Action replay 1991: Liverpool v Leeds United

Leeds United over many seasons had come to expect nothing from games at Anfield, and the club's promotion to Division One in 1990 did not herald a change of luck.

Liverpool 3

Leeds United 0

Division One, Anfield,

Tuesday, january 1, 1991

A 3-0 defeat on their first visit to Liverpool for eight years was no less than par for that particular course.

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The best part of two decades had elapsed since United's last victory in a league fixture at Anfield, recorded in the closing stages of the Don Revie era, and they were beaten by half-time on New Year's Day in 1991.

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The final scoreline was a sorry end to Leeds' sequence of 15 matches without defeat.

Their form was so convincing that Howard Wilkinson felt genuinely confident of gaining something from one of the club's more problematic hunting grounds. Rousing victories over Chelsea and Wimbledon brought

Leeds to the turn of the year in fine fettle but the concession of the opening goal to Liverpool after only seven minutes was a decisive blow.

It relieved Liverpool of the doubt created by a poor defeat at Crystal Palace two days earlier and forced Wilkinson's players to chase the game from the outset. David Burrows created the goal by beating Gordon Strachan on the left wing and crossing to John Barnes who finished an easy chance at the far post.

The handicap of an early deficit was huge and Liverpool's record at Anfield, where the club were unbeaten in 14 months, promised no way back. It took until March for that lengthy sequence to end when Arsenal produced a 1-0 victory on Merseyside, effectively laying their hands on the first division title in the process.

Strachan threatened an equaliser with a shot from long-range which faded away from Bruce Grobbelaar's net but Ronnie Rosenthal should have added a second goal long before he found the net on the stroke of half-time.

The Israeli international failed to bury a simple opportunity teed up by Barnes midway through the first half and his finish in the 45th minute relied on a considerable amount of fortune.

John Lukic, United's goalkeeper, met a 20-yard effort from Rosenthal

with a diving save but the ball rebounded against a post before hitting Lukic and rolling over the goalline.

United's chance to fight back came and went in 47th minute when Glynn Snodin smashed a fierce shot against Grobbelaar's crossbar, and

Liverpool reacted to the near miss by turning the screw.

Lukic denied Ian Rush with another fine block and was helped by an offside flag when Rosenthal turned Steve Staunton's pass into the net.

But Rush completed the scoring two minutes from time by beating Lukic's dive with a low shot from the edge of the box.

Leeds eventually broke their woeful run at Anfield with a 1-0 win in 1995, a year before Wilkinson stepped down as manager. He was not the only coach to see a victory in Liverpool as something of a red-letter day.

United: Lukic, Sterland, Snodin, Batty, Fairclough, Whyte, Strachan, Shutt, Chapman, McAllister, Speed. Subs (not used): Pearson, Whitlow.

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