United's Miracle! Saints 3 - Leeds 4!
leedsunited.com

Three-nil down at half-time, Leeds were dead and buried - but never count United out as they produced the most remarkable of comebacks to take all three points in an action packed thriller at St Mary's.

Pre-Match
United boss Kevin Blackwell had endured some frustration over the international break after his plans to get all the strikers working together in training fell through, namely David Healy's ankle problems that kept the Northern Ireland international on the bench for this game.
Healy was still not 100% fit and as such Blackwell made the decision to start with Rob Hulse and Robbie Blake together, the pair having prepared well in the build up to the game. Healy would feature on the bench and be used as an impact player.
That was the only change from the side that drew with Preston at Elland Road in what had been a low key performance for the Whites.
Results before the game had seen Leeds fall out of the top six and they went into the game knowing that if they didn't win and results elsewhere went against them, they could fall as low as 11th in the table. There was certainly plenty riding on this game.

The Match
It wasn't the brightest start by Leeds against a home side desperate to avenge the 2-1 defeat they suffered at Elland Road only a month and a day before, a game Harry Redknapp's men felt they deserved at least a point from.
Still it was United who threatened first as Hulse got in an early header after meeting Gary Kelly's free-kick floated ino the area, but it was a tame effort on goal.
Then the Saints got going and put together a few good moves that were fortunately unrewarded.
Michael Svensson met a Dennis Wise cross with a good downwards header but the danger was brought to a quick end by the referee as he had spotted a push on Kilgallon.
Then Neil Sullivan pushed away a Quashie cross that threatened to cause all kinds of trouble as Ormerod and Svensson both went up for the ball
Dan Harding's back-pass put Sullivan in all kinds of trouble as he only just cleared the ball away before the speedy Theo Walcott closed him down.
After that Leeds managed to regain their composure and both Eddie Lewis and Frazer Richardson began to see a lot of the ball on the wings. Paul Butler picked up a booking, the first of the game, after he caught Matt Oakley late in the middle of the park on 20 minutes. The United skipper must now serve a one match ban for picking up five yellow cards this season.
Theo Walcott's pace had seen him terrorise the Leeds defence at Elland Road and again he caused problems.
It was his ball whipped into the area that forced Kelly to turn the ball behind for a corner that gave Southampton the opportunity they needed to score from a set-play.
The cross came in and was flicked goalwards by Svensson and right into the path of Latvian striker Marian Pahars to nod home.
It had been poor marking by Leeds and they paid dearly for it. Rob Hulse was booked in the aftermath for dissent. Dennis Wise later joined him in the book for the same offence.
Leeds were struggling to get back into the game and before they really had the chance to get going again they found themselves 2-0 down.
Again walcott was involved, he had been set loose down the right flank again by Quashie and his pace took him past the man considered to be United's quickest defender, Matthew Kilgallon, and he simply cut the ball back across face of goal where Quashie sidefooted the ball home from the edge of the area.
Two goals down Leeds were left with plenty to do if they had any hope of getting something from the game, and had also not scored in the previous two games.
On-loan Liam Miller became the third United player to be booked when he blasted the ball into Pahars after Kelly had brought the striker down.
Rob Hulse had a great chance to get Leeds back in the game five minutes before half-time when Lewis curled a ball back into the box and the striker met it well but put his header straight into Antti Niemi's hands. It had been United's best chance of the half.
Just after the fourth official had signalled two minutes of time added on to be played, Leeds shot themselves in the foot by conceding a third goal from the penalty spot.
Dan Harding was left exposed as a chipped ball fell for Matt Oakley on the right hand side of the box and he headed the ball back across the face of goal where Harding's hands went up and gave the referee no option but to point to the spot as contact was made.
Saints skipper Nigel Quashie went for power and blasted it high into the far right hand corner of the net.
At half-time Leeds looked well out of the game. A miracle was needed.
Southampton continued in the second half where they left off at the end of the first - creating chance and chance to score again.
They came close to making it 4-0 and would have done but for Neil Sullivan saving at point blank range from one time Elland Road loan signing Brett Ormerod after the striker met a flick on into the six-yard box.
Eddie Lewis was booking number four for Leeds after he brought Rory Delap's 40-yard run to an end. On 68 minutes Liam Miller had a chance to reduce the damage from a free-kick on the edge of the area, but his attempt was about a yard over the top of the Saints goal.
Blackwell made his first change straight after the free-kick, bringing David Healy on and taking Frazer Richardson off which left United with three strikers on the pitch. Healy stayed on that right flank.
Healy did inject a bit of life into Leeds, winning a corner after his shot was blocked and from the corner Leeds gave themselves a glimmer of hope.
Kelly swung in the corner and skipper Paul Butler met it at the back post with a perfectly weighted header that arched over Niemi and fell nicely into the back of the net.
With just under 20 minutes left there was still time for Leeds to pull off a remarkable comeback, but did they have it in them to do just that?
Two goals down suddenly became just one as Robbie Blake came up with his third goal of the season, right on cue and with 14 minutes of the game remaining.
Liam Miller drove Leeds forward and fed Healy, his shot-cross fell for Blake who smashed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
United's fans had been singing all through the game but for the first time they had genuine reason to stick with their team, they believed Leeds could get themselves back into the game and that belief was being transfered onto the pitch.
Then with less than eight minutes remaining it happened - Leeds won a penalty and the chance to grab what had looked the most unlikely equaliser.
Healy was the instigator as he smacked the ball against Higginbotham and the referee again pointed in dramatic fashion to the penalty spot. Healy lifted the ball high into the back of the net and suddenly the unthinkable had happened.
If coming back from three goals down was not enough, Leeds completed the most remarkable of comebacks by grabbing a fourth goal with Southampton's defence all at sea.
Rob Hulse turned the ball back inside from the left hand side of the penalty area and Liam Miller met it right in the middle of the penalty area, almost on the spot and just drove the ball home to give Leeds an incredible lead!
From the edge of despair the Leeds fans were in ecstasy and had witnessed a comeback as good as any in United's long and glorious history.

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