Red & white rumbles: Best away wins v Leeds
Manchester United's last trip to Elland Road, in February last year, brought up a half-century of home and away wins against Leeds United in all competitions.
The Reds triumphed 4-2 following an all-action contest on the other side of the Pennines with our Yorkshire rivals.
In this extract from United Review, the official programme for Wednesday's 2-2 draw with the Whites at Old Trafford, we've selected six great triumphs on our travels from those 50 victories so far...
LEEDS 1 UNITED 2
30 March 1957 | First Division
Back in the top flight after a decade, the Whites – fronted by Welsh superstar John Charles – had already pushed United all the way at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign. The Busby Babes, looking to retain their First Division crown, edged a 3-2 victory that afternoon and found the late-season return at a packed Elland Road to be just as tight. An away win would represent a major step towards the title for Busby’s fresh-faced young side, who forged ahead shortly after the half-hour through Johnny Berry but were pegged back on the stroke of half-time when Charles levelled for the hosts. Just as a stalemate loomed, however, a goalmouth scramble resulted in Bobby Charlton bundling the ball home with just two minutes remaining, following a parried shot from Billy Whelan. The hosts pleaded for a handball award, but their appeals were in vain. Allied to slips for rivals Spurs and Preston, the Babes’ coronation was now almost inevitable.
LEEDS 1 UNITED 3
8 January 1992 | League Cup Fifth Round
United and Leeds thrice met in an 18-day Elland Road trilogy as 1991 turned into 1992, with the most compelling of all taking place, believe it or not, because of future US president Donald Trump – a guest participant at the Rumbelows Cup fifth-round draw. Between the sides’ 1-1 league draw and the Reds’ 1-0 FA Cup triumph fell a scintillating League Cup encounter in which Leeds drew first blood through Gary Speed’s thunderous finish. Though Clayton Blackmore equalised with a thunderous 35-yard free-kick, the Welshman cited compatriot Ryan Giggs as the inspiration for United’s comeback win. “He was too agile, too fast. He won that game,” said Blackmore, after Giggs brilliantly set up Andrei Kanchelskis to score, then prodded in a late clincher to send Elland Road’s away end into delirium.
LEEDS 0 UNITED 2
27 April 1994 | Premier League
‘After their effortlessly superior performance at Elland Road, it is now surely just a matter of time,’ wrote Guardian journalist David Lacey, of United’s bid to clinch the 1993/94 Premier League title. All the strength and swagger that characterised the Reds’ Double-winning vintage was on show in a powerful display on enemy territory where Leeds – who had conceded just one league goal all calendar year – seldom resembled a match for Alex Ferguson’s reigning champions. Andrei Kanchelskis broke the deadlock in the early moments of the second half, side-footing home after Mark Hughes had burst into the hosts’ area, and the Welshman was also heavily involved in releasing Ryan Giggs to stab home a brilliant second with two minutes to go. Within a week, the Reds’ coronation was confirmed.
Leeds United 0 United 2
27 April 1994: It was back-to-back 2-0 wins for the champions, defeating Leeds at Elland Road...
LEEDS 0 UNITED 1
20 February 2000 | Premier League
Six weeks before United’s trip to Elland Road, Leeds boss David O’Leary, having seen his side go top of the table while the Reds contested the Club World Cup in Brazil, had a novel idea. Looking ahead to February’s showdown, the Irishman proffered: “I’d love that game to be kept in the pot for the end of the season. Let’s have a real winner-takes-all match in front of our crowd at Elland Road. Don’t suggest it to Sky, they would wet themselves with excitement!” By the time the game came around, Leeds lay three points behind the defending champions and an unavoidably tense spectacle unfolded amid a crackling atmosphere. Mark Bosnich fended away a trio of Ian Harte free-kicks, both Roy Keane and Eirik Bakke hit the woodwork and Ian Bowyer skied over an open goal from five yards, but the defining act of both game and title race came when Andy Cole outmanoeuvred Lucas Radebe, raced clear and lobbed in a sublime solo winner early in the second period.
Leeds 0 United 1
20 February 2000: Cole's second-half strike restored United's six-point advantage over second-placed Leeds...
LEEDS 3 UNITED 4
30 March 2002 | Premier League
‘United may or may not retain their league title, but they are surely winners of one award: the Premiership’s ultimate entertainers,’ suggested People journalist Steve Bates, after an absorbing afternoon at Elland Road which kept the Reds – albeit temporarily – in the hunt for a fourth straight league title. The first hour was largely plain sailing for the visitors, who moved ahead when Paul Scholes fired in from Mikael Silvestre’s pinpoint centre. Affronted by Mark Viduka’s well-taken equaliser for the hosts, United duly responded with a quick one-two from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who netted from close range twice in the space of two minutes. A storming run from David Beckham preluded Ryan Giggs’s simple conversion to seemingly wrap up the victory before the hour mark. Moments after Ronny Johnsen had struck the crossbar, however, Ian Harte whipped in a free-kick and Lee Bowyer headed in to foster hopes of an unlikely comeback, leaving the Reds relieved when Harte whipped another free-kick inches past the top corner in the dying seconds.
Leeds 3 United 4
30 March 2002: Sir Alex Ferguson's United came out on top of this action-packed clash with the Whites at Elland Road...
LEEDS 2 UNITED 4
20 February 2022 | Premier League
Six goals, nine bookings and one near-biblical deluge conspired to make last season’s trip to Elland Road a classic of the genre, in which the Reds served up arguably the outstanding display of Ralf Rangnick’s interim tenure, showing impressive resolve to shrug off a catastrophic two-minute spell before taking a late victory. First-half headers from Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes had the visitors coasting by the break, only for Rodrigo’s skewed cross to fly into the far top corner before Raphinha sent Elland Road into rapture by sliding home less than a minute later. Despite the teeming rain and white-hot atmosphere, United – inspired by a superb Jadon Sancho display – remained unaffected and retook the lead when Sancho teed up a ferocious near-post finish from Fred. Substitute Anthony Elanga skimmed home a late clincher to wrap up the outcome, moving Guardian journalist Louise Taylor to salute ‘the mildly manic tenor of this latest instalment of an ancient rivalry’.
The full version of this article, also featuring home wins over Leeds, appeared in Wednesday's issue of United Review. Copies are available online.