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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 21:55 GMT
Malaga knock out Leeds
Julio Dely Valdes was Malaga's match winner
Dely Valdes scored both his team's goals
Leeds United 1-2 Malaga
(Malaga win 2-1 on aggregate)

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Julio Dely Valdes scored twice to earn Malaga a hard-fought victory at Elland Road and eliminate Leeds from the Uefa Cup.

Despite the loss of an early goal and striker Michael Bridges with a serious injury, Leeds replied through Eirik Bakke and pushed hard for a winner before Dely Valdes' late second goal settled the contest.

The tone of the match had been set after 16 minutes, when Lee Bowyer stamped on Gerardo to ensure a full-blooded physical encounter followed.

Key moments
8 mins: Dely Valdes opens the scoring for Malaga
16 mins: Bowyer stamps on Gerardo's head
23 mins: Bakke draws Leeds level
80 mins: Dely Valdes scores his second
Occasional moments of skill and flair were interspersed with crunching tackles and off-the-ball incidents on a bitter night at Elland Road.

The defeat adds to the problems facing Leeds manager Terry Venables, whose team are now out of Europe and facing a domestic relegation battle.

Malaga settled quickly and scored after just eight minutes.

Kiki Musampa got the better of Danny Mills on the right-hand side and cut the ball back for Dely Valdes to slip the ball home.

Leeds had already lost Bridges with a ruptured Achilles tendon and the goal only added to the team's considerable problems.

Bowyer then lit the blue touch paper with an X-rated tackle on Gerardo, which he followed with a vicious stamp on the player's head.

The Leeds midfielder was fortunate to only receive a booking.

Bakke equalised for the home team with a cushioned volley from a tight angle after an intelligent knock-back across goal from Robbie Fowler.

I felt we were so much better for long periods of time

Terry Venables
The Norwegian's reward for scoring was a boot in the nether regions from a Malaga player shortly afterwards.

Dely Valdes headed narrowly over and almost pounced on a half-save from Paul Robinson, while Marcelo Romero forced an excellent save with a brilliant long-range shot after the Spanish team tried to add to their advantage.

Michael Bridges is helped off the field
Bridges limped off early in the match
Bowyer almost scored with a flying header early in the second-half but clear-cut chances were at a premium as Malaga concentrated on preserving their slender advantage.

A series of niggling challenges disrupted the flow of the game, but Leeds almost profited from a needless foul when Michael Duberry rose to the subsequent free-kick, but his effort narrowly missed.

Minutes later Robinson got down quickly to deny Musampa's superbly struck snapshot.

But Dely Valdes made the most of a fortunate ricochet to smash the ball past Robinson with 10 minutes remaining and take the tie beyond Leeds.

And Robinson was required to make a good save with full-time looming to prevent Dario Silva from increasing Malaga's lead.


Leeds: Robinson, Mills, Woodgate, Duberry, Kelly, Bowyer, Bakke, Okon, Wilcox, Smith, Bridges (Fowler 9).
Subs Not Used: Martyn, Harte, Radebe, McPhail, Seth Johnson, Kilgallon.

Booked: Bowyer, Smith.

Malaga: Contreras, Josemi, Fernando Sanz, Roteta, Valcarce, Manu (Sandro 57), Gerardo, Romero, Musampa (Miguel Angel 78), Silva, Dely Valdes (Litos 90).
Subs Not Used: Arnau, Iznata, Leko, Koke.

Booked: Gerardo, Valcarce, Silva, Fernando Sanz, Sandro.

Attendance: 34,123

Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Dennis
"Leeds showed a fighting spirit - literally at times"
Leeds boss Terry Venables
"The spirit in our side was great"

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