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The BBC's John Murray
"Leeds can take great pride in their performance"
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 21:25 GMT
Leeds ride luck in Rome

Totti produced nine shots on the Leeds' goal
AS Roma 0-0 Leeds

A combination of luck and a virtuoso performance by goalkeeper Nigel Martyn earned Leeds a Uefa Cup draw against Roma.

In the pressure-cooker of the Olympic Stadium, the Premiership side made scant scoring opportunities in both halves in the face of an Italian onslaught inspired by the omnipresent Francesco Totti.

Match facts
2 mins: Bakke misses from point blank
18 mins: Totti forces a great save from Martyn
20 mins: Leeds survive penalty appeal by Delvecchio
47 mins: Totti lob saved by Martyn
62 mins: Radebe booked
76 mins: Totti's seventh attempt goes inches wide
But Leeds did produce the first solid gold chance on two minutes when a high, lofted cross from the right fell to Eirik Bakke, whose header inside the six-yard box was deflected off the feet of Roma keeper Francesco Antonioli.

The Italian side had to wait until the 15-minute mark for their first shot on goal, when Totti scuffed through a free-kick which was easily gathered by the England keeper.

Three minutes later, the Roma striker caught the visitors' defence napping from another free-kick and forced a superb, full-stretch save from Martyn.

The goalkeeper had barely had time to pick himself up before he was faced with a one-on-one with Marco Delvecchio, who had gathered a superbly weighted long ball to outstrip the Leeds defence.

Nigel Martyn
Martyn: Inspired performance
As he dived, Martyn appeared to catch the striker's legs, but the referee waved play on even before Delvecchio had completed his acrobatic dive.

Harry Kewell eventually provided a let up in the home side's barrage on the half-hour with a quick break deep into the Roma half. Leeds kept possession and Michael Bridges played the Australian star through, only for his shot to skim inches wide of the right post.

Totti returned to trouble the visitors' defence 10 minutes before the interval with a sweetly struck volley from 20 yards that Martyn gathered at the second attempt.

The Italy striker was back again two minutes into injury time at the end of the half when a neat lob nearly caught the backpedalling keeper out, but the shot was tipped over the bar to preserve parity.

Harry Kewell
Kewell: Leeds' stand-out player
The second half started in similarly frenetic style, with Totti having a penalty appeal turned down and Kewell shooting narrowly wide at the other end within the first five minutes.

Frustration began to creep in with both sides, manifesting itself in increasingly rash challenges. The referee was extremely lenient throughout, but he eventually brandished a yellow card at Leeds skipper Lucas Radebe for a dangerous tackle on Vincenzo Montella.

The pace of the match slowed noticably during the last half-hour and Roma began to lose some of their shape. Alan Smith came on for a sluggish Michael Bridges, winning Leeds two quick free-kicks, but neither broke the deadlock.

Going into the final quarter-of-an-hour, the Italian side exploded into life again with three good shots in the space of four minutes, for Totti, Delvecchio and Montella, kept out by a combination of Martyn's brilliance and luck once again.

It was enough and as the three minutes of injury time finished the referee rewarded 5,000 travelling fans with the final whistle and a well earned draw for Leeds.


Roma: Antonioli, Mangone, Aldair, Zago, Cafu, Tommasi, Nakata, Candela, Totti, Delvecchio, Montella.
Subs: Lupatelli, Di Francesco, Blasi, Tomic, Gourenko, Rinaldi, Pereira.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Haaland, Radebe, Harte, Bakke, Bowyer, Jones, Kewell, Bridges.
Subs: Robinson, Huckerby, Smith, Mills, Duberry, Maybury.

Referee: G Veissiere (France)

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