Manchester United vs Leeds United: Three Memorable Moments


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Manchester United and Leeds United – an iconic rivalry that has been dormant in English football for many years.

But with Leeds being promoted to the Premier League once again, this beautiful duel between two proper Northern clubs is back.

The fixture at Old Trafford this season ended in delight for United, coming away 6-2 victors after a very convincing performance.

The Red Devils make the trip to Elland Road this Sunday, so it seems fitting to look back on three memorable moments that have occurred in this great fixture over the years.

‘Battle of the Roses’

A feisty encounter is nothing less than what you’d expect for a United vs Leeds match, but this particular game in 1977 was something else.

Two sides that despise each other battling it out for a place in an FA Cup final – what could go wrong?

The match was labelled as the ‘Battle of the Roses’ and it lived up to the billing.

Numerous fans are believed to have been arrested outside the stadium for fighting and there were multiple injuries sustained by the players on the pitch as well.

United emerged victorious that day, with Tommy Docherty’s side winning 2-1. They went on to win the entire competition, beating another bitter rival, Liverpool, in the final.

Cantona Returns

Eric Cantona was one of many players to swap Elland Road for Old Trafford over the years, but not many were as significant for both sides as this transfer was.

The Frenchman was adored by Leeds fans. So when he swapped white for red in 1992, many of the Leeds faithful were left devastated.

However, Leeds’ loss was United’s gain. ‘The King’ became an icon for United, playing 143 times during five years – scoring 64 goals along the way.

Cantona never really made an impact when facing his old side, until he returned to Elland Road in 1996. He produced a stunning performance, assisting and scoring once in a 4-0 rout.

United went on to win the Premier League that season, with Cantona contributing immensely to the success.

Keane and Haaland

The Manchester vs Leeds United derby of 1997 will always be remembered as the beginning of a mighty feud between Roy Keane and Alf-Inge Haaland.

The Irish, no-nonsense midfielder sustained a horrific injury to his cruciate ligaments after the Norwegian bundled into him near the Leeds penalty area.

Haaland then proceeded to stand over Keane and accused him of faking the injury. A brave move. Nevertheless, the injury was real and Keane was forced out of action for the rest of the campaign.

Fast forward four years later to 2001 and the duo met again, but this time Haaland is wearing Manchester City’s colours after transferring the previous year.

On this occasion, Keane dished out his revenge. A real horror of a challenge saw the Irishman clatter into the Norwegians knee.

Keane saw red and rightly so. Haaland endured injury issues for the rest of his career, never quite recovering from the terrible challenge.

The moral of the story – don’t mess with Keane.