The last time Leeds United hosted Liverpool at a packed out Elland Road
April’s fixture between Leeds United and Liverpool was a first league clash between the two sides at Elland Road for over 17 years.
There were, though, no supporters in the famous ground’s stands.
But that will all change tomorrow when the Whites and Reds lock horns before a packed crowd in Yorkshire for the first time in a league game since February 2004, when
Erik Bakke and Mark Viduka were both on target in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Back then, a familiar face came back to haunt Eddie Gray’s Whites for the opener as Harry Kewell fired home for Gerard Houllier’s visitors in the 21st minute.
Jamie Carragher broke forward down the left flank and delivered a pass to Milan Baros who was afforded plenty of space running at United’s back four.
Baros, though, opted to pass to Kewell on the right hand edge of the Whites penalty box and the Australian took two touches before sending an unstoppable curled effort into the top left corner.
Leeds, though, were level just eight minutes later. A long ball forward from Didier Domi was flicked on by Alan Smith to Jermaine Pennant who squared to Bakke who took one touch before sliding a finish past Chris Kirkland in the Liverpool net.
Just five minutes later, Leeds were ahead thanks to terrific work from Smith to set up Viduka.
Liverpool got themselves in a muddle looking to clear and Smith intercepted a loose ball to produce a volleyed through ball to Viduka who got in behind the Reds back line.
Kirkland eventually decided to rush out of his six yard box but Viduka got there first and prodded home a finish to put Leeds in front.
Kirkland clattered Viduka to the ground as he applied the finish but the Aussie was soon to his feet to celebrate with a young James Milner.
But Liverpool responded in style and after Barros had thumped a header against the crossbar, the Czech Republic international drew his side level three minutes before the break
There appeared little sign of danger as Dietmar Hamann fed the ball into Baros who had his back to goal in front of the Whites defence and some 25 yards out.
But Baros produced some lovely footwork to turn Domi and then evaded a challenge from Seth Johnson before making his way to the edge of the box and sending a fine finish into the same corner of the goal that Kewell had found.
A pulsating half finished all square and Leeds then went close to bagging a third after the interval as Smith twice went close, firing a vicious effort from a tight angle just wide and also heading against the bar.
But only two tremendous saves from Paul Robinson denied the Reds a third. First Liverpool worked the ball to Michael Owen who was presented with a free header from six yards out yet a diving save from an acrobatic Robinson managed to tip the ball wide.
Seeking a winner, Hamman then broke towards goal and sent in a ferocious drive from 25 yards out that Robinson again tipped behind.
His save kept the scores at 2-2 and that’s how it ended, both in the game itself and as far as league clashes against Liverpool were concerned in front of an Elland Road crowd.
The Reds went on to finish fourth, sealing qualification for the Champions League but Leeds were relegated in finishing second bottom.
The two clubs did meet again at Eland Road five and a half years later in the Carling Cup, at which point the Whites had slid all the way down to League One.
Back then, a David N'Gog goal gave a Liverpool side under Rafa Benitez a 1-0 victory against Simon Grayson's Whites.
The two teams then met again seven years later in the EFL Cup when strikes from Divock Origi and Ben Woodburn gave Jurgen Klopp's Reds a 2-0 win against Garry Monk’s Whites.
United were on their way back and last season finally saw the return of Premier League clashes between the Whites and Reds.
Tomorrow, the two clubs get to do it again, only this time with fans in the stands.