LEEDS United claimed another Premiership scalp when they beat Southampton 3-0 to earn a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup for the first time since 1996.
A first half shot from impressive winger Michael Tonge and two late efforts by strikers El Hadji Diouf and Luciano Becchio clinched a deserved win for a United team that was on top for most of their fourth round clash at Elland Road.
The Whites could in fact have won by a much bigger margin as Luke Varney – who started in place of Becchio up front - also hit the crossbar and came up with the miss of the season from a yard out while Southampton did not manage a single effort on target all night.
The visitors left out many of their regulars who have been playing in the Premier League and were second best all over the pitch as United’s play was bright from the start with Varney enjoying his best game in a Leeds shirt and giving his side more movement up front.
He had a moment he will want to forget in the 14th minute, however, as he latched onto Diouf’s volley towards goal but with the goal gaping he somehow missed from a yard out.
It was the Varney show as he shot just wide from the edge of the box following great work by Sam Byram and then was unlucky to hit the woodwork after latching onto a weak back pass, beating Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis to the ball only to see his hurried shot bounce to safety off the crossbar.
The pressure was maintained as Rodolph Austin headed a decent chance wide before the opening goal finally came on 34 minutes when that man Varney got in behind the Saints defence. His pull back was half-cleared only to fall straight to Tonge, who calmly shot past Davis.
Leeds maintained their dominance in the second half with Diouf and Tonge both shooting wide and Tonge sending Varney clear only for the forward to be denied in a one-on-one with Davis.
Guly Do Prado fired wide as Southampton finally managed a meaningful effort, but United controlled matters and put the game to bed on 87 minutes with a Diouf tap-in after Davis had parried an Austin shot following a superb 40-yard run by the Jamaican midfielder.
Two minutes into injury-time Tonge’s run into the box was halted as he was bundled over by Luke Shaw and referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot. Becchio, who had barely been on two minutes, stepped up to score with his only touch of the ball and Leeds were home and dry for a memorable cup victory.
Leeds United 3
(Tonge 34, Diouf 87, Becchio 90, pen)
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Capital One Cup, round four
Leeds: Ashdown, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Peltier (Pugh 89), White, Austin, Brown, Tonge, Diouf (Gray 90), Varney (Becchio 89).
Southampton: Davis, Butterfield, Seabourne, Hooiveld, Reeves, De Ridder (Shaw 67), Chaplow, Do Prado, Ward-Prowse, Lee (Isgrove 67), Mayuka.
Referee: Chris Foy.