NORWICH City stand between Leeds United and this season’s EFL Cup quarter-finals.
The Canaries, in the Premier Division until last season’s relegation, will be out to end the Whites’ cup march on Tuesday, October 25.
That was also the aim of Premier Division side Everton four years ago tomorrow evening but a rousing 2-1 victory put United in that year’s fourth round.
The Toffees, managed by David Moyes, arrived having finished sixth in the previous season’s Premier with United 13th in the 2011-12 Championship under Neil Warnock, who replaced caretaker boss Neil Redfearn the previous February after the sacking of Simon Grayson.
Under Warnock, the Whites approached the Toffees clash following three league losses, a draw and three wins, including the 2-1 defeat of Nottingham Forest at Elland Road three days earlier.
Lower league Shrewsbury and Oxford had been put away at Elland Road in the Capital One Cup’s first two rounds but Everton – 3-0 winners at league hosts Swansea the previous weekend – promised to offer a different proposition.
But United were immediately at their top-flight visitors and took the lead after just four minutes through an unlikely source in Aidy White.
White, who was scoring his first ever goal for Leeds, raced onto a loose ball in the middle of the park and surged past Marouane Fellaini and the Everton centre-backs before curling a fine placed effort high into the left hand side of the goal past a helpless Jan Mucha.
The same player then tested Mucha again three minutes later and the Whites then almost doubled their lead just before the interval when Becchio was presented with a close-range header which Mucha saved, allowing Steven Naismith to clear off the line.
An under-performing Toffees side came out a different proposition after the break and had chances through Steven Pienaar who fired over and through Naismith who headed wide from just six yards out. Anichebe also squeezed a low effort just wide.
At the other end, Leeds had earlier gone close when Michael Tonge’s low effort just evaded the post.
But with 20 minutes remaining United doubled their lead through Rodolph Austin. The lively Diouf’s free-kick from the byline was laid back to the edge of the box to find Pugh who let fly with a low effort that fizzed through the penalty area and Austin stuck out a leg to divert the ball past Mucha and double United’s lead.
Leeds were 20 minutes away from their first League Cup win against Premier League opposition in eight attempts but Everton hit back with nine minutes left when Sylvain Distin rose highest to flick home Pienaar’s free-kick that was headed towards goal by Anichebe.
Whites goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown was then forced into a save to deny Jelavic six minutes later before the Toffees saw claims for a late penalty waved way after the ball struck Jason Pearce’s shoulder.
But Leeds had done enough to send their Premier Division visitors packing, to book a last 16 date at home to Southampton.
A 3-0 win in that fixture took the Whites to the quarter-finals – and a pre-Christmas home clash with Chelsea. The prospect of something similar awaits if United can oust Norwich in three weeks’ time.
Leeds United 2
(White 4, Austin 69)
Everton 1 (Distin 81)
September 25, 2012 Capital One Cup, third round
Leeds: Ashdown, Byram, Lees, Pearce, White, Austin, Tonge, Brown, Pugh, Diouf, Becchio. Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Drury, Kisnorbo, Varney, Gray, Thompson, Poleon.
Everton: Mucha, Coleman, Heitinga, Distin, Oviedo, Naismith (Jelavic 65), Fellaini, Junior (Neville 46), Gueye (Pienaar 46), Mirallas, Anichebe. Subs Not Used: Howard, Jagielka, Vellios, Duffy.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
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