Date: Saturday, 17th October 1970.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 2 Manchester United 2
United: Belfitt, Charlton. Manchester
United: Fitzpatrick, Charlton.
Leeds United: Sprake;
Reaney, Cooper; Bremner,
Charlton, Hunter; Lorimer, Clarke, Belfitt, Bates (Hibbitt), Madeley.
Manchester United: Rimmer;
Edwards, Dunne; Fitzpatrick, Ure, Stiles; Burns, Best, Charlton, Kidd, Aston.
Referee: Mr D.
The two Uniteds
had met on the opening day of the 1970-71 campaign at Old Trafford when a goal
from Mick Jones had given the Whites the two points. The two sides had then
gone on in opposite directions since that game. Leeds were on
top and Manchester were in the lower reaches of the First
Division. It was a situation that led Leeds fans to think their side could topple the men
from Old Trafford again and record their first league double over them since Revie had steered his side into the First Division in 1963-64.
Revie, however was as cautious as ever, knowing that
with forwards such as Willie Morgan, George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law
you could not afford to be complacent.
without star striker Mick Jones, who had pulled out with a stomach upset, and
Rod Belfitt took his place alongside Allan Clarke.
Although Alex Stepney was fit, Red’s boss Wilf McGuinness preferred Jimmy Rimmer in goal and also brought in defender Francis Burn in
place of winger Morgan, who had a toe injury. He was also without the services
of an unfit Denis Law.
United took the lead after
only nine minutes when Terry Cooper won a corner and Peter Lorimer
swung the ball into the penalty area where Paul Madeley
headed it back for Jack Charlton to score with a typical header. Manchester complained bitterly that the goal
should not have been allowed to stand, because a fan in the old ‘Scratching
Shed’ had clearly blown a whistle. McGuinness argued
that his players had thought the referee had blown the whistle, but the referee
allowed the goal to stand. He did, though, order a loudspeaker announcement to
be made, warning that if the unofficial whistle should be blown again he would
understandably, were indignant at the referee’s decision to allow the goal to
stand but Leeds were encouraged and they turned on some entertaining football
which brought admiration from the crowd of 50,190, easily Elland
Road’s biggest of the season and also the largest attendance in the League on
Leeds went further ahead four minutes
into the second half when Rod Belfitt slid in a
neatly executed goal after Mick Bates had opened up the Manchester defence
with a fine through ball. United were coasting along nicely and the Reds were
far from the Manchester United of old. Then for some inexplicable reason,
United, of all teams, appeared to ease off fractionally. It was enough,
however, for the men from Old Trafford to pick themselves up from the brink of
defeat and go on to grab a point that they so dearly wanted.
Their first bit of
encouragement came on the hour mark when John Fitzpatrick headed a Bobby
Charlton corner kick into the net out of Gary Sprake’s
grasp. Then four minutes from the end Bobby Charlton pounced on a loose ball in
the Leeds penalty area and fired in the goal
that gave his team a point and himself the club’s scoring record that he had
held jointly with Jack Rowley. The goal was Charlton’s 199th in
League and FA Cup games for Manchester and it also ended United’s 100% home league record that season.
Revie and his men were also battling to
bring European honours to Elland Road. Four days after the draw with
Manchester United, they were in action against Dynamo Dresden at Elland Road. United won the game with a Peter Lorimer goal and although they were beaten 2-1 in Dresden
they went through on the away goals rule and went on to reach the final where
they lifted the trophy after beating Juventus, again
on the away goals rule.
Morgan and Denis Law both missed the encounter
Jimmy Rimmer was preferred to Alex Stepney