Poyet Pounces To Deny Leeds (Sky
Chelsea 1-1 Leeds United
Viduka 61 - Poyet 78
FA Carling Premiership
Chris Macrae reports
Shortly into the second period of this bruising contest, the PA system informed us that one of the assembled company had become a father.
Unfortunately for the rest of the 35,121 present, the union of two of the strongest sides in the Premiership delivered a match that was still-born and lifeless for an hour, punctuated by 43 fouls.
It was then that Mark Viduka, who had been largely anonymous until that point, rose to power home a header from six yards (pictured) for his 10th Premiership goal to revive the proceedings, and give Sky's 500th live broadcast some substance.
However, Poyet cancelled that out with a close range header of his own twelve minutes from time to guarantee a result that will do little for either side's title aspirations.
The traveling support gave a predictably hostile greeting to their former hero Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and just as unsurprisingly he was the victim of the first foul of the afternoon, cut down by Lucas Radebe's sliding challenge inside two minutes.
However, he did provide two rare highlights of an undistinguished opening period, with a couple of thumping drives that warmed Paul Robinson's gloves.
Apart from a sweet curling strike from Lee Bowyer that shaved Ed de Goey's left-hand upright, the rest of the half was punctuated by the sound of Graham Poll's whistle.
As four players have been dismissed in the last six meetings between the two sides that fact should not come as a surprise.
Four players were booked in a five minute spell; Marcel Desailly for a hack at the back of Matteo's legs followed by Gary Kelly for upending Wise and then Sam Dalla Bona for tripping Bowyer.
Wise made it four yellow cards after clipping Alan Smith from behind.
Hasselbaink almost came up with the perfect answer to his critics when he shrugged off Radebe and toe-ended the ball past Robinson.
From an acute angle the Dutchman tried to squeeze the ball in with his left-foot but the tireless Bowyer was back to thump the ball clear.
Radede joined the sinners after clattering into Hasselbaink from behind just before the hour, and the Dutchman drew the first save of the second period with his 25-yard free-kick.
Shortly thereafter an Ian Harte corner from the right found Mark Viduka six yards out and the Australian stunned the Bridge as he rose to plant the header past de Goey who was rooted to his line.
Chelsea were unable to make any impression on the Leeds rearguard, superbly marshaled by Radebe, until Gus Poyet's deflected free-kick forced Robinson to tip the ball over for a corner.
Wise swung in the flag-kick, Hasselbaink had two strikes blocked before Tore Andre Flo rose to flick the ball along the six yard line and Poyet arrived to head home unstoppably (pictured).
Suddenly the Blues were transformed and Erik Bakke and Dominic Matteo joined the burgeoning list in Poll's notebook.
But, in truth, there were precious few clear chances as it became obvious that Claudio's Ranieri's search for 'English spirit' in his side could be a protracted one.
Chelsea: de Goey, Babayaro, Leboeuf, Desailly, Poyet, Hasselbaink,
Wise, Melchiot, Ferrer, Dalla Bona, Zola, Jokanovic (Leboeuf 9).
Subs Not Used: Jokanovic, Flo, Morris, Gudjohnsen, Cudicini.
Booked: Desailly, Dalla Bona, Wise.
Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Harte, Dacourt, Radebe, Viduka, Bowyer, Smith,
Mills, Bakke, Matteo.
Subs Not Used: Huckerby, Jones, Hay, Burns, Milosevic.
Booked: Kelly, Smith, Radebe.
Goals: Viduka 62.
Ref: G Poll (Tring).