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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 18:01 GMT
Leeds edge past Fulham
Dominic Matteo and Michael Duberry of Leeds

Leeds 3-2 Fulham

A late headed goal from captain Dominic Matteo earned Leeds three priceless points after Eddie Gray's side had let slip a two-goal lead against Fulham.

A fortuitous Michael Duberry goal and a superb Mark Viduka effort had put relegation-threatened Leeds seemingly in complete control.

But just 70 seconds after Viduka's goal, Fulham gained a foothold in the game after Louis Saha guided a shot past Paul Robinson.

Saha struck again on 86 minutes with another piece of opportunistic finishing, but soon after Matteo rose to glance a header past Fulham goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

The victory means Leeds have now accumulated seven points from their last three games and are within a point of fourth-from-bottom Leicester.

Leeds' initial attacks were concentrated down the right where Gary Kelly and Jermaine Pennant caused the Fulham defence some anxiety.

One Kelly cross in particular forced Van der Sar to leave his line and punch clear.

Likewise Pennant's ability to get past Jon Harley allowed the on-loan Arsenal midfielder to send over a couple of dangerous crosses.

Just before the hour Pennant was unlucky not to score when his shot cannoned back off the bar and soon after another of his efforts was deflected on to the woodwork.

As ever Alan Smith's aggression in midfield provided another useful point of attack for Leeds.

Five minutes before half-time Smith bore down on the Fulham penalty area and referee Neale Barry ruled the England international was impeded by Luis Boa Morte.

Van der Sar palmed away Harte's free-kick but the ball richocheted off Duberry's knees into the net as the defender claimed only his second Leeds goal and his first in over three years.

KEY MOMENTS
41 mins: Duberry gives Leeds the lead Villa
46 mins: Viduka extends Leeds advantage
47 mins: Saha's first goal gives Fulham hope
86 mins: Saha's second pulls Fulham level
88 mins: Matteo's header wins the game

If Duberry's goal had something of the ridiculous about it, Viduka's goal was in the sublime category.

Running across the Fulham box the Australian international striker unleashed a fizzing shot past Van der Sar to double Leeds' advantage and claim his first goal in 10 games.

Up to that point Fulham had barely tested Paul Robinson but barely a minute after Viduka's goal, Saha collected Sean Davis' pass and guided his shot past the Leeds goalkeeper.

With four minutes left Saha equalised with another low shot, but in a dramatic climax to the game Matteo's goal secured the three points for Leeds.


Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Radebe, Duberry, Harte, Pennant, Smith, Batty, Matteo, Milner, Viduka.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Morris, Bridges, McPhail, Richardson.

Booked: Batty, Smith.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Volz (Hayles 63), Melville, Knight, Harley, Malbranque, Legwinski, Clark, Sean Davis, Boa Morte (Sava 77), Saha.
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Djetou, Goma.

Booked: Boa Morte.

Attendance: 30,544

Referee: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Leeds boss Eddie Gray
"We dug in and played with passion"




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