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BBC Five Live's John Murray
"A draw, with seven first team players injured, deserves great credit."
 real 14k

Leeds' goalkeeper Paul Robinson
"The lads put in a good performance"
 real 14k

Leeds' Jonathan Woodgate
"The main thing is, we weren't beaten"
 real 14k

Leeds' Danny Mills
"We had to dig in and grind out the result"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
Leeds earn comfortable draw
Michael Bridges
Bridges was forced off injured
Besiktas 0-0 Leeds United

Leeds United produced a confident and disciplined performance to earn a respectable goalless draw against an attack-minded but unimaginative Besiktas side at the Inonu Stadium.

Manager David O'Leary's Elland Road side proved to tough a barrier to break down for the home side who were continually thwarted by their resolute opponents.

The game began with the home crowd in the sort of vociferous mood Turkish fans have become famous for but Leeds, returning to Istanbul since the deaths of their supporters Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight in April when they played Galatasary, coped well.

Mark Viduka
Mark Viduka

Indeed, even though Besiktas began to find some sort of stride and tested the visitors defensive qualities, Leeds had the best chance of the first half which came after five minutes.

A free-kick was curled in from left and, after a slight flick-on as both sets of players jostled in the area, fell to the unmarked Eirik Bakke at the far post.

But the midfielder shot straight at Besiktas goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu from close range.

Leeds 21-year-old goalkeeper Paul Robinson, starting his first game for 16 months, was called into action two minutes later when he received his first telling touch of the game as he comfortably caught Mehmet Ozdilek's header.

Ian Harte went wide with a free-kick after 20 minutes but Besiktas seemed determined to win some pride back after their 6-0 humbling in the reverse fixture.

Resolute

Leeds central defender Jonathan Woodgate had to be alert to head away a cross at the near post before Marcus Munch was almost put clear on the inside right of the visitors area.

Ahmet Dursun shot high from 25-yards midway through the half before Michael Bridges, replacing the suspended Alan Smith in attack was then substituted by Darren Huckerby due to injury, as Besiktas continued to apply pressure on Leeds.

However, for all their effort Leeds defended resolutely and Mark Viduka went close at the Besiktas end when he was not given off-side and shot into the side-netting from an acute angle.

The lively Dursun had a weak shot saved by Robinson after 38 minutes for the home side before Nihat Kahveci ran freely into the area but, despite a desperate lunge, he could not get a touch to a Besiktas centre.

Continually repelled

The pattern of the game proved much the same after the interval with the home side attacking and Leeds continually and confidently repelling their efforts.

In a rare opening for Besiktas 10 minutes into the second-half, Mehmet stole in between Woodgate and fellow central defensive partner Danny Mills to meet a diagonal cross but his header went tamely wide.

Nihat latched onto a ball over the top soon after only to shoot high under-pressure from Woodgate. The ball fell fortunately to the same Besiktas player just outside the area after 79 minutes but Nihat shot high.

Nihat had a header saved late on but Leeds held on for a comfortable point which could prove invaluable with games against Barcelona and AC Milan to come.

If Leeds defeat Barcelona, who drew 3-3 with AC Milan, in their next outing then it should be enough to put the English club through to the second phase.


Besiktas: Shorunmu, Beserler, Bozkurt, Khlestov, Kahveci, Kahran, Ozdilek, Havutcu, Munch, Sulun, Dursun. Subs: Tuncay, Zafer, Bektas, Akman, Uzulmez, Alacayir, Sahin.

Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Woodgate, Mills, Harte, Bakke, Bowyer, Burns, Matteo, Bridges, Viduka. Subs: Milosevic, Huckerby, McPhail, Jones, Hay, Evans, Hackworth.

Referee: J Wegereef (Holland)

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