Date: Wednesday, 9th February 1972.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
Cup Fourth Round Replay.
United 2 Liverpool 0
United: Clarke (2). Liverpool: Nil.
Leeds United: Sprake;
Reaney (Jordan), Cooper; Bremner,
Charlton, Hunter; Lorimer, Clarke, Madeley, Giles, E. Gray.
Clemence; Lawler, Lindsay; Smith, Lloyd,
Hughes; Keegan, Ross, Heighway (Boersma),
Referee: G. W.
Referee Gordon Hill stood aside to applaud both teams off
the pitch after one of the greatest FA Cup ties fought out on the Elland Road turf. “The tie has
produced the two greatest games of football I have ever been in charge of. The
second goal will go down in soccer history,” said the distinguished official.
That second goal, scored by ace poacher Allan Clarke just after the hour, was a
gem and finally killed off the Liverpool challenge.
Leeds United have had few more
satisfying victories than their 2-0 FA Cup Fourth Round replay success against Liverpool
in February 1972. Having battled to a goalless draw in the first game at Anfield the previous Saturday, United were forced to play
the replay on a weekday afternoon because of the power crisis caused by the
miners’ strike. There was no guarantee that power would be available for the
floodlights, but even though it was played on a midweek afternoon, the
supporters turned out in their thousands to see the two top teams do battle
again. Elland Road
bulged to capacity, and hundreds more were locked out, and they were not to be
disappointed with the fare served up, particularly United fans, who saw their
side win the replay 2-0.
United’s victory was their third
of the 1971-72 season against Liverpool,
having won both league encounters at Elland Road 1-0,
and at Anfield 2-0, which was an impressive record
but all three victories had to be earned the hard way. “Liverpool
are still one of the hardest teams in the world to
beat,” United manager Don Revie said, and added, “The
Cup replay was a great match and we could never afford to relax.”
As ever, Liverpool were full of drive
and hard running but on this occasion they were let down by their lack of flair
and finishing power. They produced some fine football ,
and on another day could have brought them victory, but with Johnny Giles in
fine form, this was where United had the edge in this game. The untiring
efforts of skipper Billy Bremner, who had to play up
front in the absence of flu victim Mick Jones, and the heart-stopping coolness
and composure of Allan Clarke were the other major factors in United’s win, which was crowned by two super strikes from
‘Sniffer’ Clarke struck the first of his killer blows in the
twenty-second minute after United had done most of the attacking. A skilful
build-up led to Billy Bremner flicking a pass over
the Liverpool defence and into the path of Clarke, who
calmly and almost apologetically lobbed it over the advancing Ray Clemence. It was a fine goal but Clarke went on to greater
acclaim with his second in the sixty-second minute. Norman Hunter, once again a
towering figure in the United’s defence, began the
move near his own penalty area with a great tackle on Steve Heighway.
Johnny Giles drew Tommy Smith before sending Allan Clarke away on the left and
he in turn left Larry Lloyd sprawling as he impishly pushed the ball between
his legs before slipping the ball past Ray Clemence.
It was a strike that bore all the hallmarks of a side playing with supreme
confidence and United fully justified their tag of FA Cup favourites.
United did not have it all their own way, particularly in
the second half when they created a couple of chances but Substitute Phil Boersma and Chris Lawler could not provide the necessary
finish. Gary Sprake handled the ball confidently,
although a header from Larry Lloyd hit his post, but the Welsh international
more than made up for that when he leapt across his goal in the second half to
push out a header from Bobby Graham.
Allan Clarke flicks the ball past Chris Lawler
for the first goal. Clarke celebrates his first goal
Allan Clarke slips his second goal past Ray Clemence
Johnny Giles was the star performer Allan Clarke got both the goals