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Saturday, 22 December, 2001, 17:02 GMT
Toon rally denies Leeds
Newcastle's Andy O'Brien runs past Mark Viduka
Newcastle's Andy O'Brien runs past Mark Viduka
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Leeds 3-4 Newcastle

Newcastle stayed top of the Premiership after fighting back from two goals down to beat Leeds at Elland Road.

Leeds had looked set to replace their visitors at the summit when they led 3-1 early in the second half.

But Peruvian winger Nolberto Solano struck in the last minute to seal a sensational comeback by Newcastle.

38 mins: Bellamy puts Newcastle ahead
38 mins: Bowyer scores on his comeback to equalise
50 mins: Viduka puts Leeds ahead
56 mins: Harte extends the home advantage
59 mins: Robbie Elliott pulls one back with a header
71 mins: Shearer equalises from the spot
90 mins: Solano scores sensational winner

Leeds looked set for a perfect afternoon.

The biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Lee Bowyer, reinstated to the starting line-up after agreeing to pay a club fine, scored Leeds' equaliser.

His clinical strike cancelled out the opener from Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy.

Mark Viduka and Ian Harte added further goals for the home side and they looked to be cruising.

But Robbie Elliott, Alan Shearer and then Solano struck to deny them.

The first half started quietly and there were few chances.

The officials pay tribute to referee Gerald Ashby, who died last week, before the game
The officials pay tribute to the late Gerald Ashby
Leeds 11m signing Robbie Fowler was disappointing, wasting passes and looking a little sluggish.

For Newcastle, French winger Laurent Robert showed some delightful touches but also drifted out of the game for long periods.

The visitors took the lead after 38 minutes. Kieron Dyer, looking near to his best, out-paced Harte down the right and crossed to Bellamy, who thumped the ball into the roof of the net.

Leeds drew level within a minute. Bowyer broke past the Newcastle defence and coolly slotted home.

There's a winning attitude here now
Bobby Robson
It was his first goal since the opening weekend of the season.

Leeds finished the half the strongger and had good chances through Fowler and Viduka before the interval.

Newcastle had to bring Sylvain Distin on for Nikos Dabizas at half-time after the Greek international was injured by an aggressive challenge from Viduka.

The change seemed to disrupt the visitors and they were 3-1 down by the 56th minute.

First Viduka received the ball with his beck to goal and turned Andy O'Brien before curling the ball past Shay Given.

Then Harte thumped a right-footed shot home from the edge of the area.

It was a chance to go top, to finish off a poor week in a nice way
David O'Leary
Newcastle looked dead and buried, but they fought back valiantly.

Elliott grabbed the first goal back with a diving header after Nigel Martyn had parried a Dyer cross back into the area.

Shearer equalised from the spot after Leeds substitute Eirik Bakke was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

And Solano capped a magnicent comeback by coolly slotting home after being played in by the effervescent Dyer.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Ferdinand, Mills, Harte, Bowyer, Batty, Johnson, Kewell (Bakke 47), Viduka, Fowler.

Subs Not Used: Woodgate, Keane, Robinson, Smith.

Booked: Viduka, Kelly.

Goals: Bowyer 38, Viduka 50, Harte 56.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Dabizas (Distin 45), Elliott, Solano, Dyer, Speed, Robert (Bernard 78), Shearer, Bellamy (Lua-Lua 90).

Subs Not Used: Acuna, Harper.

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Bellamy 38, Elliott 59, Shearer 71 pen, Solano 90.

Att: 40,287

Ref: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).

BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Another incredible Newcastle comeback"
Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
"This week could not have gone better"
Newcastle captain Alan Shearer
"It was a tremendous game"
Leeds boss David O'Leary
"We blew it"
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