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  Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 22:58 GMT
Leeds hold Malaga
Leeds' Alan Smith shields the ball from Malaga's Mikel Roteta
Alan Smith had a typically industrious game
Malaga 0-0 Leeds

Europe once again brought out the best in Leeds as Terry Venables' side came away from Spain with a creditable draw in the Uefa Cup.

With just one win in nine games, this third-round tie presented another potential banana skin for Leeds.

I think the tie is winnable

Leeds manager Terry Venables

Not that Venables' team showed it - for long intervals Leeds controlled the tempo of the game, restricting Malaga to the odd half chance.

Leeds also produced plenty of chances, but were unable to show the finishing that had accounted for Hapoel Tel Aviv a fortnight earlier.

In that game, a four-goal haul from Alan Smith had guided Leeds to this third round stage.

The England international was again to the fore, as ever dispensing in equal measure wonderful skill as well as his spiky temperament.

So much so that, just before the interval, it looked as though Smith might have sent off.

The striker stayed on and, although Malaga provided more of a threat after the interval, Leeds held out for the draw.

Paul Robinson had not been called on to make a save in the opening half, though immediately after the restart he had to get down quickly to save Julio Dely Valdes' shot.

Late in the game, Robinson also had to be alert to save a Valdes header and, more bizarrely, Ian Harte's chested backpass.

Given the defeats, the injuries and the speculation Venables and chairman Peter Ridsdale have been under, Leeds began the game in remarkably perky fashion.

In particular, Pedro Contreras did well to parry Smith's shot after the England international had been released by Jason Wilcox's pass.

Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale
Peter Ridsdale is due at Leeds' AGM on Friday

Smith was then just unable to get a boot to Harry Kewell's inswinging cross from the left.

Kewell himself had three reasonable shooting chances, failing to connect with the first two, before finally testing Contreras.

While Smith and Kewell prospered, the Leeds defence - both Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Duberry had good games - restricted Malaga to the odd shot and overhit cross.

Leeds' chief worry in that opening period was whether Smith could stay on the pitch.

He picked up a yellow card in an off-the-ball incident with Marcelo Romero and, five minutes later, the Malaga players were demanding a red card following Smith's sliding challenge on goalkeeper Contreras.

Malaga: Contreras, Roteta, Fernando Sanz, Valcarce, Romero, Josemi, Iznata (Edgar 62), Manu (Koke 62), Sandro, Musampa, Dely Valdes. Subs not used: Rafa, Rojas, Litos, Miguel Angel, Leko.

Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Duberry, Woodgate, Harte, Bowyer, Bakke, McPhail, Wilcox, Smith, Kewell. Subs not used: Martyn, Bridges, Okon, Burns, Richardson, Kilgallon.
Booked: Smith.

Attendance: 35,000

Referee: A Trentalange (Italy).

Leeds boss Terry Venables
"Certain things are coming together now"

Thursday's games

Tuesday's game

Third round draw


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