Date: Wednesday, 21st March 1973.
Venue: Republic Stadium, Bucharest, Romania.
European Cup-Winnersí Cup, Third Round, Second Leg.
Score: Rapid Bucharest
1 Leeds United 3.
Scorers: Rapid Bucharest:
D. Dumitriu. Leeds United:
Bates, Jones, Jordan.
Rapid Bucharest: Raducanu; Pop, Grigorias; Codrea,
Stelian, Musat; Nasturescu, Savu,
Neagu, E. Dumitriu (D. Dumitriu), Petreanu.
Leeds United: Harvey; Reaney,
E. Gray; Madeley, McQueen, Hunter; Lorimer, Jordan,
Jones, Giles (F. Gray), Bates (Yorath).
Referee: Ove Dahlberg (Sweden).
It was hard to interest any United
fans to make the trip to Romania,
as the 5-0 score-line meant the result of the tie was a foregone conclusion,
but even the knockdown prices on offer would not tempt many to Romania
unless they fancied a skiing holiday.
Unitedís growing reputation and popularity
in Europe was confirmed after their 3-1 victory in Bucharest.
They were cheered off the snow-covered Republic Stadium and the Leeds
coach was applauded heartily by the Romanian public as it made its way back to
the airport. Rapid had moved the game from their own ground,
Giulesti Stadium, a smaller replica of Arsenalís
Highbury Stadium, to the larger capacity Republic Stadium. They had their
reward, despite the inclement weather, as they managed to double the crowd that
their ground would hold, another testament to Unitedís
At home United had been labelled a dour side in the 1960ís
but throughout the 1972/73 season they had played some splendid attacking
football. That shift in emphasis was underscored in Bucharest
where they gave another dazzling display of attacking football to gift-wrap a
place in the Semi-Finals. They were the masters from the first minute when Mick
Bates tore onto Eddie Grayís pass to fire United 6-0
ahead on aggregate. The fates were a little less kind to Bates a few minutes
later when he was carried off with damaged ankle ligaments and Terry Yorath came on as his replacement after just nine minutes.
But United continued to stroll across the snowy surface almost as if it was a
training exercise, having put to an end any thoughts the home fans may have had
that a miracle might take place.
Mick Jones was a constant threat each time the ball came
anywhere near him the Rapid defence deteriorated into near panic. He had
already been denied twice by goalkeeper Necula Raducanu and had a goal disallowed before heading in Paul Madeleyís twenty-third minute cross to put United ahead 2-0 and 7-0 on aggregate. There was no change
in the score until after the interval as the game was played out in arctic
conditions, and Rapid could not cope with Unitedís
movement and slick passing on a slippery surface but there was cheer for the
home fans as Dumintru Dumitriu
scored their first goal of the tie, after sixty-two minutes. It was, however,
merely a consolation goal and United made sure they would have the last word
with one of the most peculiar goals they had ever scored in Europe.
†Joe Jordan rounded off the scoring on
seventy-five minutes when he headed the ball towards goal from forty yards out.
Necula Raducanu came out
for what looked a routine gather, but spotted the lurking Mick Jones nearby,
took his eye off the ball and allowed it to trickle over the line for United to
win 3-1 and 8-1 on aggregate to move into the Semi-Finals.
United players acknowledge the applause from
the Rapid fans after the match.
Mick Bates, Mick Jones and Joe Jordan scored
the Leeds goals