knight (Orpington)

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See also:

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.