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Saturday, September 11, 1999 Published at 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK


Leeds triumph in seven goal classic

Kewell fights off Coventry's Mustapha Hadji

Coventry 3-4 Leeds

Michael Bridges struck from close range to settle a seven goal thriller at Highfield Road on Saturday.


The BBC's Pat Murphy: "Only time to give you the facts"
Gary McAllister slotted in from the spot on 62 seconds when he was pulled back but Lee Bowyer levelled, firing in after his first shot was blocked.

Jon Aloisi made it 2-1 with a header but Darren Huckerby quickly poked home before Ian Harte stepped up after David Batty was sent sprawling in the box.

Youssef Chippo volleyed in for 3-3 but Bridges pounced on the hour.

Hedman nightmare

England will pray Hedman enjoys better fortunes when he carries the nation's hopes of qualifying for the European Championship play-offs on his shoulders next month.

Hedman was at fault with two of the United goals and saw Lady Luck also desert him to gift David O'Leary's side the winner.

Leeds just about deserved to record their first win at Highfield Road since 1993 with Aussie Harry Kewell in outstanding form on the left flank.

Coventry got off to the perfect start with McAllister putting them in front in just over a minute.

The former Scotland midfielder appeared to be hauled back by David Hopkin after linking up well with Mustapha Hadji and Robbie Keane with the result that referee Steve Dunn pointed to the spot.

Up stepped McAllister to tuck away the spot-kick into the left hand corner of the net even though England 'keeper Nigel Martyn dived the right way.

Eight minute equaliser

The celebrations were short live, however, with Leeds drawing level after eight minutes.

The ball found its way to Bowyer following a long throw and, although Hedman blocked his first effort with his feet, he was unable to prevent the England Under-21 international converting the rebound.

Back came Coventry and in the 18th minute Aloisi restored their lead after a foul by Harry Kewell on Hadji earned the home side a freekick.

McAllister floated in a teasing cross and Aloisi was first to the ball to send a glancing header past the dive of Martyn.

But eight minutes later Leeds were level again through Darren Huckerby's first goal since his 4m move from Highfield Road last month.

Batty supplied the through ball and, as Hedman seemed hesitant in coming off his line, Huckerby raced into the area to slip his shot past the Swedish player into the corner of the net.

There was worse to follow for the home side in the 34th minutes when a real clanger by Hedman gifted Leeds the lead.

Second penalty

Referee Dunn awarded a second penalty of the game and Ian Harte drilled the spot-kick into the right-hand corner even though Hedman went the right way.

Keane had a good chance to bring Coventry back on level terms just before the interval but he screwed his shot across the face of goal after being found in space by McAllister.

Leeds looked the more composed side at the start of the second half with Kewell having a shot deflected wide by substitute Marcus Hall and then Michael Duberry not far away with a far-post header from a Harte corner.

But then Coventry got back on level terms with a spectacular goal from Youssef Chippo after he been found in space by fellow Moroccan Hadji.

There looked no imminent danger but he beat Martyn all ends up with a rocket shot which flew into the roof of the net.

Luck was then against Hedman as Bridges put Leeds back in front in the 58th minute. He was beaten all ends up by a Kewell effort but the rebound struck him on the back - and meant Bridges had the simplest of chances from close range.

Still Coventry refused to buckle and Martyn saved well from Hadji after he had been found in space by McAllister - but Leeds held on.

Teams:

Coventry: Hedman, Quinn, Shaw, Williams, Edworthy, Chippo, McAllister, Hadji, Froggatt, Aloisi, Keane. Subs: Nuzzo, Konjic, Hall, Strachan, McSheffrey.

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

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)



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