Euro 2020 Special

Leeds United vs Liverpool – Famous Past Matches Between the Two Rivals

Leeds United will travel to Anfield to play Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend.

Both teams have not made the best start to the season. Leeds, whose early season optimism under Jesse Marsch has disappeared, are struggling, and have dropped into the relegation places after losing at home to Fulham. Meanwhile Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a shock defeat to bottom side Nottingham Forest, and are 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, with their expected title challenge already starting to fade.

However, this is a chance to renew an old rivalry, which owes it roots back to the War of the Roses and the clash between the two northern powerbases of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

It may not have the edge of matches between Leeds United and Manchester United, but there is still a lot riding on it for both sides.

Here are some famous matches between the two from the past.


1965 FA Cup Final

The pair met in the FA Cup final in 1965. Leeds had come up at the start of the season as Second Division champions under Don Revie, who had begun to assemble the team that would be one of the dominant forces in English football for the next decade (only Marcelo Bielsa has come even close to rivalling the affection Leeds fans feel for one of their managers).

Meanwhile, Liverpool had won the First Division the previous year under Bill Shankly.

The match itself was forgettable for large parts, with both teams cancelling each other out at Wembley, and finished goalless after 90 minutes. It was in extra time that the game sparked to life.

In the 93rd minute, Roger Hunt collected a pass by Roger Byrne to fire Liverpool ahead, only for Billy Bremner to equalise for Leeds.

But with the match seemingly heading to a replay (there were no penalty shoot-outs in these days), Ian St. John scored the winner for Liverpool in the 119th minute.

It was the first time in their history that the Merseyside team had won the FA Cup.


Liverpool 0 Leeds United 0 (First Division 1969)

Whilst this match was not a classic, few games have had greater significance for Leeds. That was because the point was enough to earn them their first league title in the history of the club.

Famously, the Kop applauded the Leeds players at the final whistle, with legendary centre back Jack Charlton later describing it as a night he would never forget.


1974 Charity Shield

Bremner was also to feature heavily in the drama in another match played at Wembley between the two teams, the 1974 Charity Shield.

The match between the champions (Leeds) and FA Cup winners (Liverpool) from the previous season was meant to be a glorified friendly ahead of the new campaign. But there was nothing friendly about the altercation between Bremner and the Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan, who after several heated exchanges, began swinging punches at each other.

The referee Bob Matthewson sent both men off. Keegan was incensed, and feeling that he had been provoked, took off his shirt as he left the pitch and threw it away in disgust. Bremner, who was following behind him, then did the same.

Both men were subsequently banned and fined by the FA.

Whilst the outcome of the match was almost incidental after that, it finished all-square after 90 minutes, with Liverpool winning the penalty shoot-out, after Leeds keeper, David Harvey, who took their seventh spot kick, blazed his effort over the bar.


Leeds United 4 Liverpool 3 (Premier League 2000)

When Liverpool travelled to Leeds for a Premier League match in 2000, the odds seemed stacked against the home side before a ball had been kicked.

The Yorkshire team were missing ten players from their squad due to injury, and then lost centre back Jonathan Woodgate in the early stages of the match after he limped off.

When Sami Hyypia and Christian Ziege put the Reds two goals up inside the first 18 minutes, most of those inside Elland Road were reconciled to an inevitable loss.

That was the cue for Australian striker, Mark Viduka, who had joined Leeds from Celtic in the summer, to take centre stage. He reduced the deficit when he lifted the ball over Sander Westerveld in the Liverpool goal, and then headed his side level one minute after the restart.

Vladimir Smicer restored Liverpool’s lead but Viduka was not finished yet. He shook off the attentions of a defender to bring his side level again, and then won the match with his fourth goal of the afternoon.




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