Date: Wednesday, 21st October 1992.
Venue: Ibrox Park,
European Cup Second Round First Leg.
Rangers 2 Leeds United 1.
Rangers: Lukic (o.g.), McCoist. Leeds United: McAllister.
Glasgow Rangers: Goram; McCall, Robertson; Gough, McPherson, Brown; Steven (Huistra), Ferguson, McCoist,
Leeds United: Lukic; Newsome, Dorigo;
Batty, Fairclough, Whyte; Strachan (Rocastle), Cantona (Wallace), Chapman, McAllister, Speed.
Referee: Alphonse Constantin (Belgium).
Victory over Stuttgart
earned United a much anticipated tie with Glasgow Rangers. The media hype was
unprecedented and it was quickly dubbed ‘The Battle of Britain’ and United set
off for the relatively short trip to Glasgow knowing they would be thrown to
the Lions at Ibrox, as it had been agreed between the
two clubs due to the unprecedented demand for tickets there would be no
travelling fans and maybe because they still had memories of the crowd problems
of the clash in the late sixties in the Inter-Cities Fair Cup, when the
Scottish supporters caused havoc in Leeds. Yorkshire hopes were high going into the first leg in Glasgow, despite United's
inconsistent league form. An estimated £4 million was riding on the tie, which
was the estimated value of progress to the Group stages of the European Cup.
The victors would go into the money-dripping last eight, in which two Groups of
four would play in a League format with the winners of each Group meeting in
the Final. Either United or Rangers were expected to bank £915,000 for simply
winning the tie and would then pick up an estimated £210,000 per point
thereafter in the League stage for their six matches. The Glasgow club upped the stakes even higher
when they were prepared to pay £20,000 per man to get through.
So United took the field to the ‘Wall of Noise’ sound of the
vociferous home fans and after only sixty-six seconds they silenced the crowd with
a stunning goal. With no tickets being sold to Leeds
fans, because of potential crowd trouble Gary McAllister’s block-busting volley
did not get the verbal acknowledgement it deserved. Leeds
immediately forced a corner, which was taken by Gordon Strachan
and the Rangers defence failed to clear it completely and it fell to Gary
McAllister whose precise volley shot straight into the net from outside the
area. That, though, was as
good as it got for United, despite the efforts of inspirational duo of Gordon Strachan and David Batty.
keeper John Lukic, so often the hero for the Elland Road men, gifted Rangers a way back into
the contest after twenty-one minutes. Playing neat, enterprising football, the
visitors had looked the better side and seemed likely to increase their lead
only for the Scots to level in freak fashion. Ian Durrant,
the hosts' star man, took an in-swinging corner from the left and Lukic, appearing to lose the flight of the ball in the
glare of the floodlights, mistimed his clearance, punching the ball into his
Post reporter Don Warters commented at the time:
"A wet ball and heavy rain are not the best of conditions for goalkeepers,
but Lukic explained after the game that he 'lost' the
ball in the glare of a floodlight. “To his credit, Lukic
put his mistake behind him and went on to make some good saves. His first after
the own goal incident was a brilliant flying save as he tipped over a
well-struck drive by David Robertson."
close as Jon Newsome hit a post with a header, then Strachan
got the ball in the net, only to be denied as a linesman flagged for offside,
but just when it seemed United had ridden out the storm, Rangers went in front
eight minutes before the break. John Lukic saved well
from David McPherson's close-range header, but razor-sharp Ally McCoist reacted quickly to tap in the rebound for his
twenty-fifth goal in twenty-one matches. Leeds were relieved to be only a goal
behind at the interval, but were the better side in the second-half, with Eric Cantona sending an overhead kick just wide and Lee Chapman
failing to find the target from the Frenchman's cross. Leeds were far
from deflated at the final whistle and Wilkinson commented: "I think the
game and the result sends us into the next leg with justified optimism." Leeds though, with Gordon Strachan outstanding on his return to Scotland, controlled large parts of the game
and the tie was very much in the balance at the final whistle.
McAllister gets in his twenty-five yard shot for the opening goal
is congratulated by David Batty as Gary Speed and Lee Chapman run to join them
as the Rangers defence look dumbstruck
stops Ian Durrant watched by Gary McAllister and Mark
Tony Dorigo is confronted by Dave McPherson
Under pressure, John Lukic
concedes an own goal Eric Cantona is tackled by Richard Gough
Despite pressure, Gary Speed gets in a shot but
it was off target
Gordon Strachan nips
through the Rangers defence
Gary McAllister got the opening goal for Leeds.
John Lukic punched a corner into his net. Ally McCoist got
the second for Rangers
David Batty and Gordon Strachan
missed narrowly with an overhead kick
Chapman missed the target Andy Goram was in goal Leeds-born Stuart
McCall and future Leeds player David
Robertson were the full-backs
Richard Gough, David McPherson and John Brown
formed the central defence
Trevor Steven, Ian Ferguson and
Ian Durrant were in midfield
Pieter Huistra came
on as substitute for Steven Mark Hateley shared striking duties with Ally McCoist