Date: Thursday, 14th November 2002.
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy.
Cup Second Round Second Leg.
Score: Hapoel Tel-Aviv 1 Leeds United 4
Scorers: Hapoel Tel-Aviv: Abukasis. Leeds
United: Smith (4).
Hapoel Tel-Aviv: Elimelech;
Halis, Gerson, Domb, Hillel; Alek,
Abukasis, Halmai, Toama; Knafo (Balali),
Clescenko (Udi). Unused
Subs: Saban, Halfon, Abutbul, Salem.
Leeds United: Robinson; Kelly (Richardson), Radebe
(Kilgallon), Duberry, Harte; Barmby, Bakke (McPhail), Bowyer, Wilcox;
Smith, Kewell. Unused Subs: Burns, Bridges, McMaster,
Referee: Fritz Stuchlik (Austria).
There were four goals for Alan Smith as United beat Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the away leg of their UEFA Cup tie,
which had to be played in Florence
due to unrest in Israel.
Another patched up United XI were good value for their 4-1 victory and Terry Venables took advantage of United’s
impregnable position to give debuts to Frazer Richardson and Matthew Kilgallon who replaced Gary Kelly and Lucas Radebe, who suffered a groin injury, on the hour mark. It
was a masterly display from Alan Smith, who was given his chance upfront with
Harry Kewell, and two of his goals came from
interplay with his strike partner, as he got three strikers’ goals and one with
a touch of magic. After just seventy seconds the Israelis took the lead to be
equal on aggregate with an absolutely beautiful free-kick, which even the
in-form Paul Robinson could not stop. United’s reply
came from the top shelf with Smith shooting accurately past the keeper after
good work by Eirik Bakke.
United increased their lead nine minutes into the second half as Alan Smith
scored with an angled shot from close to the by-line. He completed his
hat-trick after sixty-two minutes when he was alert to the keeper’s parry of a
Harry Kewell shot. Hapoel
had lost the game and some had lost their composure as a defender saw red after
two quick yellows. Alan Smith got his fourth of the night to round off the
scoring as he nodded home Harry Kewell’s accurate
cross, as United easily progressed to the next round.
hero Alan Smith hit the Israelis where it hurt in Florence when he netted the first hat-trick
of his career to spur United into the Third Round of the UEFA Cup. The Hapoel Tel-Aviv players had rounded on Smith in a bid to
stoke up a war of words ahead of the Second-Leg clash, but the United striker responded in the only way he knew how. His
superb four-goal haul was enough to secure United an against-the-odds 4-1
victory and the Rothwell-born star was simply
from the front as United's injury-hit squad turned in
a professional performance to see off a side that were quietly confident of
pulling off a shock win. The twenty-two-year-old had had more than his share of
critics for his disciplinary record, most of it unjust, but no-one could ever
argue that Smith was anything but one hundred per cent Leeds and he was rewarded in Florence. Ironically, the other criticism
often levelled at Smith was his lack of goals but
with three typical striker's efforts and one sublime piece of magic, he
answered that point in style too. Quite rightly he was to earn the plaudits for
shooting United into the Third Round draw, but Leeds worked hard as a unit against Hapoel and the win was a fitting reward for a fine display.
always threatened to be tricky, but the players dug deep to repay the faith of
boss Terry Venables with a gutsy effort that saw them
control the game. Venables was forced into fielding a
patched-up defence due to injuries and as more
casualties unfolded he handed senior debuts to Matthew Kilgallon
and Frazer Richardson in the second half. The commitment on show was just what
the doctor ordered with every member of the side digging in and doing their bit
for the cause. Paul Robinson made two outstanding saves and looked resolute
throughout while the United defence
ensured they were rarely tested by Hapoel.
midfield also looked strong and the engine room worked their socks off up and
down the park. Jason Wilcox and Nick Barmby patrolled
the flanks while Lee Bowyer and Eirik Bakke interchanged well in the middle with one working
forward and one dropping back. Lee Bowyer relied on bustling runs to drive Leeds forward while Eirik
Bakke, at his best when pushing up, added valuable
height to United's attacks. Harry Kewell
also worked tirelessly throughout, creating two of the goals for Alan Smith and
was becoming more of a menace by the week as he settled into the striking role.
The honours deservedly fell to Alan Smith,
though, for what was a complete performance from a striker who appeared to be
bristling with confidence. Smith and his team-mates showed their true colours after United were hit by yet
another stunning goal, this time coming after just seventy seconds. Terry Venables had insisted it was vital United protected their
one-goal advantage from the first leg, but they were hit by an absolute pearler from Josef Abukasis
in the second minute. His curling free-kick proved too much for the in-form
Paul Robinson and with the aggregate scores level so soon, one could be
forgiven for wondering how Leeds
would respond. But United's reply came straight out
of the top drawer and they never looked back as they quickly seized their grip
on proceedings and ran the contest.
The equaliser came on thirty minutes when Eirik Bakke's through ball was
deflected to Alan Smith and the United star hammered
it past goalkeeper Shavit Elimelech
to restore Leeds' lead in the tie. Almost
immediately an Ian Harte error presented Hapoel with an opening and Omri Afek clipped the bar with a shot from the edge of the area.
Harte almost made amends soon afterwards with a
free-kick that thumped against the bar but the tie was effectively settled in
the period just after half-time. The outcome was put beyond doubt just nine
minutes into the second half when Smith somehow pulled the ball back from the
byline to score a second. The elusive hat-trick finally came on sixty-two
minutes when Alan Smith's initial header from a Harry Kewell
cross was parried and he followed up to hammer the ball home.
stage Leeds were running the show and Hapoel, who clearly couldn't handle the pressure, started
to look ragged and lost their cool. Josef Abukasis
summed up their frustrations when he was ordered off for a second bookable
offence while Salim Toama
missed a sitter when he only had Paul Robinson to beat. However, the night
belonged to Alan Smith and seven minutes from time he completed the rout when
he nodded home another routine Harry Kewell cross.
His final header and the ensuing celebrations wrapped up what will be
remembered as another memorable European night for United.
Terry Venables had attempted to put a brave face on what had been
a difficult start to life at Elland Road, but his players did the talking in
Italy and the manager can feel proud of their
efforts. His only worry now is that United have two more games to fit into
their hectic calendar and with Lucas Radebe suffering
a groin problem, the injury crisis is showing no signs of easing.
Alan Smith scores his first goal
Alan Smith celebrates his second goal Alan Smith celebrates his hat-trick
Alan Smith heads in his fourth goal
Alan Smith celebrates his hat-trick goal Alan Smith heads in his fourth goal
Smith heads his fourth goal Alan Smith celebrates his fourth
Alan Smith is foiled by Shimon Gershon and Shavit Elimelech Harry Kewell
beats Benzion Luz
Lee Bowyer beats the defence Lee
Bowyer fights for possession with Benzion Luz
Harry Kewell takes on
a Tel-Aviv defender
Nick Barmby shields
Alan Smith scored all four Leeds goals while Josef Abukasis scored for Hapoel
Tel-Aviv Harry Kewell’s
interplay resulted in two
for Alan Smith
United gave substitute debuts to Fraser
Richardson and They replaced
Gary Kelly and the injured Lucas Radebe on the hour
Paul Robinson made two Eirik Bakke’s good Lee Bowyer was strong in midfield and Jason
Wilcox and Nick Barmby patrolled the flanks
outstanding saves work
Benzion Luz came on as a substitute for Hapoel