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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Villa and Leeds share spoils
Ian Harte directs his free-kick past the Villa wall
Leeds were restricted to long-range efforts
Aston Villa 0-0 Leeds

Leeds were fortunate to come away from Villa Park with their first draw of the season as the home side created the better chances but were scuppered by poor finishing.

Darius Vassell and substitute Juan Pablo Angel had opportunities to earn their side all three points but Leeds held on stoutly, despite rarely testing Villa keeper Peter Enckelman.

  Key moments
22 mins: Dion Dublin heads just wide
29 mins: Darius Vassell shoots into the side-netting
48 mins: Lee Bowyer sidefoots wide
90 mins: Vassell has a penalty appeal turned down

In a subdued atmosphere, both sides struggled to create anything to spark the crowd into life during the first half.

While Leeds were guilty of too many misplaced passes, Villa were only marginally better, though they did garner the two best chances.


If we keep performing like that that the goals will eventually come
Villa boss Graham Taylor
Ulises de la Cruz sent over a right-wing cross which Dion Dublin headed just wide while Vassell fired a drive into the sidenetting which had Paul Robinson scrambling across his goal-line.

Leeds' contribution was limited to an Ian Harte free-kick which Enckelman did well to save.

The second half began much more positively, to the relief of a frustrated crowd.

Villa manager Graham Taylor brought on striker Angel for the injured Oyvind Leonhardsen, himself a first-half replacement for Ronny Johnsen, and switched to a 3-4-3 formation.

But it was Leeds who engineered the first chance of the half, Harry Kewell finding an unmarked Lee Bowyer 12 yards out only to see the England midfielder sidefoot his shot inches wide.

Alan Smith holds off Gareth Barry
Alan Smith waslet down by poor delivery from his team-mates

Dominic Matteo was then forced to produce a superb interception to prevent Vassell connecting with Jlloyd Samuel's low ball into the area.

And as Villa continued to press, Lee Hendrie worked an opening only to mis-hit his 15-yard shot which Robinson easily claimed.

By the hour mark, the home side had forced 13 corners but Leeds continued to defend stoutly.


I thought we had the best two chances of the game but it has not been a bad week for us
Leeds boss Terry Venables
With chances at a premium, Terry Venables took the opportunity to bring on Mark Viduka, starting on the bench for the second consecutive match, in place of midfielder Stephen McPhail.

But the introduction of the Australian striker failed to kick-start the Leeds attack and it was Villa who continued to create the better chances.

Angel volleyed over and Vassell appealed for a 90th-minute penalty after tangling with Matteo in the area, but earned a booking for his protests.

As the match meandered towards its conclusion Jlloyd Samuel shaved the post with a long-range effort but Leeds held on for a point.



Aston Villa: Enckelman, Mellberg, Staunton, Johnsen (Leonhardsen 14, Angel 45), Barry, De la Cruz, Hendrie, Samuel, Kinsella, Dublin, Vassell.
Subs Not Used: Postma, Allback, Crouch.

Booked: Vassell.

Leeds: Robinson, Mills, Woodgate, Matteo, Harte, Bowyer, Barmby, McPhail (Viduka 67), Bakke, Kewell, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Martyn, Kelly, Lucic, McMaster.

Booked: Mills.

Attendance: 33,505

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Dennis
"Same old story for Villa"
Leeds boss Terry Venables
"I was pleased with the way we defended"
Aston Villa boss Graham Taylor
"We just didn't convert our chances"
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