Date: Monday, 2nd April 1991.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Competition: First Division.

Score: Leeds United 5 Sunderland 0

Scorers: Leeds United: Chapman (2), Shutt, Speed (2). Sunderland: Nil.

Attendance: 28,132.

Teams:

Leeds United: Lukic; Sterland, Whitlow; Batty, McClelland, Whyte; Strachan, Shutt, Chapman, McAllister, Speed. Unused Subs: Varadi, Williams.

Sunderland: Norman; Owers, Hardyman; Bennett, Ord, Kay; Bracewell, Armstrong (Atkinson), Rush, Brady, Smith (Mooney).

Referee: Mr R. Pawley (Cambridge).

 

When Leeds United surged into the First Division under Howard Wilkinsonís management in the 1989-90 season, Sunderland came up with them, although they had to clinch a return to the top flight through the promotion play-offs. Whereas United settled down very nicely to life in the First Division, Sunderland, then managed by Dennis Smith found the higher degree of competition too much for them and tumbled straight back into the Second Division.

 

A 5-0 hammering by United at Elland Road in early April of the 1990-91 campaign did Sunderlandís chances of survival no good at all. Despite the welcome boost of earning three much-needed points from third-placed Crystal Palace three days earlier, the Roker Park side were no match on the night for a far more experienced and better equipped United side, who swept to victory with relative ease as they recorded their biggest victory for three years.

 

Sunderland fielded three nineteen year-olds, strikers Kieron Brady and David Rush and defender Tony Smith and had twenty-year-old Brian Atkinson in midfield, but they found the going tough against a United side that won all the individual battles. It was Unitedís youngest player, twenty-one year-old Gary Speed who did as much as anyone to send Sunderland crashing. The Welsh international helped himself to two goals to take his tally for the season into double figures and played a key role by providing the chance from which Carl Shutt scored Unitedís second goal, after the impressive Lee Chapman, who also scored two, had opened the scoring in the fifth minute.

 

Left-back Mike Whitlow helped to lay the foundation for the opening goal, zipping between two defenders on the left to provide a pin-point centre for Chapman to plant a header firmly past Tony Norman. United went two up after twenty-two minutes when Carl Shutt, following good work by Gordon Strachan as well as Speed, scored from close range and the keeper was well beaten again in the thirty-fifth minute as Gary Speed powered a magnificent header past him. The Welshman tapped in Unitedís fourth goal just before the hour when he finished off a fine move in which Gordon Strachan exchanged passes with Gary McAllister and Lee Chapman completed the rout when he fastened on to a sloppy pass from David Rush and had time to pick his spot.

 

Unitedís impressive midfield quartet of Gordon Strachan, David Batty, Gary McAllister and Gary Speed had dominated throughout while at the back Mel Sterland, Chris Whyte, John McClelland and Mike Whitlow made sure goalkeeper John Lukic was a virtual spectator.

 

Alternate Report

 

No matter what their position in the League may be, Sunderland could normally be relied on to provide tough opposition, particularly when playing against Leeds, but they were swept aside with awe-inspiring ease on this visit to Elland Road. It was in early April 1991 when, haunted by relegation, the Roker Park team suffered a heavy defeat by a United side whose 5-0 success was their biggest victory for three years. Despite the boost of taking three points from third-placed Crystal Palace three days before, Sunderland were no match on the night for a more experienced and better equipped United side.

 

United must have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of space they were allowed and, they all played their part to the full and turned their superiority into goals. Sunderland strikers Kieron Brady and David Rush, defender Tony Smith, all nineteen, and twenty-year-old midfielder Brian Atkinson may well have been considered players of promise but they found the going tough against an in-form United.

 

Ironically it was Unitedís youngest player, twenty-one year-old Gary Speed, who did as much as anyone to send them crashing. The Welsh international helped himself to two goals to take his tally for the season into double figures and played a key role by providing the chance from which Carl Shutt scored Unitedís second goal, after Lee Chapman, who also scored two, had opened the scoring in the fifth minute.

 

Shuttís goal came in the twenty-second minute, Speedís first went in after thirty-five minutes, his second was just before the half-hour mark and the final goal of the game came five minutes from the end. Chapman missed the chance of a hat-trick when he fired against Sunderlandís busy goalkeeper Tony Norman in the last minute. By comparison, John Lukic had been a virtual spectator behind a dominant defence comprising Chris Whyte, John McClelland, Mike Whitlow and Mel Sterland.

 

 

Match Action:

 

 

Teams:

 

 

 

Players:

 

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†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lee Chapman (2), Carl Shutt and Gary Speed (2) scored the Leeds goals†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

†† †††

†† Gordon Strachan made the second and fourth goals and the midfield with David Batty and Gary McAllister dominated††††††††††††

 

†† †††

Mike Whitlow made the first goal†††††††††††††††† John Lukic was untroubled††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mel Sterland,

 

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John McClelland and Chris Whyte were strong in defence for United†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Tony Norman was in the Sunderland goal

 

Gary Owers and Paul Hardyman were the full-backs†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††David Rush and Kieron Brady were the strikers

 

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Gary Bennett and Richard Ord were the centre-backs††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Brian Atkinson and Brian Mooney were substitutes

 

Gordon Armstrong, Paul Bracewell John Kay and Tony Smith were in the midfield