Saturday 14 December 2013

On this day in 2003: Matteo snatches Leeds win

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall when Matteo’s late header sealed a Leeds win

  • Dominic Matteo and his Leeds team-mates celebrate his dramatic winner

  • Michael Dubbery had earlier given Leeds a first-half advantage at Elland Road

  • Louis Saha scored a double for Fulham, who were fourth in the league table

  • Current Man City midfielder James Milner was in the Leeds side in 2003, aged 17

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

14 December 2003 - Leeds United 3-2 Fulham

Dominic Matteo scored in the 88th minute as struggling Leeds United took their unbeaten Barclays Premier League run to three matches.

The Leeds captain headed the ball firmly past Edwin van der Sar to secure the three points after the hosts had thrown away a two-goal lead. It meant that Leeds, who stayed 19th in the table, had picked up seven points from three League fixtures following a run of five straight defeats. The result was a first defeat in four matches for Fulham, who remained fourth in the table after an impressive start to the campaign.

Leeds made the brighter start and Jermaine Pennant twice hit the woodwork before they took the lead in the 41st minute. Ian Harte floated in a free-kick which was pushed away by Van der Sar but the ball bounced in off the knees of Michael Duberry for his first goal since May 2000.

Mark Viduka doubled the lead straight after half-time with a powerful shot for his fourth goal of the season, but his first for 10 matches.

Fulham had hardly been in the match but within a minute of Viduka's goal they pulled one back when Louis Saha scored his ninth goal of the season from a pass by Sean Davis.

The visitors looked to have salvaged a point in the 86th minute when Saha scored again with another low shot, but Matteo had the final word.

“We were terrific," Leeds manager Eddie Gray said. "Every player on the park worked hard and that’s important for us in the situation we are in. There is a bit of confidence back in the side and that’s important.”

Fulham manager Chris Coleman said: “We were a bit unfortunate. We just wanted to take the game to Leeds. When we got the equaliser I thought we could go on and get another but what happened at the end just rips your guts out.”

Despite this victory, Leeds only won four of their final 22 matches and were relegated in 19th place while Fulham finished ninth.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Dominic Matteo's late header secured a 3-2 victory for Leeds against Fulham