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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 September, 2003, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Blues sink Leeds
Robbie Savage scored Birmingham's first goal from the spot
Leeds 0-2 Birmingham

Birmingham produced a classic smash-and-grab performance at Elland Road to condemn Leeds to a second successive loss.

Leeds dominated possession for most of the game, but were undone as they were reduced to 10 men and then saw Birmingham score twice in a frenetic finish.

Robbie Savage netted a controversial twice-taken penalty on 78 minutes, after Roque Junior was red-carded for a foul on Mikael Forssell.

And the Finnish striker wrapped up the points for the Blues with a smart finish six minutes from time.

It was a bitter blow for Leeds, who were in control of most of the game, although they were restricted to a handful of half-chances by the miserly Birmingham defence.

The first-half was scrappy and notable largely for yellow cards issued to Salomon Olembe - making his full Leeds debut - and Roque Junior.

Alan Smith had the first shot of note, Christophe Dugarry blocking after the striker latched on to Mark Viduka's knock-down header.

Matthew Upson produced a timely block as Lamine Sakho lined up a shot, but Maik Taylor was rarely troubled in the Blues' goal.

At the other end, Paul Robinson was even less busy - his first action of note was a comfortable save from David Dunn on the half-hour.

KEY MOMENTS
77 mins: Roque Junior dismissed for second booking
78 mins: Robbie Savage's scores re-taken penalty
84 mins: Mikael Forssell scores Birmingham's second

Roque Junior sparked the only move of quality in the first-half after he robbed Dugarry and played in Sakho.

The Frenchman's low cross eluded Viduka and Smith but found Jermaine Pennant, although Upson was on hand to deny his former Arsenal colleague.

Savage found himself in the book for clipping the heels of Sakho, who also saw a volley saved late in the half.

The recalled Ian Harte sent in a wicked free-kick from the touchline early in the second half, but Smith was just unable to make contact.

Sakho and Olembe combined shortly afterwards, but the move broke down as Pennant mis-controlled.

Sakho remained Leeds' most potent threat, and his 56th-minute volley forced Taylor to save - although he was booked for a foul on David Dunn shortly afterwards.

Viduka missed a chance on 65 minutes, heading wide from six yards after a typically incisive Harte free-kick.

Leeds must have wondered if it was not to be their day when Smith miscued a close-range shot and Taylor gratefully gathered.

And their feelings were confirmed in 10 mad minutes towards the end.

Roque Junior sparked the mayhem, when his 77th-minute foul on Forssell led to a penalty - and his second yellow card.

Paul Robinson then brilliantly saved Dunn's shot, only for one of referee Dermot Gallagher's assistants to rule that he moved before the kick was taken.

Savage took responsibility for the retake, making no mistake.

Their second came soon after through Forssell's smart finish, his third goal in two games for a Birmingham side now up to seventh in the table.


Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Camara, Roque Junior, Harte, Pennant, Morris, Olembe, Sakho (Lennon 81), Viduka, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Batty, Radebe, Chapuis.

Sent Off: Roque Junior (77).

Booked: Roque Junior, Olembe, Sakho, Camara.

Birmingham: Taylor, Johnson, Upson, Cunningham, Clapham, Dunn (Morrison 90), Savage, Clemence, Lazaridis, Forssell (Tebily 88), Dugarry (Cisse 85).
Subs Not Used: John, Bennett.

Booked: Savage, Dugarry.

Attendance: 34,305

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire)



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