Leeds United 3 Aston Villa 1

Last updated : 11 May 2003 By Footymad Previewer

It equalled the Aussie's best tally for the club, achieved in his first season after leaving Celtic, and put the seal on a win that flattered Leeds, who must now wonder if they can hold on to his services.

Villa had a definite edge in midfield and treated the 40,205 spectators to some enterprising approach play but finishing let them down.

Striker Simon Johnson, brought up in West Bromwich, was handed his first start by Leeds in the absence of Harry Kewell due to a family bereavement, while Villa had 18-year-old Peter Whittingham also making his first Premiership start at left-back.

Leeds were quick to celebrate Peter Reid's permanent appointment as manager by seizing an eighth minute lead. Viduka's clever footwork tricked JLloyd Samuel into bringing him down just outside the penalty box.

Villa were slow to organise their defensive wall and Ian Harte's quickly-taken free-kick flew between keeper Stefan Postma and the left post.

Leeds keeper Paul Robinson showed his calibre with back-bending saves from Joey Gudjonsson and Samuel before Harte cleared off the line from Swedish striker Marcus Allback.

Villa's shoot on sight policy was rewarded with an inevitable equaliser five minutes before the break when Gudjonsson's shot from 30 yards on the right flew inside the far post to defy Robinson's despairing dive.

Whereas Johnson's inexperience showed in the Leeds attack, Whittingham was calm and assured in Villa's defence.

However, lack of concentration at a corner, ten minutes from time, enabled Dominic Matteo to head Harte's corner to the far post where substitute Nick Barmby applied the finish.

Then Viduka rounded keeper Postma on the right and steered the ball home from an acute angle.