The last time Leeds United beat Chelsea as James Milner lights up Elland Road

James Milner, remember the name...

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:56 pm
Former Leeds United academy product James Milner. Pic: Getty

It has been nearly 17 years since Leeds United last hosted Chelsea in the Premier League at Elland Road.

The Whites, though, have to flick back two years prior in the history books to witness their last win over the Blues in league action - and not just in LS11.

United welcomed title-chasing Chelsea to West Yorkshire for a post-Christmas encounter under the lights looking to end 2002 on a high.

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Manager Terry Venables had once again selected 16-year-old Thorp Arch academy product James Milner on the bench.

Two days prior to the visit of Chelsea, Milner had become the youngest scorer in Premiership history in a 2-1 win over Sunderland on Boxing Day.

It was to be another memorable afternoon for the Wortley-born star for his boyhood club.

Visiting boss Claudio Ranieri made seven changes to his line-up amid a busy festive period but still named a strong side.

William Gallas headed an early opportunity wide before the Whites opened the scoring on the half hour mark through defender Jonathan Woodgate.

Winger Jason Wilcox swung in a free-kick from the right and his run was timed to perfection to guide the ball into the corner of the net.

Leeds were dealt a blow with Harry Kewell unable to continue and Milner stepped off the bench in place of the Australian.

He again made his impact felt as he snatched the headlines on the stroke of half-time, collecting the ball on the edge of the box and leaving Marcel Desailly in a heap.

Milner turned down the option of finding Alan Smith to his right and instead rifled an inch-perfect effort past goalkeeper Ed de Goey.

The goal sparked wild celebrations as Leeds players piled on the youngster after scoring his second goal in just three days.

Chelsea made changes at the interval but were unable to break down a resolute United team, who lifted themselves up to 13th in the table as the financial cracks of overspending started to show.

The Blues, meanwhile, were left trailing five points behind league leaders Arsenal heading into the new year.

Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Woodgate, Mills, Lucic, Bakke (Johnson 85), Smith, Okon, Wilcox, Kewell (Milner 31), Viduka (Fowler 83). Subs not used: Martyn, Duberry.

Booked: Smith, Okon

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer (Hasselbaink 45), Desailly, Gallas, Le Saux, Stanic, Morris, Lampard, Gronkjaer (De Lucas 45), Zola, Gudjohnsen. Subs not used: Pidgeley, Babayaro, Terry.

Attendance: 40,122

Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire)