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Saturday, 12 January, 2002, 17:02 GMT
Newcastle topple Leeds
Kieron Dyer fires home Newcastle United's third
Newcastle United 3-1 Leeds United
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Newcastle United leapfrogged over Leeds United at the Premiership summit with a resounding victory at St James's Park.

Bobby Robson's Toon Army shrugged off the setback of conceding Alan Smith's first-minute goal to leave Leeds well beaten at the final whistle.


Apart from the first minute, we gave a tremendous performance
Newcastle United manager Bobby Robson
Michael Duberry's own goal put Newcastle level before half-time - and strikes from Kieron Dyer and Craig Bellamy after the interval put Newcastle back on top.

And Leeds manager David O'Leary's misery was complete when defender Danny Mills was sent off for a senseless second-half kick at Bellamy.

It capped a woeful week for Leeds after their shock FA Cup exit at Cardiff - and Mills can have no excuses for his shameful foul on Bellamy that made his team's task almost impossible.


Leeds players celebrate
But Robson will be delighted with Newcastle, who delivered an emphatic answer to those who doubted them after defeats against Chelsea and Manchester United.

Leeds suffered a setback before kick-off when Robbie Fowler pulled out of the game after suffering a family bereavement.

But Smith - the villain when he was sent off in the stormy FA Cup tie at Cardiff - more than compensated for his absence with a goal after 28 seconds.

Mark Viduka's header sent Smith clear, and he outpaced the Newcastle defence to beat Shay Given comprehensively.

It was the signal for a prolonged Newcastle siege on the Leeds goal that left O'Leary's side penned in their own penalty area for the remainder of the half.


The lads playing have done marvellously, but we seem to be losing big players every week
Leeds United manager David O'Leary
Bellamy was a constant source of danger, shooting narrowly over the top and across the face of goal as Newcastle went in search of an equaliser.

Leeds' defensive duo Jonathan Woodgate and Duberry were both booked for fouls on Bellamy and Dyer, while David Batty was fortunate to escape with a yellow card for a reckless lunge at Andy O'Brien.

Newcastle were not to be denied, but their leveller came in bizarre fashion, courtesy of Leeds defender Duberry.

He flashed a header high past Nigel Martyn on the stroke of half-time as Nolberto Solano's free-kick flew into the penalty area.

It was no more than Newcastle deserved for a relentless display of attacking football, and Bellamy should have put them ahead seconds after the interval.

  Match facts
28 secs Alan Smith puts Leeds ahead
44 mins Michael Duberry's own goal puts Newcastle level
59 mins Kieron Dyer puts Newcastle in front
69 mins Leeds' Danny Mills is sent off for kicking Craig Bellamy
86 mins Bellamy adds Newcastle's third

The Wales striker raced on to Robbie Elliott's through ball, but shot straight at Martyn to waste a glorious opportunity.

But he made amends after 59 minutes when he created Newcastle's second for Dyer.

He chested the ball into Dyer's path, and he took control before beating Martyn to his left from 12 yards.

Leeds' problems piled up after 69 minutes when Mills was deservedly sent off for an act of indefensible stupidity.

Bellamy was again a central figure as he chased a ball into a corner, but Mills responded with a wild kick at the Newcastle striker that brought an instant dismissal from referee Barber.


Woodgate and Duberry in discussion
Leeds responded to the handicap of only having ten men with their most concerted spell of attacking - and goalkeeper Given came to Newcastle's rescue with a stunning double save.

Viduka was denied by a brave block, then Given jumped to his feet to save from Smith when he looked certain to restore equality.

Newcastle were in rampant mood, however, and it was no surprise when Bellamy finally got the goal his hard work deserved with four minutes left.

Dyer repaid the earlier compliment with a glorious through ball which Bellamy took wide before beating Martyn.


Newcastle: Given, Hughes, Dabizas, O'Brien (Distin 86), Elliott, Solano, Dyer, Speed, Robert, Shearer, Bellamy. Subs Not Used: Acuna, Harper, Lua-Lua, Bernard.

Booked: Bellamy, Robert, Dabizas.

Leeds: Martyn, Mills, Woodgate, Duberry, Matteo, Kelly, Johnson (Wilcox 66), Batty, Bowyer, Smith, Viduka. Subs Not Used: Harte, Robinson, McPhail, Richardson.

Sent Off: Mills (70).

Booked: Duberry, Woodgate, Batty, Viduka, Wilcox, Smith.

Attendance: 52,130

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's John Murray
"Count Newcastle out of the championship race at your peril"
Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
"That's another double victory over Leeds"
Leeds boss David O'Leary
"We conceded a poor third goal which finished us"
Newcastle's Alan Shearer
"It gave us a right kick up the backside when Alan Smith scored"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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