Date: Saturday, 3rd May 1980.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 2 Manchester United 0
United: Parlane, Hird
(pen). Manchester United: Nil.
Leeds United: Lukic: Hird,
Cherry: Flynn, B. Greenhoff, Madeley:
Harris, Chandler, Parlane, Stevenson,
Manchester United: Bailey; Nicholl,
Albiston, McIlroy, McQueen,
Buchan; Coppell, J. Greenhoff,
Jordan, Macari, Thomas. Sub: Ritchie
happened with United, they had other teams’ destinies in their hands towards
the end of the season. So it was at the end of the 1979-80 season when United
were safely ensconced in mid-table while Manchester United were fighting out a
tense struggle with Liverpool for the right to be champions and the men from
Old Trafford desperately needed both points while United only had pride to play
for in the last game of the season.
Manchester United pride always means everything and they unceremoniously beat
their cross-Pennine rivals and handed the
championship to Liverpool who pipped their fellow Lancastrians by two
points, with a goal from Derek Parlane and another,
from the penalty spot, from Kevin Hird.
rose to the formidable challenge of Manchester United, the team that against
all the odds had run Liverpool so close for the League Championship, in rousing fashion at Elland Road. Leeds fans had had precious little to
cheer and much to criticize, but the disappointments were all forgotten in the
fourteenth minute when their former Glasgow Rangers’ striker, Derek Parlane pounced. He controlled a long clearance from
full-back Trevor Cherry and played the ball out to Brian Flynn, who sent Carl
Harris away on the right. When the Welsh winger sent it in hard and low, Parlane hit it home with a low shot from twelve yards
Leeds, well marshalled
at the back by Paul Madeley, making his seven
hundredth appearance for the club, and former Manchester defender Brian Greenhoff,
turned in their most committed performance of the year. Scottish winger Arthur
Graham was in lively form, Brian Flynn covered every inch of the ground with
his tireless running and Carl Harris proved a frequent source of concern to
Gordon McQueen and his co-defenders.
Leeds’ determination, Cherry hit the bar
with a fine rising shot and Arthur Albiston cleared
off the line after Arthur Graham’s shot had beaten Gary Bailey. Chances were
evenly shared in the second half, but Joe Jordan, one of several ex-Leeds
players in the Manchester line-up, might have made better use of one
opening, and Mickey Thomas was unfortunate to see one effort deflected wide by
Report: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
been a football season of too many poor sides. Its compensating excitement was
stretched to the last kick by what proved to be a superficial charge by
Manchester United team, which in this game had a last chance of the title,
ignoring what happened at Anfield, ripped from their
hands by another side, equally frantic but for different reasons.
Leeds supporters were visually hungry for
a final victory after their favourites’ disappointing
season and this result would undoubtedly dull the urge for the manager’s head.
This time Jimmy Adamson did it right, not only playing two fast flankers in
Carl Harris and Arthur Graham, to stretch the visitors’ back four, but
successfully mining a vein in his other players by which they responded
magnificently to the large and vocal crowd, the occasion, the opposition, and
the long-running feud between the clubs and the hooligan elements among the
A goal in
each half was enough for Leeds
and too much for their opponents. It was Leeds’ ability for all of the first half and some of
the second, to match the visitors’ finest quality, their pace and
determination, which finally decided the issue. Quite early a Joe Jordan shot
was deflected by Kevin Hird, who had an overbearing
impact on the game. Almost immediately Manchester were given grounds to think
that this might be a lucky day when Trevor Cherry met a Carl Harris pass to
beat keeper Bailey with a firm shot, only for the ball to clip the top of the
wind that was facing Leeds
in the first half was causing problems everywhere and on one occasion Kevin Hird allowed the ball to squeeze between his legs and into
his own side netting. Yet Derek Parlane made no
mistake in the twelfth minute, just as news reached Elland Road from Anfield
that Liverpool had scored their first goal. Parlane was nicely placed some fifteen yards from goal when
the ball reached him from Carl Harris through a crowd of players. His firm
drive to Bailey’s right was too much for the goalkeeper and now Leeds were
rampant, with Carl Harris running wild on the right and the midfield tight,
Manchester’s mountain slope was tilting sharply.
Coppell did his best to restore the balance with a solo effort and snapshot,
which brought out two grabs from John Lukic, and the same player was wide with another drive not too
long after Paul Madeley, making his seven hundredth
appearance for Leeds,
gave Coppell an untaken gift. Yet all the real pressure was on the Manchester defence
which had a narrow escape before the interval, when Byron Stevenson headed on
for Kevin Hird and Jeff Chandler spun quickly and
shot goalwards from close in. Albiston
was fortunate to be in the way and deflected the ball for an unproductive
corner. A minute before the interval, Martin Buchan tore a muscle and limped
off, but his replacement, Andy Ritchie, brought added purpose to Manchester’s
improved form on the resumption. Twice the substitute made good centres but Joe Jordan headed the first almost from John Lukic’s hands inches over the cross-bar, while Gordon
McQueen headed the second into the goalkeeper’s waiting hands.
made things difficult for both goalkeepers. Once, Gary Bailey lost the ball in
flight. It gave Carl Harris a free header into an empty goalmouth, with no Leeds player available to take advantage.
After this it was Leeds’
turn for good fortune as Manchester attacking crescendo rose to a peak.
Joe Jordan served the ball nicely for Jimmy Greenhoff
in open space and about fifteen yards from goal. His immediate shot cannoned
back off John Lukic for Mickey Thomas to strike Paul Madeley’s legs in front of an otherwise unguarded goal.
Twenty minutes from the end Leeds sealed the issue when the speed of Harris took
him clear, and an attempted centre was adjudged to have been handled by Gordon
McQueen. The ubiquitous Kevin Hird came up to score
from the penalty spot.
Manchester kept going even though all hope had now gone.
They left themselves open at the back, and Derek Parlane,
twice, and Jeff Chandler might have increased the margin with any luck. Yet it
was to the credit of Manchester United that they may not be a composed and
classical team but their willingness to chase all season gave their supporters
such a run for their money.
Match Action: (Photo Courtesy
Derek Parlane weaves
his way past Gordon McQueen and Lou Macari
Leeds United 1979-80:
Row: Alan Curtis, Gary Hamson,
Paul Madeley, John Hawley, Eddie Gray.
Row: Dave Merrington
(Assistant Manager), Keith Parkinson, Paul Hart, David Harvey,
John Lukic, Ray Hankin, Byron Stevenson, Syd Farrimond (Coach).
Row: Carl Harris, Kevin Hird,
Peter Hampton, Jimmy Adamson (Manager), Trevor Cherry,
Arthur Graham, Brian Flynn.
Paul Madeley made his
Derek Parlane scored United’s
first and Kevin Hird sealed it from the spot
Trevor Cherry, Brian Flynn and Carl Harris all
played a part in the build up for the first goal.
Brian Greenhoff gave a committed performance
Arthur Graham was lively
Jeff Chandler had shot deflected
Stevenson headed on
kept a clean sheet….somehow! Andy Ritchie came on as substitute
Gary Bailey was in goal
Jimmy Nicholl and Arthur Albiston
were the full-backs
Ex-Leeds stopper Gordon McQueen
and Martin Buchan were in central defence. Strikers were Ex-Leeds Jimmy Greenhoff and Joe Jordan
The midfield comprised Steve Coppell, Sammy McIlroy, Lou Macari and future
Leeds winger Mickey Thomas