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Monday, 8 May, 2000, 21:09 GMT 22:09 UK
Dogged Everton deny Leeds
Harry Kewell
Harry Kewell was a constant thorn in Everton's side
Leeds 1-1 Everton

A fiery contest between two physical sets of players saw the spoils shared between Leeds and Everton in a game marred by the sending off of three players.

Seven yellow cards were also brandished by referee Andy D'Urso in a match which left Leeds still needing to win their last game of the season to be sure of landing a Champions League qualifying spot next season.

The result means Arsenal are guaranteed second place and leaves Leeds a point ahead of Liverpool in the race to secure third place and the final Champions League berth.

After the match, Everton's Mark Hughes said: "No-one was sure how many were going to stay on the pitch. I'll be diplomatic - some of the decisions were a little bit mystifying.

"We were delighted with our performance though and played all the football in the first half.

I'll be diplomatic - some of the decisions were a little bit mystifying

Everton's Mark Hughes

"I think Nick Barmby has been playing out of his skin recently and he took his goal well."

Everton enjoyed the brighter start of the two teams, the pressure on Leeds to win manifesting itself in a nervy opening few minutes for the home side.

David O'Leary's men were finding it difficult to put together any period of possession as Everton's short-passing game continued to bear fruit.

It was not long before the Leeds' manager made his way from the directors' box to deliver some harsh words to his players from the touchline.

His message was heeded by the Yorkshire side and completely against the run of play, Michael Bridges scored his 21st goal of the season for Leeds after finding himself one-on-one with the Everton keeper Paul Gerrard.

Everton players appealed vociferously for offside but television replays showed the youngster was being played on by David Weir and his glorious shot from wide on the right found the back of the net.

Leeds' Michael Bridges tussles with Richard Dunne

A physical battle was developing between former Chelsea defender Michael Duberry and Mark Hughes and both men found themselves in the book by half-time.

Everton's best chance of the first half fell to Mark Hughes but his storming shot rebounded off an unsuspecting Danny Mills who had his back to the striker in the box.

Leeds began the second half in better form, a swerving Harry Kewell attempt just being stopped by Gerrard.

Kewell was again in the thick of things, providing a wide ball which Wilcox crossed superbly only for Bowyer to head wide.

Everton were reduced to ten men within five minutes of the re-start after Richard Dunne was shown a red card for a late dangerous tackle on Bridges.

A foul by Duberry on Mark Pembridge however, evened up the numbers with the Chelsea defender shown a second yellow by the referee just minutes later.

Rare mistake

The sending off forced David O' Leary to sacrifice winger Jason Wilcox for defender Alfie Haaland.

A rare mistake by Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn on 60 minutes allowed Everton to score a much-deserved equaliser.

A Hutchison ball deceived Martyn and bounced over his head giving Nick Barmby a moment to compose himself and then fire a superb shot into the far corner of the net.

The goal gave Everton renewed confidence and some good pressure caused a certain amount of disarray in their opponent's defence.

Mark Hughes, who had been impressive throughout, was replaced by Danny Cadamarteri but Leeds came closest to scoring a second through the talented Kewell.

The young footballer of the year picked up the ball outside the area before firing a stunning shot towards goal which narrowly shaved the near post.

Still in search of a winner, Darren Huckerby replaced Michael Bridges up front for Leeds, and the late surge continued.

A card-laden match almost descended into farce when Don Hutchison became the third player to be sent-off after being shown a second yellow for kicking the ball away minutes before full-time.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Duberry, Woodgate, Mills, Bowyer, Bakke, McPhail, Wilcox, Bridges, Kewell. Subs: Haaland, Hopkin, Huckerby, Jones, Robinson.

Everton: Gerrard, Dunne, Unsworth, Weir, Ball, Pembridge, S. Hughes, Collins, Barmby, Hutchison, M. Hughes. Subs: Cadamarteri, Jevons, Ward, Clarke, Simonsen. Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)

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See also:

08 May 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Arsenal gunning for Owls
06 May 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Man Utd celebrate in style
07 May 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Reds draw another blank
03 May 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Leeds edge towards Europe
Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.