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BBC Sport's John Murray
"Leeds are beaten for the first time this season"
 real 14k

Leeds boss David O'Leary
"We gave a terrible goal away"
 real 14k

Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 22:54 GMT 23:54 UK
Leeds fall to freak strike
Leeds midfielder Harry Kewell bursts forward
Harry Kewell tries to find a little space in midfield
Maritimo 1-0 Leeds United

Leeds United's European rollercoaster ride of the past three seasons took a stomach-churning dip on the holiday island of Madeira.

David O'Leary's side reached the Uefa Cup semi-final two seasons ago and progressed to the same stage in the Champions' League last term to leave them among the favourites for this competition.

  Key moments
34 mins: Bruno's free kick eludes everyone to drift into the Leeds net
36 mins: Mills hesitation allows Quim to steal in and shoot over the bar
45 mins: Ian Harte's free kick is palmed away by Nelson
60 mins: Nigel Martyn blocks Quim's stinging drive
But United were rocked by a freak first-half goal which left them with it all to do in the second leg at Elland Road.

Leeds' sluggish start was punished on 34 minutes, though there appeared little danger when Rio Ferdinand was penalised for a foul on Quim 40 yards out.

Bruno Fernandes floated in a hopeful free kick and defender Dominic Matteo ducked under the ball under a challenge from Mitchell van der Gaag, leaving Nigel Martyn groping helplessly at thin air as the ball drifted into the bottom right-hand coner.

Leeds were still trying to come to terms with falling behind when their defence yawned again.

Mills waited in vain for Martyn to come off his line and collect, allowing Quim the chance to steal in but blaze a shot over the crossbar.

We are a better team than they are but now we have to prove it in the second leg
Leeds boss David O'Leary
The home side were buoyant, but Leeds finally forced Maritimo keeper Nelson into a save on the stroke of half-time, Ian Harte's dipping free kick matches by an acrobatic save.

Leeds' frustrations continued in the second half, as the heady Champions League nights of last season seemed distant memories.

A fine one-handed save from Martyn prevented Quim from claiming a long-range second and Dinda shot straight at the keeper after Harte had presented him with an opening.

Batty of Leeds and Maritimo's Kenedy
Batty holds off Maritimo's lively midfielder Kenedy
At the other end, Leeds created precious few chances.

Lee Bowyer was conspicuous by his absence and the closest Leeds came to a goal was in injury time when Gary Kelly, playing as a winger, forced a fine block from the alert Nelson.

Nelson had only previously been tested by a looping header from Mills and a forward run by Mark Viduka, who had already been flagged back for offside.

The only silver lining on a cloudy night for Leeds was that the final scoreline leaves them well in contention to turn things around in the second leg.

But, if that is to happen, a major improvement is needed from O'Leary's jaded stars.

Maritimo: Nelson, Albertino, Sergio, Zeca, Dinda, Andre., Bruno, Quim, Briguel, Kenedy., van der Gaag. Subs: Gilmar, Gaucho, Lino, Alan, Shannon, Arriola, Santos.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Matteo, Ferdinand, Harte, Mills, Batty, McPhail, Kewell, Keane, Viduka. Subs: Robinson, Wilcox, Duberry, Burns, Maybury, Woodgate.

Referee: Jack Van Hulten (Holland).

See also:

20 Sep 01 |  Uefa Cup
Good night for Chelsea
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