Leeds United 1 Southampton 1

Last updated : 22 December 2002 By Footymad Previewer

French midfielder Fabrice Fernandes scored direct from a 25-yard free-kick in the 89th minute after Harry Kewell had fired Leeds into a 74th minute lead.

After five successive home league defeats, Leeds manager Terry Venables could be forgiven for thinking there is a jinx on the ground.

It was the sixth time this season that Leeds had conceded a goal in the final two minutes and it was the first time they had let in a goal at Elland Road in the Saints' last five visits.

Kewell was the victim of several excellent saves by recalled keeper Antti Niemi, and an amazing goal-line clearance by Matt Oakley, but the Australian finally collected his ninth goal of the season in the 74th minute.

Ian Harte's corner was headed powerfully against the post by Jonathan Woodgate, and Kewell despatched the rebound into the bottom corner of the net from eight yards.

That should have wrapped up the points for Leeds who looked much livelier after the introduction of Mark Viduka in place of Robbie Fowler in the 53rd minute.

But when the Saints were awarded a free kick on the right, 25 yards out, Leeds conceded a soft equaliser.

Fernandes aimed the free kick towards the far post where it cleared Danny Mills and deceived keeper Paul Robinson as it entered the net just inside the upright.

Alan Smith, back after a one match suspension, impressed in an unfamiliar role in the centre of midfield, but Leeds were too slow in responding to the crowd's strong backing.

Saints manager Gordon Strachan was left wondering why Brett Ormerod and James Beattie squandered first half chances and he claimed Chris Marsden's disallowed goal should have stood when Ormerod was ruled offside by referee Chris Foy.

Leeds' assistant manager Eddie Gray said: "The lads are disappointed because they didn't defend the free kick."