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The BBC's Simon Hill
"The tie of the round lived up to it's billing for 65 minutes"
 real 28k

Sunday, 9 January, 2000, 16:06 GMT
Five-star Leeds out-class City

Leeds pressure forces Alan Smith's equaliser


Man City 2-5 Leeds

Leeds produced a wonderful display at Maine Road to march into the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The Premiership leaders overcame fallen giants Manchester City in a thrilling tie, with spectators treated to one of the most frantic starts of recent seasons.


Match facts
2: Goater's header stuns Leeds
8: Bakke levels the scores
11: Bishop scores the goal of the game
20: Smith claims Leeds' second equaliser
41: Kewell puts United ahead for the first time
66: Bowyer wraps up victory
89: Kewell completes the rout
Four goals were shared in the first 20 minutes as City twice shocked their cross-Pennine rivals with surprise strikes.

But Leeds showed why they are being tipped for major honours this season by hitting back swiftly on both occasions and then taking complete control of the contest with a stylish, confident performance.

Harry Kewell scored twice and Lee Bowyer added another in the second half to clinch the win - and ultimately David O'Leary's team were too strong for their First Division opponents, whose defensive short-comings were exposed time and again by Leeds' incisive attacks.

Goater's sucker punch

City went ahead after just two minutes as the game got off to a breathless start.


Ian Bishop celebrates his fine individual goal
But Leeds can have more than a few complaints about the manner of the goal, because Shaun Goater was clearly in an off-side position when he headed over keeper Nigel Martyn from Kevin Horlock's through-ball.

City's controversial lead lasted just six minutes, though, as the visitors were rewarded for their impressive start with an equaliser from Eirik Bakke.

Ian Harte exploited some sloppy marking at a free-kick to power a header towards goal and Bakke stuck out a boot to divert the ball past City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver.



Don't let David O'Leary kid you, his boys can win the championship. I thought they were terrific.
Man City manager Joe Royle
Leeds continued to press, but in the 11th minute they suddenly found themselves behind again - and this time they could have no complaints about the legitmicay of the goal.

When midfielder Ian Bishop picked up the ball to the right of the Leeds area there appeared little danger. But he skipped past a challenge and struck a sublime angled drive into the far corner of Martyn's net.

Comeback complete

Again United battled back and after City survived some more hair-raising incidents in their besieged area - including a goal-line clearance by Horlock from Bowyer - they were back on level terms.


Eirik Bakke's strike put Leeds back on level terms
City's vulnerability at set-pieces was exploited again, as Harte's goal-bound header was blocked on the line by Bishop, only for Alan Smith to bundle the ball into the net.

By now Leeds were rampant and the highly-rated Weaver had to be at his sharpest as shots rained down on the City goal.

One double save, from Stephen McPhail and Kewell, showed why he is regarded by many as a future England goalkeeper.



I would like to see this young side on a big pitch like Wembley, they would look a very good side out there.
Leeds boss David O'Leary
But even a player on the top of his game like Weaver could not prevent Leeds going in front four minutes before the break.

United unleashed another clinical attacking move, Bowyer found Jason Wilcox in acres of space on the left and the former Blackburn winger sent a low cross into the box where Kewell netted with ease.

Bowyer blast-off

The start of the second half may have lacked the frenzy of the first, but Leeds remained on top and Wilcox and Harte both fired fierce long-range drives straight at Weaver.


Dickov Radebe City's Paul Dickov tangles with Leeds captain Lucas Radebe
Leeds were managing to control the pace of the game completely - and they took a stranglehold of the scoreline with an excellent goal after 66 minutes.

City's defence was again torn apart by Leeds' swift passing and movement in the middle and when Wilcox supplied a left-wing cross, Bowyer raced onto the ball to finish with a flourish, planting a first-time half-volley into the far corner of the net.

Ten minutes from time Bowyer should have claimed his second, but - with team-mates in better positions - he tried to walk the ball into the net and was denied by Weaver.

City desperately tried to force their way back, but Leeds' professionalism ensured there were no further flutters.

And two minutes from time they sealed their place in the fifth round draw, substitute Darren Huckerby racing through a tiring defence before squaring the ball for Kewell to score his second.

Kewell so nearly claimed a deserved hat-trick in injury time, but saw his shot rebound back off the post.

Teams:

Man City: Weaver, Edghill, Wiekens, Horlock, Goater, Dickov, Bishop, Grant, Kennedy, Jobson, Granville.
Subs: Crooks, Whitley, Wright, Tiatto, Peacock.

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

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)

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Links to other FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.