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Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Leeds crush Baggies
Lee Bowyer celebrates after scoring Leeds' second
West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Leeds United

Terry Venables maintained his perfect start at Leeds United as they hit the Premiership summit after cruising to victory at West Bromwich Albion.

Gary Megson's top-flight newcomers battled hard and dominated the first half hour - but learned a harsh lesson in life at the sharp end as Leeds killed them off with quality.

Harry Kewell and Lee Bowyer struck either side of the interval to make it a 100% opening to the new campaign for Venables after his return to management to replace David O'Leary at Elland Road.

  Key moments
36 mins Kewell scores to put Leeds United in front
52 Bowyer scores a brilliant second for Leeds
70 Viduka rounds Russell Hoult to add a third for Leeds
90 Marshall is finally on the mark for Albion

Mark Viduka's third, scored with a flourish, heaped further punishment on hapless Albion, who may already be contemplating a long hard season as they still search for their first Premiership point.

Substitute Lee Marshall's injury-time goal was no consolation, except for providing Albion with their first strike of the season.


It was a fair scoreline if you miss the chances we did at one end and defend as badly as we did at the other
West Brom manager Gary Megson

Venables, in contrast to Megson, will have been delighted with the attacking verve demonstated by his side - typified by Kewell and Bowyer.

Bowyer, in particular, was outstanding and demonstrated the bonus Leeds have been handed by the breakdown of his proposed 9m move to title rivals Liverpool.

The Hawthorns was in party mood as Albion celebrated their return to the big time - and Megson's side opened as if they were determined to capture the mood.


West Brom gave us a lot of problems, but we played some very good football in the second half
Leeds manager Terry Venables

Albion created a host of early openings, the best of which fell to transfer-seeking midfield man Andy Johnson after 17 minutes.

Igor Balis and Scott Dobie carved Leeds open down the right flank, but when Lars Sigurdsson's cross fell perfectly for Johnson he was off target from only eight yards out,

Albion did not transform possession into goals, and their failure was punished in ruthless style by Leeds after 38 minutes.

Danny Mills escaped down the right flank, and his cross was met sweetly by Kewell as he swept an emphatic finish past Russell Hoult.

And Albion's hopes of a revival were crushed by a moment of brilliance from Bowyer after 52 minutes.

Kewell turned creator with an instinctive flick from Alan Smith's pass, and Bowyer applied the finish the build-up demanded with a first time shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

Albion were now chasing shadows, and Bowyer was at the heart of matters for Leeds again when Viduka added to their agony with 20 minutes left.

Phil Gilchrist's failure to clear was cruelly exposed by Bowyer, who set up Viduka to waltz around Hoult and score his second goal of the season.

Marshall's injury-time goal was a cause for minor celebration as Leeds recorded a comfortable win.



West Brom: Hoult, Moore (Dichio 60), Gilchrist, Sigurdsson, Balis, Clement, McInnes (Wallwork 73), Johnson (Marshall 73), Gregan, Dobie, Roberts.
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Taylor.

Booked: Sigurdsson.

Leeds: Robinson, Mills, Woodgate (Radebe 61), Matteo, Harte, Bowyer, Bakke, Barmby, Kewell (Keane 82), Viduka, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Martyn, Kelly, Dacourt.

Booked: Woodgate.

Attendance: 26,618

Referee: S Dunn (Avon).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mike Sewell
"West Brom had early chances"
Leeds boss Terry Venables
"We got our game together"
West Brom boss Gary Megson
"We need to improve our finishing"
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