Date: Wednesday, 9th December 1970.
Venue: Letna Stadium, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Third Round, Second Leg.
Prague 2 Leeds
Prague: Barton, Urban. Leeds
United: E. Gray, Clarke, Belfitt.
Sparta Prague: Brabec; Melichar, Migas; Kessel, Urban, Chovanec; Vesely, Barton, Masek, Jurkanin, Vrana.
Leeds United: Sprake
(Harvey); Reaney, Cooper; Bremner,
Madeley, Hunter (Yorath); Lorimer, Clarke, Belfitt, Bates,
Referee: Aureilio Angonese (Italy).
For the return leg United
had Paul Reaney back at right back and Paul Madeley moved to centre-half to cover for Jack Charlton,
while Mick Bates stood in for Johnny Giles and Rod Belfitt
had recovered from his first leg injury to carry on in place of the injured
Mick Jones. For Sparta Vladimir Brabec replaced Antonin Kramerius in goal, a
decision which amazed United as the keeper had been one player who had kept his
reputation intact at Elland Road, and Jaroslav
Barton replaced Frantisek Gogh in attack. Although their side had no hope of
going through, news of Unitedís brilliance had
filtered through to the Czech capital and all 30,000 tickets were sold out
inside two hours.
Once again United stood on
no ceremony and just like they had done at Elland Road they swamped the Czech net with
goals. Inside thirty-five minutes it was Sparta Prague 0 Leeds United 3. The
ground was filled to capacity, and the fans who had jeered their team off at
half-time were generous enough at the end to give United a tremendous ovation,
one their display fully merited. Sparta too regained their stripes with a
fighting come-back which saw them score twice in the second half, but theirs
was a hopeless battle from the start.
The pattern was established
when Leeds won a corner at the rate of almost
one a minute, in the first seven minutes of the game. After twelve minutes they
had translated their superiority into a goal. Sparta were attacking one minute
then trailing the next, as Vaclav Vrana failed to
control a bouncing ball Leeds took possession and raced away to launch a
counter attack. Peter Lorimer made ground before
crossing the ball to Eddie Gray on the edge of the penalty area and he made
light work of side-footing the ball past Vladimir Brabec,
who let it slip through his hands. By midway through the half United were
toying with the opposition as they played possession football. The crowd
decided they didnít like it and promptly began to whistle, whereupon United
swept into action once more and slotted home two further goals in as many
The failure of Sparta to challenge with sufficient
determination had been shown during the period that Leeds were
content to pass the ball from player to player. It was emphasized when Allan
Clarke made light of an attempted tackle, just after the half-hour, and drew
the keeper before slipping the ball into the net. Then Terry Cooper bored
forward to the edge of the penalty area, won the ball from a defender and set
up a scoring† chance for Rod Belfitt, who gratefully accepted, shooting low and hard
into the corner of the Sparta net.
Such was Unitedís dominance that Don Revie
was able to withdraw Gary Sprake, who had been a
virtual spectator and†
Norman Hunterand send on David Harvey
and Terry Yorath as replacements after the half-time
break. It was still Leeds that controlled the game, but gradually Sparta began
to show more spirit and after Bohumil Vesely and Josef Jurkanin had
gone close, Jaroslav Barton finally put the ball past
David Harvey, after sixty-five minutes play. It was an untidy goal, which
resulted from a goalmouth melee, after Cooper had blocked a thirty-yard drive
from Vaclav Migas, and Jaroslav
Barton was lucky enough to stab out a foot and push the ball into the net
through a tangle of legs. There were fewer than ten minutes left when Oldrich Urban made the score-line respectable by making it
2-3. However with an aggregate score of 9-2 Leeds had strolled into the quarter-finals of the
Masek nips through the Leeds defence as Eddie Gray
watches, Paul Madeley and Terry Yorath
move in and Mick Bates looks on.
Rod Belfitt scores Unitedís third goal in Prague
The Leeds United team that took the pitch against Sparta Prague 9-12-1970:
Back Row: Norman Hunter, Paul Madeley, Peter Lorimer, Gary Sprake, Terry Cooper, Rod Belfitt.
Front Row: Allan Clarke, Mick Bates, Billy Bremner, Eddie Gray, Paul Reaney.
Eddie Gray, Allan Clarke and Rod Belfitt scored the Unitedís
goals in Prague.