Memorable matches Manchester United vs Leeds United

Looking back here some memorable encounters between Manchester United and Leeds United. The two clubs and cities have a long-standing rivalry, with the 15th-century War of the Roses widely credited with setting the groundwork.

Updated: May 8th 21

3 min read / 127 views

Last weekend, Man United travelled to Leeds to play the return leg of one of English football's most infamous rivalries, which had been reignited by the latter's return to the Premier League earlier this year. The two clubs – and cities – have a long-standing rivalry, with the 15th-century War of the Roses widely credited with setting the groundwork for a vicious territorial rivalry on both sides of the Pennines. 

Looking back at some of the Memorable encounters:


Leeds 2-3 Manchester United – 1978


The spike in fan hooliganism and the prosperous eras of Matt Busby and Don Revie, respectively, exacerbated friction between the two teams, while two intense replayed FA Cup semi-final matches in 1965 and 1970 contributed fuel to the flames. The two sides clashed early in the 1978/79 season, and the match was made even more interesting by Manchester United's controversial signings of Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen from Leeds.

Jordan and McQueen were among Leeds' most important assets, and they were greeted with displeasure upon their return, while McQueen quieted a riotous home crowd with a goal in an exciting 3-2 win at Elland Road. McQueen's headed opener and a Sammy McIlroy goal gave United the lead twice, but Leeds equalised twice from Paul Gray and Frank Hart goals. The Red Devils held on for three points thanks to Lou Macari's goal seven minutes from time.


Manchester United 3-2 Leeds – 1998


Manchester United ended a 26-year wait for a league title in the Premier League's inaugural season, and the Red Devils went on to become England's dominant force in the 1990s. By the 1998/99 season, Sir Alex Ferguson's side took four of the very first six Premier League titles and was pursuing a historic treble, which included a dramatic 3-2 victory over Leeds at Old Trafford.

Leeds United's mid-season selection of David O'Leary had instilled trust in the club, and a slew of academy graduates – including Harry Kewell, Jonathan Woodgate, and Alan Smith – were starting to form the backbone of a talented squad. In November 1998, Leeds' young side went head-to-head with the title contenders, with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scoring against the run of play with a low drive past Peter Schmeichel. On the verge of half-time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tied the scores, before Roy Keane's emphatic finish placed the host ahead just 30 seconds into the second half. Following a Wes Brown error, Leeds equalised through Kewell, only for Nicky Butt's dazzling strike to clinch three points for the Red Devils after a tense battle.


Manchester United 0-1 Leeds – 2010


Leeds had fallen from the Premier League to England's third division after a financial meltdown gripped the club earlier in the decade. When the Whites travelled across the Pennines for an FA Cup third-round tie against a Manchester United side that had made their way to back-to-back Champions League finals the previous two seasons, very little was predicted of them. The two sides were divided by two leagues and forty-two league positions ahead of the match, but Leeds advanced towards the fourth round after Jermaine Beckford scored the game's only goal to surprise Old Trafford. Beckford stormed in behind Wes Brown before driving the winner past Tomasz Kuszczak, giving Leeds fans something to cheer for after their dramatic fall from grace.

Sir Alex Ferguson's rotated team had become derailed in an upset against their arch-rivals on home turf, the Scot's first third-round exit as Manchester United boss and his first loss to a lower league opposition.


Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.sports-social-facebook-logo-black