Leeds United AFC ended a six-game run without an English Premiership win at struggling West Ham United FC, but were forced to hold on in the final minutes despite leading 4-1 at half-time.
West Ham, without a home league victory this season, were behind on eleven minutes when Nicky Barmby pounced on an Ian Pearce back-pass to score for Leeds. Paolo Di Canio equalised in the 21st minute, but Leeds's lead was restored by Harry Kewell, and the Australian scored again four minutes from the break before fellow countryman Mark Viduka added another in first-half added time to give the visitors what appeared an impregnable lead.
Leeds hold on
However, West Ham redoubled their efforts, and five minutes into the second period Di Canio converted a penalty, having himself been fouled by Gary Kelly. The home side then sniffed the chance of at least a point when Trevor Sinclair headed a goal 16 minutes from time, but Leeds held on to move up into the top half.
Sunderland AFC ensured the Hammers a place in the bottom three after securing their first league victory under recently-appointed manager Howard Wilkinson, beating Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-0 to advance three places to 16th.
Phillips off the mark
Wilkinson had already seen his team win 3-2 at Tottenham's rivals Arsenal FC in a midweek League Cup tie, and in a tight game against a Spurs side hoping to move into fourth place, Sunderland went ahead on the hour through Kevin Phillips's first Premiership goal this season, and secured all three points with Toré Andre Flo's strike two minutes later.
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