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Ron Jones reports for the BBC
"The second leg should now be a formality"
 real 28k

Thursday, 16 March, 2000, 21:51 GMT
Leeds steal the show
Jason Wilcox opened the scoring for Leeds
Leeds 3-0 Slavia Prague

Leeds subjected Slavia Prague to their heaviest European defeat of the season, with a convincing victory at Elland Road on Thursday.

The home side dominated the clash from the outset. And after a battling half-an-hour Jason Wilcox opened the scoring in the 39th minute.

We knew we had to work hard, but we're pleased. We've stepped up our game.

Man-of-the-match Lucas Radebe
The goal raised Leeds' confidence and David O'Leary's men rounded off the night with ease, thanks to a superb double from Lee Bowyer.

The home side started well, with Harry Kewell running through early on, only to miss the target.

Minutes later Michael Bridges anticipated a back pass to Cerny well, but his chip floated over the crossbar to the anguish of the home fans.

Mid-way through the half, Cerny held another fine Bridges effort, before Leeds were caught out when Dostalek found himself alone in the area.

Michael Bridges: Proved a menace to the Czech side
With just Nigel Martyn to beat Dostalek's first touch let him down and the ball zipped past the far post.

On the half-hour, Bowyer was brought down badly by Petrous, with referee Markus Merk immediately showing the Czech the yellow card.

As the half wore on, the visitors slowly began to find their feet. But still Leeds pushed forward.

And six minutes from the interval they achieved the breakthrough they deserved.

Bowyer intercepted a poor free-kick from Petrous, quickly drove forward and found Jason Wilcox who hammered home past the Czech keeper from the edge of the box.

Seconds later, Bowyer could have added a second. A great ball in from Kelly missed the head of Kewell and with just the keeper to beat, Bowyer had the whole of the net to choose from.

Instead, however, he shot straight at Cerny, who pulled off a fine close save to deny the Premiership side.

More of the same

Leeds started where they left off after the break.

And they did not have to wait long for the second. Bakke surged down the right side, beating three men, before sending a superb low ball across the face of the goal.

The tie's not over. We've got a difficult game in Prague first.

Goalscorere Jason Wilcox
There was little for Kewell to do and he side-footed the ball neatly past Cerny to double Leeds' lead.

With Lucas Radebe a rock in defence and Martyn providing some superb long kicks upfield Leeds' confidence soared.

Slavia, in contrast, looked subdued. And 15 minutes into the second period they had every right to be when Bowyer converted his fifth European goal, after a magnificent through ball from Bridges.

Leeds dominated from the very start
With Leeds rampant, more goals looked a certainty.

Bridges failed to convert a one-on-one with Cerny with just 15 minutes remaining, before Karel Rada left the field after two bookeable offences.

Darren Huckerby replaced Stephen McPhail with just minutes remaining, and although Leeds failed to add to the scoreline they must surely have booked themselves a place in the semi-finals with perhaps the performance of the season so far.


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

Slavia Prague: R. Cerny, L. Dosek, T. Dosek, Vlcek, Ulich, Dostalek, Horvath, Petrous, Rada, Koller, Kuchar. Subs: Lerch, Kozel, Vagner, Skala, Vozabal, Hysky, Vaclavik.

Referee: Markus Merk (Germany)
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