Sunday 14 December 2003, 4:05pm at Elland Road, Leeds
Barclays Premier League
Leeds United
Duberry 41'; Viduka 46'; Matteo 88'
Fulham FC
Saha 47', 86'

41' Goal

Michael Duberry

46' Goal

Mark Viduka

88' Goal

Dominic Matteo

56' Yellow Card

David Batty Card was given for a foul

62' Yellow Card

Alan Smith Card was given for a foul

47' Goal

Louis Saha

86' Goal

Louis Saha

52' Yellow Card

Luis Boa Morte Card was given for a foul

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Barry Hayles
Off:Moritz Volz

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Facundo Sava
Off:Luis Boa Morte

A last-gasp winner from Dominic Matteo cancelled out Louis Saha's 86th-minute equaliser, which looked to have grabbed the Whites a valuable point away from home.

It is now seven points from the last nine for Leeds, but only after an edge-of-the-seat finale as Louis Saha appeared to have salvaged apoint for high-flying Fulham. Saha fired home a second-half brace to cancel out Leeds' two-goal lead afforded them initially by the unlikely figure of Michael Duberry, with hisfirst goal for three and a half years, and then in the more customary form ofMark Viduka. 

But moments after Saha had completed his double in the 87th minute, Leeds skipper Matteo was left unmarked to head home his first of the season to handhis side a rare home triumph. It was a deserved victory, but you would not have bet on Duberry opening the scoring, with the centre back having become something of a cult figure with the Leeds fans. 

His recent return to the side has resulted in the BBC being bombarded with votes from the Whites supporters in the Sports Personality of the Year awards. The 28-year-old has benefited from the change in formation deployed by Gray, who has switched to five across the middle with great effect, with Matteo in the anchor role. It has guaranteed Duberry's place in the centre of defence, and he was certainly in the right place at the right time to fire Leeds in front against a typically resilient Fulham side who again packed men behind the ball. Leeds were fortunate to win a 41st-minute free-kick from which the goal materialised as Luis Boa Morte, returning from a three-match ban, appeared to win the ball off Alan Smith. 

Yet the tackle was from behind and up stepped Ian Harte for a 20-yard curler which Edwin van der Sar brilliantly parried, but straight at Duberry to shin theball home. The incredulous look on his face underlined the fact he was as stunned as everyone else at scoring, before normality then resumed in the closing minutesof the half with a couple of rushed clearances. In that period of play Fulham finally conjured a chance for the previous 42 minutes they had found themselves under pressure, although with Leeds mountinglittle of note bar a Viduka drive which van der Sar held low down to his right. But Paul Robinson, who had earlier almost made a hash of a curled Steed Malbranque cross, was alert in tipping over the bar a rising drive from the sameplayer. The second half then started - and ended - in explosive fashion, with Leeds opening up a two-goal cushion just 45 seconds after the restart courtesy ofViduka's third of the season and his first to end a nine-game drought. 

A James Milner throw found Viduka with his back to goal and 25 yards out, and after first holding off the challenge of Zat Knight, he left van der Sar rooted to his line as a superb right-foot curler flashed past the Dutchman. But 70 seconds later Fulham were back in the game with Sean Davis initially feeding Saha, and although there appeared no danger from 25 yards, his raking right-foot shot for his ninth of the campaign was beyond the outstretched reachof Robinson. 

Fulham had become a different proposition now they were chasing the game and almost grabbed the equaliser in the 57th minute, only for Robinson to display exceptional reflexes in beating away a 15-yard half volley from Saha in meeting a Davis corner. 

That was followed 90 seconds later with Fulham close to conceding a third, but with van der Sar again well beaten, on-loan Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant struck the bar with a cracking left-foot shot after turning inside visiting skipper Andy Melville. After Smith picked up his third caution in successive games - and that after returning from a one-match ban for five bookings this season - Matteo then put the ball over the bar in the 66th minute after being set up by Milner and Viduka. The woodwork again saved Fulham 12 minutes from time as a right-wing cross from Pennant deflected off Melville and onto the right-hand post, with Milner firing the rebound over the bar from a tight angle. After another Milner curler had been saved by van der Sar, Saha then seemingly gave Fulham a share of the spoils as a 20-yard drive spun in off the left hand of Robinson. But Matteo had the last word, ensuring Leeds will not be bottom come Christmas - and we all know what happens to teams at the end of the season who findthemselves in that position over the festive period.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 14 December 2003
Kick-off: 4:05pm

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds
Attendance: 30,544

Referee: Neale Barry

Leeds United

Line-up: Robinson; Kelly, Duberry, Radebe, Harte; Pennant, Batty, Matteo, Milner; Smith, Viduka

Unused substitutes: Carson, Richardson, Morris, McPhail, Bridges


Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz (Hayles 63'), Knight, Melville, Harley; Malbranque, Clark, Davis, Legwinski, Boa Morte (Sava 77'); Saha

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Djetou, Goma

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 16 38
2 Manchester United 16 37
3 Chelsea 16 36
4 Fulham 16 25
5 Newcastle United 16 24
6 Southampton 16 23
7 Charlton Athletic 16 23
8 Birmingham City 16 23
9 Liverpool 16 22
10 Bolton Wanderers 16 21
11 Middlesbrough 16 20
12 Manchester City 16 19
13 Tottenham Hotspur 16 18
14 Blackburn Rovers 16 17
15 Everton 16 17
16 Aston Villa 16 17
17 Leicester City 16 16
18 Portsmouth 16 16
19 Leeds United 16 15
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 11
Leeds United (4-4-2)
  • 1Paul Robinson
  • 2Gary Kelly
  • 5Michael Duberry
  • 5Lucas Radebe
  • 23Ian Harte
  • 7Jermaine Pennant
  • David Batty
  • Dominic Matteo
  • 7James Milner
  • 17Alan Smith
  • 36Mark Viduka
  • 1Scott Carson
  • 2Frazer Richardson
  • 4Jody Morris
  • 37Stephen McPhail
  • 17Michael Bridges
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 3Jon Harley
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 10Lee Clark
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 8Louis Saha
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 9Facundo Sava
  • 15Barry Hayles