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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Keane lifts Man Utd
Man Utd captain Roy Keane scores the winner
Leeds Utd 0-1 Man Utd

Roy Keane's late header gave Manchester United a vital victory against resilient Leeds United at Elland Road.

Manchester United's captain stole on to Gary Neville's cross to break the deadlock with nine minutes left as Leeds threatened to frustrate Sir Alex Ferguson's champions.

It also lifted the pressure on England defender Rio Ferdinand, who had been taunted by the crowd that once idolised him following the controversy surrounding his recent missed drugs test.

Manchester United's stay on the Premiership summit was brief after Arsenal's win against Chelsea later, but Ferguson will simply be delighted with the three points.

Ferguson's plans to give youngster Cristiano Ronaldo a rest had to be shelved when Ryan Giggs was ruled out through illness.

Leeds counterpart Reid also restored 17-year-old James Milner after his loan spell at Swindon for only his second start of the season.

And Ronaldo was swiftly into the action when he was at the centre of a penalty controversy after five minutes.

62 mins: Cristiano Ronaldo strikes the post
81 mins: Roy Keane heads Man Utd in front
90 mins: Paul Scholes hits the bar

Ronaldo looked for a penalty from referee Graham Poll after tussling with Gary Kelly for a Mikael Silvestre through ball, but his appeals were waved away.

And in an eventful start, Ronaldo was then booked in the 14th minute for diving in attempting to win another penalty as he again tangled with Kelly.

Manchester United were making the early chances and Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson was forced to save at the second attempt from Paul Scholes.

Zoumana Camara then had to clear superbly from Darren Fletcher's cross, with Ruud van Nistelrooy lurking.

David Batty, back in the Leeds midfield, was in combative mood and he was booked after 40 minutes for a challenge on Ronaldo.

And Van Nistelrooy almost created an opening for Scholes five minutes after the break, but Robinson blocked again and Leeds scrambled to safety.

Leeds were not creating any clear-cut openings, but Reid's side were showing resilience and determination to keep the champions at bay.

Van Nistelrooy escaped the attentions of the Leeds rearguard on the hour, but his chip did not have enough height to beat Robinson.

Leeds finally countered and posed a threat when Mark Viduka's flick sent Salomon Olembe clear, but when the ball fell to Jermaine Pennant he sliced wastefully wide.

Ronaldo - who was being jeered by an Elland Road crowd angered by his theatrics - flashed a swerving 25-yard drive narrowly wide.

Leeds were struggling to survive, and the pressure finally paid off with nine minutes left when Keane broke the deadlock.

Gary Neville took advantage of slack Leeds defending, and his far post cross was met by Keane's header.

Scholes should have doubled the advantage in injury-time when he struck the crossbar from close range.

Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Camara, Matteo, Olembe, Pennant (Lennon 85), Batty, Seth Johnson, Milner (Sakho 63), Viduka (Bridges 68), Smith.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Roque Junior.

Booked: Pennant, Batty, Smith, Seth Johnson.

Man Utd: Howard, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Fortune (O'Shea 40), Fletcher (Forlan 60), Keane, Phil Neville, Ronaldo (Butt 90), Scholes, Van Nistelrooy.
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Djemba-Djemba.

Booked: Ronaldo.

Attendance: 40,153

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

BBC Five Live's Alan Green
"All the excitement came in the last ten minutes"

Leeds boss Peter Reid
"I wish we could have held on"

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