Leeds United - on this day: Whites topple Manchester City to ease Premier League relegation fears after Elland Road takeover

17 years ago Elland Road erupted as Leeds United gave themselves a real chance of top flight survival.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 1:04 pm
Leeds United striker Mark Viduka scores a penalty against Manchester City. Pic: Getty

The day...

March 22, 2004

The event...

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Leeds United beat Manchester City 2-1 at Elland Road to boost their top flight survival hopes

What happened?

Leeds United had endured a torrid time on and off the pitch throughout the 2003-04 campaign.

The Whites, though, welcomed Manchester City to Elland Road following a £30m takeover by a local-based consortium led by Gerald Krasner.

The new regime kept the club safe from liquidation in the short term following vast amounts of overspending in the years prior, which had caused a player exodus and wages to be delayed.

Caretaker manager Eddie Gray knew that victory would see United move off the bottom of the Premier League table and within two points of safety.

It was the visitors who started the better and more confident of the two sides but Leeds went ahead against the run of play in the 23rd minute.

Stephan McPhail crossed a free-kick into the box which evaded everyone to find the back of the net at the far post.

City, though, found a leveller two minutes before half-time through Nicolas Anelka much to the annoyance of the hosts.

The game turned into a dogfight in the second half and it was the team from across the Pennines who blinked first.

Alan Smith made his way into the box before being clipped by Daniel Van Buyten in the 75th minute, with the defender handed his marching orders by referee Alan Wiley.

Mark Viduka stepped up to send goalkeeper David James the wrong way, scoring his seventh league goal of the season.

United held on with the man advantage to spark huge celebrations at the full-time whistle, with the Whites giving themselves a real chance of survival which was ultimately cruelly lost.

Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Caldwell, Matteo, Domi, Pennant, McPhail, Seth Johnson, Milner, Smith, Viduka.

Subs Not Used: Carson, Harte, Radebe, Lennon, Simon Johnson.

Booked: Viduka, Seth Johnson.

Man City: James, Wright-Phillips, Dunne, Van Buyten, Distin, Tarnat, Sibierski, Barton, Bosvelt (Jihai 82), Fowler, Anelka.

Subs Not Used: Arason, Wanchope, Macken, Sinclair.

Sent Off: Van Buyten (75).

Booked: Jihai.

Attendance: 36,998.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).