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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 21:39 GMT
Leeds 4-1 Wolves
Leeds striker Alan Smith reels away in celebration after giving his side the lead at Elland Road
Leeds boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop with a stunning victory.

Alan Smith embodied a resurgent Leeds spirit and scored from close range after Stephen Caldwell's knock-down.

Viorel Ganea blasted in a 22-yard shot to equalise for Wolves before Leeds earned a two-goal cushion through Dominic Matteo and James Milner.

Matteo rifled in a deflected shot while Milner set up Smith at the far post before Mark Viduka capped it with a fine turn in the last minute.

The victory moved Leeds level with Wolves on 20 points but above the Midlanders on goal difference at the bottom of the Premiership table.

If Leeds' players needed any reminding about the importance of the game against the relegation-battling rivals then the Elland Road crowd let them know as one.

KEY MOMENTS
14 mins: Smith puts Leeds ahead
21 mins: Ganea levels for Wolves
41 mins: Matteo restores Leeds advantage
62 mins: Milner fires in for Leeds
90 mins: Viduka completes the win

And, spurred on by the vociferous fans, the home side went close when Eirik Bakke headed over from a Jermaine Pennant cross.

The desire of both teams was plain to see as the match was played at a frenetic pace with time and space at a premium.

Jody Craddock failed to take a half-chance for Wolves before Leeds went in front.

Pennant's cross looped off Mark Kennedy into the Wolves box where Caldwell headed down for Smith who beat keeper Paul Jones to the ball to squeeze a shot.

Wolves responded with purpose and equalised through Ganea's long range strike prior to Colin Cameron blazing a shot just over the Leeds crossbar.

But Smith was epitomising a revived spirit from Leeds and his header combined with keeper Jones' failure to clear properly allowed Matteo to rifle Eddie Gray's side back in front.

Either side of the interval, Bakke was relieved to see a header go wide of his own goal while Milner extended the Leeds advantage.

The youngster put away his shot after being set up by Smith and, when he returned the favour, Smith failed to beat Jones from 12 yards.

Smith should again have scored soon after as the visitors ran out of steam compared to a hard-working Leeds side who saw Viduka's goal complete a vital victory.


Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Caldwell, Matteo, Domi (Harte 45), Pennant, Bakke, Seth Johnson, Milner, Smith, Viduka.
Subs Not Used: Carson, McPhail, Lennon, Richardson.

Booked: Bakke.

Wolverhampton: Jones, Irwin, Butler, Craddock, Naylor, Miller (Silas 62), Rae, Cameron, Kennedy, Cort (Iversen 77), Ganea.
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Clyde, Gudjonsson.

Booked: Cameron, Irwin.

Attendance: 36,867.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Ian Dennis
"Leeds are still drinking in the last-chance saloon"


Leeds boss Eddie Gray
"If we hadn't won it could have been mission impossible"




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