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Wednesday, August 11, 1999 Published at 22:21 GMT 23:21 UK

Bridges blasts hat-trick

Michael Bridges is swamped by his team-mates after scoring his second

Southampton 0-3 Leeds

Michael Bridges gave Leeds manager David O'Leary a selection headache with a superb hat-trick, to condmen Southampton to their first home defeat since Boxing Day.

BBC Radio's David Oakes: "Victory never really in doubt"
The arrival of Darren Huckerby at Elland Road has raised the competition for places up front in O'Leary's team.

But Bridges, a 5m summer arrival from Sunderland, made his case for inclusion with his first goals for his new club.

The England Under-21 frontman got Leeds off to a flying start after just 11 minutes, following a well-worked set piece move.

[ image: Lee Bowyer of Leeds holds off Francis Benali's challenge]
Lee Bowyer of Leeds holds off Francis Benali's challenge
Ian Harte shaped to shoot, but instead chipped over the wall. Klaus Lundekvam could only nod the ball into the path of Bridges, who spotted Paul Jones off his line, teed the ball up and placed a precise volley over the keeper and into the net.

For his second, Bridges showed he also had a sniffer's instinct for goal.

With 66 minutes on the clock, he ghosted into the six-yard box to sweep home Danny Mills' low cross.

Six minutes later and the match ball belonged to Bridges.

Harte sent over a corner and the striker lost his marker at the near post and headed his third.

And it could have been four for Bridges, but a 90th minute header was ruled out for a push.

Le Tiss draws a blank

The result was hugely disappointing for Southampton, who had opened the season with victory at Coventry.

They never ran Leeds close and only some fine saves from Jones kept the score down to 3-0.

Matt Le Tissier was at the heart of the home side's best moments - but he failed to break a personal record by opening his account against the one Premiership side he has never scored against.

Le Tissier's closest moment came with a 37th minute volley from eight yards out that missed by just inches.

But Mark Hughes was more unlucky, as his thundering first half effort was kept out by a desperate lunge - from that man Michael Bridges.


Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Benali, Marsden, Richards, Lundekvam, Le Tissier, Hughes, Ostenstad, Pahars, Kachloul. Subs: Beresford, Oakley, Ripley, Almeida, Moss.

Leeds: Martyn, Harte, Radebe, Woodgate, Hopkin, Bridges, Kewell, Bowyer, Mills, Duberry, Batty. Subs: Haaland, Robinson, Bakke, Jones, Hiden.

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)

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