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The BBC's Alan Green
"Just before the hour Carbone scored a wonder goal"
 real 28k

John Gregory on Carbone
"I've seen him do that on more than one occasion in training"
 real 28k

Sunday, 30 January, 2000, 17:12 GMT
Carbone magic kills off Leeds

Carbone and Merson were Villa's comeback catalysts

Aston Villa 3-2 Leeds

A hat trick from Benito Carbone saw Villa come from behind and beat Leeds in the tie of the round in the FA Cup.

The Italian scored his first in between the Leeds goals from Ian Harte and Eirik Bakke in the first half, as the visitors dominated a Villa side badly missing Ian Taylor in midfield.

Key moments
13 mins: Harte drives home from edge of area
31: Carbone scores similar goal to the opener
38: Bakke bullet beats James from McPhail cross
59: Carbone scores from 35 yards
69: Carbone nets from two yards after Merson's brilliant brave run
But after the break it was a different game as Carbone let fly with a fantastic strike from 35 yards just before the hour.

Ten minutes later an amazing run and a brave header from Paul Merson set up the Italian for a simple free headed chance.

The first half was one of Leeds' control and ruthless finishing from both sides.

After 12 minutes a corner was headed towards goal by Bakke before hitting Southgate and falling nicely for Harte to shoot home via a deflection off the the Villa skipper.

Merson was brave in setting up the winner
David James was completely unsighted by those in front of him, including Kewell, who was two yards offside at the time.

Villa looked in disarray until they created a goal out of nothing in the 32nd minute.

A free kick just inside the Leeds half was headed across the area by Watson, Carbone cushioned the ball with his thigh, and fired home for a goal very similar to Harte's.

But the match was level for just seven minutes it took for Leeds to create a marvellous team goal.

Early hope: Harte celebrates his strike
The ball was moved slickly across to the left, where Harte backheeled for Stephen McPhail to cross from deep straight onto the penalty spot.

Bakke easily shrugged off Alan Wright and his bullet header gave James no chance.

The second half saw Villa boss John Gregory replace Watson with the greater attacking threat of fellow right wing-back Mark Delaney.

But it was the combination of Carbone and Merson, along with Boateng's tireless tackling and Gareth Barry's composed play at the back which saw the game turn around.

Today's performance was long overdue. I am pleased for him because that will give him the lift he needs
John Gregory on Carbone
Leeds were guilty of sitting on their lead and their midfield was bypassed in the manner Villa's had been before the break.

On 59 minutes there seemed no danger when the ball was cleared to Carbone.

Bot one touch, a glance to spot Nigel Martyn off his line, and a stunning looping shot from at least 35 yards was all it took for Villa to draw level.

Boateng gradually got the better of Bowyer
The home side then stormed forward with an intent that had been lacking in the first hour.

Carbone's hat trick came with a goal crafted even more brilliantly than Bakke's.

It started with an audacious piece of play from Barry on the halfway line, and continued as Joachim and then Merson drove into the area.

A flick over a Leeds defender took one man out of the game before Merson went in bravely with Michael Duberry to head across the goal.

The best team won. Our worst two performances of the season have now been against Villa
David O'Leary
Carbone comnfortably headed past Martyn, while Duberry and Merson were left with blood streaming from facial wounds after a nasty clash of heads.

Both men had to go off, and the onus was now on Leeds to sweep forward.

They did so, but were foiled by Southgate, Ugo Ehiogu and James, who typically came off his line on more than one occasion.


Aston Villa: James, Ehiogu, Southgate, Barry, Watson, Stone, Boateng, Merson, Wright, Joachim, Carbone. Subs: Thompson, Hendrie, Walker, Delaney, Cutler.

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

Referee: G Barber (Tring, Herts)

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