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The BBC's Simon Brotherton reports
 real 28k

Monday, 6 December, 1999, 09:23 GMT
O' Leary: Kewell did not dive
Dean Sturridge and Jonathon Woodgate race for the ball

Derby 0-1 Leeds

Leeds manager David O' Leary has defended Australian winger Harry Kewell over the controversial late penalty which earnt his side a last-gasp 1-0 win over Derby at Pride Park.

Referee Paul Alcock awarded a spot-kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time for Horacio Carbonari's challenge but several Derby players accusing Kewell of diving.

O 'Leary said: It was a definite penalty. It's not my fault their player pulled him down. A rash tackle and thank you very much we've won."


I don't think Horacio touched him at all.....that means he must have dived
Rams defender Tony Dorigo on Kewell
Rams boss Jim Smith, already on one misconduct charge for an outburst at the officials last month, picked his words carefully.

But the veteran manager was adamant that Carbonari did not touch the Australian winger as he went down in the box.


He's an honest lad, and he said he caught him with his back foot
David O'Leary defends his player
Ian Harte smashed the spot kick into the back of the net.

There was only sufficient time for Derby to restart before referee Alcock blew the final whistle.

It meant United had repeated their feat of last Sunday, when a late goal by Michael Bridges against Southampton took them to the Premiership summit.

That goal also came after a controversial decision as Leeds enjoyed a man advantage following the dismissal of Saints defender Patrick Colleter.

Kinkladze delighted Derby fans but Leeds were the better side
This week's result was one which Leeds arguably deserved on the balance of play.

Before Harte struck, Kewell had gone closest to giving Leeds victory as his 58th-minute close-range drive hit the top of Poom's crossbar.

Alan Smith also had an effort ruled out four minutes from time for a foul on keeper Mart Poom.

Bridges went close twice in quick succession in the first half, while Stephen McPhail, Lee Bowyer, Erik Bakke and Darren Huckerby also wasted chances.

Match facts
36 mins: Bridges goes close
52 mins: Kinkladze denied by Martyn
58 mins: Kewell hits woodwork
86 mins: Smith strike disallowed
93 mins: Leeds delight at penalty
Georgi Kinkladze made his first start for Derby and was comfortably their best player before tiring to be replaced by Dorigo on 75 minutes.

With twists and turns, feints and flicks, the Georgian overshadowed Craig Burley, who had a quiet debut after his move from Celtic.

The 26-year-old also had Derby's best chance on 51 minutes after exchanging passes with Dean Sturridge.

A shimmy then left Jonathon Woodgate on his backside but Nigel Martyn got a foot to his shot.

Erick Bakke tries to get a challenge in for Leeds
Kinkladze also set up Elliott for a powerful header.

Martyn tipped it over and the Georgian fully deserved the rapturous reception he received as he departed.

Smith has warned it will take several games for Kinkladze to be at his best.

And they will certainly need him if they are to successfully fight the threat of relegation.

There can be little doubt that a little bit of the sort of luck Leeds are enjoying would also be welcomed around Pride Park.

Teams:

Derby:
Poom, Laursen, Carbonari, Elliott, Delap, Burley, Powell, Kinkladze, Johnson, Sturridge, Burton. Subs: Hoult, Dorigo, Christie, Nimni, Prior.

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

Referee: P Alcock (Halstead)

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See also:
28 Nov 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Lucky Leeds scramble to the top
02 Dec 99 |  Football
Leeds slip up to Spartak
03 Dec 99 |  Football
Derby boss charged by FA
01 Dec 99 |  Football
Derby bag Burley
04 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Chelsea shot down in flames
04 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Solskjaer stuns moody Blues
Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.