Leeds United manager David O’Leary says : “this is a pointer to who will finish third behind Manchester United and Arsenal” as Leeds beat Liverpool 4-3 in a magnificent advertisement for entertaining football. Viduka scored four times for Leeds, turning round a 1-2 result at half time. Cole and Beckham scored for leaders Manchester United, who face Dynamo Kiev in midweek, brushing aside a Coventry side which has won only three out of 12 games. Thierry Henry scored from the penalty spot to give Arsenal a 1-0 win away at Middlesbrough, whose manager, Bryan Robson, is likely to count on the support of ex-England manager Terry Venables, who is reported to be near to signing a short-term contract to coach his side, which is slipping to a dangerously low position in the league. Another manager with the same name, Bobby Robson, saw his hometown side beat Ipswich, led by manager George Burley, who had played under Robson when he was Ipswich manager before moving up to be manager of England. The mentor won in this case with goals from the ever-ripe Alan Shearer, who almost single-handedly demolishes his foes with clinical efficiency. Shearer placed a self-imposed retirement on himself from the England camp, saying that if he was to play football a top club level, then at his age he would have to concentrate on the premiership and leave the international arena.

Results: Charlton 2 Bradford 0 Coventry 1 Manchester United 2 Leeds United 4 Liverpool 3 Manchester City 0 Leicester City 1 Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 1 Newcastle 2 Ipswich Town 1 Southampton 3 Chelsea 2 Tottenham 2 Sunderland 1

Classification : Games Points Manchester United 12 27 Arsenal 12 27 Leicester 12 22 Liverpool 12 21 Newcastle 12 19 Ipswich 12 18 Leeds United 11 18 Charlton 12 18 Tottenham 12 17 Chelsea 12 16 Aston Villa 10 16 Sunderland 12 16 Manchester City 12 14 Southampton 12 13 Everton 11 12 West Ham United 11 11 Coventry 12 11 Middlesbrough 12 10 Bradford 12 7 Derby County 11 5

Tim Bancroft-Hinchey, Lisbon/London