Leeds 2 Middlesbrough 3
By planetfootball.com staff
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The brilliant Brazilian showed what a difference he can make to the Boro side, after recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in pre-season, as he sparkled at Elland Road.
The action came thick and fast from the first whistle with Lucas Radebe blocking from Massimo Maccarone and Geremi early on, and Eirik Bakke having a header clawed away by Mark Schwarzer.
When Schwarzer pushed out an Alan Smith piledriver, former Boro man Nick Barmby squandered a fine chance from the rebound, but a goal was clearly not far away.
Viduka supplied it, after 24 minutes, with a simple tap-in after a dreadful mix-up between Schwarzer and Ugo Ehiogu, who collided to leave the big Australian with a gift-wrapped goal.
To their credit, Boro bounced back swiftly and Radebe was lucky not to be sent off for fouling Maccarone as he raced onto a George Boateng through ball. The Italian striker ensured the South African did not go unpunished by calmly converting the resulting penalty.
Juninho then collected a Jonathan Greening pass and smashed a sensational right-foot drive past Paul Robinson to give the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time.
Schwarzer went full stretch to frustrate Smith, and Danny Mills had a shot blocked by Ehiogu, as the opportunites continued to arrive in the second half, before Geremi's clever chip deceived Robinson to make it 3-1, after good work from Juninho and Maccarone.
The Australian keeper blotted his copybook, though, when spilling James Milner's tame effort to hand another simple finish on a plate to his SocceRoos pal Viduka to set up a storming finale.
Although Jason Wilcox spurned one opportunity, the truth is that the Teessiders had the best opening of the closing stages, as substitute Szilard Nemeth failed to finish off more wonderful play by the outstanding Juninho.