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Wednesday, May 5, 1999 Published at 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK


Chelsea book Champions League spot

Gustavo Poyet celebrates his winner against Leeds

Chelsea 1-0 Leeds

Gustavo Poyet's 13th goal of the season guaranteed Chelsea a place in next season's Champions League and broke the hearts of David O'Leary's young but talented Leeds side.

The Uruguayan international hit the only goal in a frantic Premeirship clash with an unstoppable header in the 68th minute after Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn had threatened to block their route with some inspired goalkeeping.

But Poyet's goal was enough to put Chelsea out of reach of Leeds in the Premiership race and secure them a place in the new-look Champions' League starting next season.

With the championship being sorted out elsewhere in England, this had been dubbed a third-place play-off but in the early stages both teams appeared to lack any kind of competitive edge.

Recent meetings between Chelsea and Leeds have served-up plenty of fire with three sendings off and 23 yellow cards in the last two games.

Shuddering challenges

On this occasion their were plenty of shuddering challenges, however, the players proved why they will both be flying the flag in Europe next term.

Martyn was in dominant form for visitors, coming to the rescue more than once as Chelsea opened more positively.

The England keeper parried a Poyet shot in the 15th minute after his initial punch failed to clear the danger. Gianfranco Zola couldn't keep the rebound down.

Then, Martyn made light work of a Morris shot after neat link-up play between Poyet and Tore Andre Flo.

Leeds took time to settle but once they did they started to break menacingly from defence.

Haaland rattled a snap-shot inches wide and Stephen McPhail couldn't force a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink cross on target.

Martyn made a terrific left-handed save to turn Flo's effort from 10 yards round the post but he had his defenders to thank from the resulting corner as the Blues turned up the heat.

Flick-on

Leboeuf flicked Wise's kick on and Poyet's effort was cleared from the line by Haaland. Desailly turned the ball goalward in the ensuing scramble but Batty was back on the line to clear again.

A flying save from Martyn plucked a Flo header from the air in the closing moments of the first half and, after the break, Poyet planted a free-header over from a Wise corner.

Ed de Goey saved long range efforts from Bowyer and Harry Kewell before Poyet pounced to break the deadlock.

The goal came moments after Bjarne Goldbaek replaced Morris, allowing the classy Uruguayan to slot into his favourite central midfield position.

Poyet had only just joined Wise in the centre when he timed his run perfectly to meet Le Saux's left-wing cross with

Teams:

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Desailly, Leboeuf, Le Saux, Petrescu, Wise, Morris, Poyet, Zola, Flo. Subs: Goldbaek, Duberry, Hitchcock, Di Matteo, Forssell.

Leeds: Martyn, Haaland, Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Bowyer, Batty, McPhail, Kewell, Smith, Hasselbaink. Subs: Wetherall, Wijnhard, Hopkin, Halle, Robinson.

Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)



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