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Saturday, August 14, 1999 Published at 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK


Yorke keeps his head

Yorke is mobbed by his colleagues after scoring United's first goal

Man Utd 2-0 Leeds

The Premiership's most fiercely fought battle of the Roses was won for the Lancastrian side by a man called Yorke.


David O'Leary: "Got a little bit disrupted there with the injury to Bridges we had to change the system"
After a subdued performance from the home side and a determined fight from Leeds, the West Indian striker Dwight Yorke broke the Yorkshire side with two headers in the last quarter of an hour.

The home side were slow to get into gear in a noon kick-off, and may have been distracted by the ongoing saga over Roy Keane's contract negotiations.

The Irishman was particularly quiet in the first half, although the Old Trafford crowd were noisy in their cries for him to stay at the club.

And Leeds were impressive competitors, until they were undone when a defensive reshuffle left the slightest of gaps for Yorke to exploit to the full.

Early changes

David O'Leary's team had Darren Huckerby making a debut following his £4m move from Coventry.

A young forward line featured the new boy, Harry Kewell and Michael Bridges.

But it was soon broken up when midweek hat-trick hero Bridges was forced off by injury after 19 minutes.

And United's first unchanged line-up since March was also disrupted after just 22 minutes, when Mark Bosnich limped off to be replaced by Raimond Van Der Gouw in goal.

The biggest danger in the first half an hour was Kewell, who went desperately close with a swerving effort from 25 yards, and also failed to take advantage after turning Jaap Stam.

Irwin's bad miss

But the subdued home side could not make the most of the misses, and Dennis Irwin in particular will want to forget skying a clear chance from six yards.

The second half saw a distinct improvement from the Manchester club, who began to enjoy more possession in the Leeds half.

As they pushed forward, Keane became more influential, with one sliding midfield tackle receiving a huge roar.


[ image: Roy Keane clashes with Leeds United's Lee Bowyer]
Roy Keane clashes with Leeds United's Lee Bowyer
But a Stam raid to support the attacking players from the back nearly ended in disaster when he gave the ball straight to Radebe and Kewell was played clear over the top of an uncertain Irwin.

The Australian ran in on Van Der Gouw, but struck the foot of the Dutch stand-in keeper's near post.

It was the best of an increasingly long list of opportunities spurned by the Australian, and this time the champions made their rivals pay.

Change leaves holes

O'Leary attempted to reshuffle his resources, bringing on Austrian defender Martin Hiden for Ian Harte.

Within a minute Phil Neville raided down the right and played in a cross for Yorke to direct a super header beyond Martyn's despairing dive.

The West Indian striker headed the Manchester club two clear before Leeds had caught breath, and this time the provider was the newly-wed midfielder.

Beckham floated in a left-wing free-kick after Danny Mills had fouled Giggs, and Yorke was sharper than Hiden in getting the ball and heading it in.

With his day's work done, the £12m striker was immediately replaced by Teddy Sheringham, and Leeds missed one last chance.

Again, Van Der Gouw was exposed but this time it was Bowyer who failed to beat him, the Dutchman saving well with his right leg.

Teams:

Man Utd: Bosnich, Neville, Irwin, Berg, Stam, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Cole, Yorke, Giggs. Subs: Van Der Gouw, Sheringham, Butt, Curtis, Solskjaer.

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

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)



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