Leeds United given possible FA Cup final rematch after equalling record in fifth round draw

Leeds United could face a ‘rematch’ of the 1973 FA Cup final having equalled a record to be drawn away from home yet again in the FA Cup fifth round.
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Jesse Marsch’s side booked their place in the competition’s last 16 for the first time in seven years through Saturday’s 3-1 victory at fourth round hosts Accrington Stanley in which Jack Harrison, Junior Firpo and Luis Sinisterra all bagged a goal apiece.

Leeds were ball no 16 in Monday night’s draw and the Whites were handed yet another away day at either fellow Premier League side Fulham or Championship outfit Sunderland where young Whites forward Joe Gelhardt has just signed on loan.

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The Whites played Sunderland 50 years ago in the FA Cup final of the 1972-73 season in which a John Porterfield strike gave the Black Cats a 1-0 victory. Sunderland sit ninth in the Championship table and took a 1-1 draw from Saturday’s fourth round clash at Fulham who are riding high in seventh place in the Premier League standings. Sunderland and Fulham will meet again next Tuesday evening in a replay at the Stadium Of Light.

The fifth round ties will be played midweek during the week commencing Monday, February 27 which means that for Leeds the cup assignment is sandwiched by the Premier League home clash against Southampton of Saturday, February 25 and the league trip to Chelsea on Saturday, February 4. Winning clubs will bag £225,000 from the competition prize fund.

Leeds last reached the fifth round back in 2016 when they were drawn away to Watford who gained a 1-0 success through a Scott Wootton own goal to end United’s cup run under boss Steve Evans.

Whites boss Marsch said after Saturday’s victory at Accrington that United’s main wish for the fifth round draw was bagging a home tie. The Whites were certainly due one having been drawn away from home in all 11 of their last FA Cup assignments.

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But a 12th game in a row away from Elland Road has seen Leeds equal the all-time FA Cup record for consecutive ties being drawn away from home. Aston Villa experienced the same fate in between 1973 and 1983, as did Brighton between 1993 and 2000.

CUP FATE: Discovered by Leeds United under boss Jesse Marsch, above. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.CUP FATE: Discovered by Leeds United under boss Jesse Marsch, above. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
CUP FATE: Discovered by Leeds United under boss Jesse Marsch, above. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Marsch said after Saturday’s success: “It would be really great to play at Elland Road for such an important match and get our fans involved and get everybody excited in the city. We're happy that the team’s come together. We're happy that we've been able to push in this tournament, obviously a home draw would be great.”