Competition: First Division.
Aston Villa: Sealey; Kubicki,
In a game
feature live by ITV, the watching English football public was able to see
first-hand an awesome display from the young pretenders from
Without the injured Gary Speed, United opted to use John McClelland in central defence with Chris Whyte, with Chris Fairclough man-marking Tony Daley, which released Mel Sterland and Tony Dorigo for more attacking roles down the flanks and this is where United were strongest. Tony Dorigo picked up the “Man of the Match” award, while Sterland was a constant threat and architect for United’s goals and also managed to get his own name on the score-sheet.
United showed that they are the team that all the others have to beat in the Championship race. They moved to the top of the First Division for the third time in a month, with a spectacular victory over Aston Villa, who had made a dash up the table themselves with five successive wins before this demolition job in front of the watching TV cameras. It was a triumph of strategy, the use of set-pieces, the eye for an opening of Gordon Strachan, and, for the second successive game, the attacking determination of full-back Mel Sterland that carried Leeds to their third four-goal show away from home in the season to date. While Tony Dorigo picked up the “Man of the Match” award, maybe the one who really deserved it was Chris Fairclough who limped through the last ten minutes with a strain, but never-the-less managed to maintain his match long shadowing of Villa’s high-speed danger-man, Tony Daley.
was obtained on the worst pitch that United have encountered so far in the
season. Despite that
opening minute of the second half United doubled their advantage. Gordon Strachan’s corner was headed on at the near post by Chris Whyte for Mel Sterland to dive
through the mud and flying boots to head in the second. Ten minutes later the
game was dead and buried with probably United’s best
goal. Gordon Strachan’s short corner to Gary
McAllister saw the
Villa shook themselves and though Paul McGrath survived with just a booking when he pulled down Rod Wallace on a run on goal, Villa recovered some pride with a goal engineered by Tony Daley, with his only effective contribution of the afternoon. He put Dalian Atkinson through, and when the ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker’s shot was parried by John Lukic, Dwight Yorke tapped home. Chris Whyte won an important header to deny Dalian Atkinson, close in, soon afterwards and Dwight Yorke volleyed spectacularly wide with an overhead kick But Leeds still had a little left and Mel Sterland provided the opening with a deep cross from the right for Lee Chapman to rise majestically and score his second with a diving header in the dying seconds.
McAllister voiced the growing mood of confidence at United’s
rise to the summit of the League when he said, “It’s no good shouting and
bawling that we are going to win the title, but we know we can do it.” Captain
Gordon Strachan, who was fast approaching his
thirty-fifth birthday, and had a hand in all the four
won their five previous First Division games, suggesting that tis would be the toughest confrontation
was won and lost in the first eleven minutes of the second half. The second
goal was pure
goal came out of the blue. Tony Daley sped the ball on to Dalian
Atkinson. John Lukic could not hold the shot and
Dwight Yorke scored his fifth goal in successive
matches. It was imperative that Villa scored an immediate second, if they were
to have a semblance of a chance. It did not come. Instead, straining for a
second left Villa vulnerable to the kind of counter that
Match Action: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Mel Sterland celebrates his goal Gary McAllister looks on approvingly, as David Batty gets in a telling tackle on Tony Daley.
Gordon Strachan gets on top of Kevin Richardson Mel Sterland and David Batty face up to a free-kick
John McClelland beats
Gary McAllister smiles as Rod Wallace forces home the first goal, with Les Sealey and Kevin Richardson not so impressed
Captain Gordon Strachan leads the team as McAllister, Fairclough, Chapman, Wallace and a leaping Batty celebrate their victory
Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister and Chapman salute the fans.
Lee Chapman (2) Rod Wallace and Mel Sterland scored for
Tony Dorigo won the “Man of the Match” award, but Gordon Strachan went close David Batty was strong in midfield
Chris Whyte headed on for the second goal Gary McAllister had a hand in the third Chris Fairclough man-marked Tony Daley
John Lukic could only parry John McClelland was strong Gary Speed did not play Gordon Cowans was Villa’s substitute
the ball for Villa’s goal at the back
Les Sealey was in the
Villa goal Cyrille Regis and
Dariusz Kubicki and Steve Staunton were the Full Backs Shaun Teale and Paul McGrath were in Central Defence
Kevin Richardson, Tony Daley and Mark Blake were in the Villa midfield