Date: Saturday, 14th March 1970.
United 0 Manchester United 0
United: Nil. Manchester United:
55,000 (Receipts £64,700).
Leeds United: Sprake;
Reaney, Cooper; Bremner,
Charlton, Hunter; Lorimer (E. Gray), Clarke, Jones,
Manchester United: Stepney; Edwards, A. Dunne; Crerand, Ure, Sadler; Morgan, Sartori,
Charlton, Kidd, Best. Unused Sub: Burns.
Referee: Mr J.K.
History repeated itself as the two Uniteds
from either side of the Pennines slogged out a goal-less
draw at Hillsborough. Five years earlier the Roses rivals had fought, sometimes
literally, on the same ground to contest the right for a place in the Wembley
Final. It was the usual hard fought, no quarter asked or given, fire and
brimstone clash between the two long-time protagonists for English titles and
trophies, but fortunately the game had none of the spite and venom that had
marred the meeting of the two clubs at the same venue five years previously. The
1970 version, although another blank scoresheet, was a far better spectacle
than the ugly tussle of 1965. It was a match everyone wanted to see with ten
shillings tickets changing hands for £8 on the black market. It came with United pressing on three fronts for domestic and European
silverware and just four days before they were due to meet Standard Liege in
their return leg of the Third Round of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
Both teams had pre-match injury doubts surrounding forwards,
Mick Jones for Leeds and Brian Kidd for Manchester,
but both took their places in the starting line-ups. It was Manchester
who raised their game to dominate the first half as their new young midfield
starlet, Carlo Sartori, got the better of Billy Bremner. Yet Leeds could have snatched a dramatic first
minute goal as Ian Ure misjudged a long clearance from Gary Sprake
and Mick Jones ran on to force Alex Stepney into a brilliant save at the
expense of a corner.
Leeds gradually came to grips with
the muddy pitch and Manchester’s
impetus was checked, particularly by Paul Reaney who
stuck to the dangerous George Best like glue. Terry Cooper, who enjoyed an
excellent match, fired just over the bar after an exciting run left the Manchester
defence gasping and Leeds started to get into their
stride. Ure made a desperate clearance to prevent Leeds
from breaking the deadlock. Jack Charlton headed on a Johnny Giles free-kick
for Allan Clarke to arrow another header towards the goal, Stepney blocked it
and Peter Lorimer hit the ball towards the goal again
and Ian Ure stuck out his foot to get the ball off the line. Alex Stepney,
whose clean handling was a feature of the match, then plucked a close-range Allan
Clarke header out of the air.
In general the defences dominated, but, if anything the
Lancastrians were slightly the better team, however, neither team were able to
create many chances and a goalless draw was the inevitable outcome and while it
was a fair outcome it would have pleased Manchester
rather than Leeds.
A draw or injuries were the last thing that Leeds
wanted, but while they achieved their second objective, they would have been
disappointed with the way the draw only heightened their fixture congestion.
Geoffrey Green of the Times observed, “They say they (Leeds)
relish hard work, that the expense of energy seems an eternal delight. But
surely there must be a limit.” YEP’s Tom Holley add,
“This was the result Don Revie did not want.”
Allan Clarke gets a header on target.
Alex Stepney punches clear from Alan Clarke.
Mick Jones beats Alex Stepney
to a Allan Clarke heads over at Hillsborough
Jack Charlton watches as Paul Reaney disputes possession with Brian Kidd and George Best
Paul Reaney heads
away as George Best watches then clears from Brian Kidd and George Best as Jack
Charlton stands ready
Allan Clarke beats Ian Ure
in the air as Seamus Dunne watches Gary
Sprake saves brilliantly
Allan Clarke gets in a spectacular shot as Pat Crerand, Carlo Sartori and Seamus
Dunne can only watch
Jack Charlton moves to block a shot from Carlo Sartori
Allan Clarke leaps higher than Alex Stepney as Jack Charlton, Bobby Charlton and Paul Madeley watch
Carlo Sartori is
crowded out by the Leeds defence but manages to get a shot in
Alex Stepney saves
from Mick Jones
Leeds United 1969-70:
Back row: Chris Galvin, Terry Yorath, David Harvey, Mick Jones Gary Sprake,
Allan Clarke, Norman Hunter, Eddie Gray, Paul Madeley.
Front Row: Rod Belfitt,
Paul Reaney, Peter Lorimer,
Johnny Giles, Billy Bremner, Terry Cooper,
Mick Bates, Terry Hibbitt.
Manchester United 1969-70:
Back Row: David Sadler, Alex Stepney, Brian Kidd,Jimmy
Rimmer, Ian Ure.
Middle Row: Wilf McGuinness (Manager), Nobby
Stiles, Francis Burns, Pat Crerand,
Alan Gowling, Shay
Brennan, Carlo Sartori, Jack Crompton
Front Row: John Aston, Denis Law, George Best,
Willie Morgan, Bobby Charlton, Tony Dunne,