Leeds United and Everton have history where a Goodison goal fest is concerned
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Two seven-goal thrillers for Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites in a 4-3 loss at defending champions Liverpool, followed by another 4-3 but a victorious one against Fulham.
Seven goals were also netted as Everton saw off West Brom 5-2 in their first Premier League game of the new season and Carlo Ancelotti’s side are currently the joint fourth highest scorers in the division.
Goals might well be on the agenda in this evening’s Premier League showdown at Goodison Park in United’s first clash at the ground of any kind since September 2003.
Yet Leeds and Everton will have to go some to match the thrills and spills of an eight-goal classic at Goodison back in October 1999 when Michael Bridges bagged a brace in a crazy 4-4 draw in which David Weir’s late leveller halted United’s winning run,
David O’Leary’s Whites were ultimately on their way to qualification for the Champions League in a season in which they would finish third with Walter Smith’s Toffees ending up in 13th, one place better than the previous season’s effort of 14th.
That was at least an improvement on the 1997-98 offering of coming fourth bottom and only avoiding the dreaded drop on goal difference at Bolton Wanderers’ expense.
Appointed that summer, former Rangers boss Smith was looking to restore Everton’s former glories but his second season in charge got off to a frustrating start of one point from a possible nine before a run of five wins in six including a 1-0 triumph at Liverpool.
The Toffees were then held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Coventry City before a 4-1 thumping at Arsenal preceded the Goodison clash against Leeds on Saturday, October 16, 1999.
Leeds, though, who were in the UEFA Cup having finished fourth the previous season had began the season like an express train with O’Leary’s side heading to Goodison on the back of ten-straight victories in league and cup including six straight league wins.
Yet it was Everton who made a bright start as Kevin Campbell latched on to a pass from John Collins down the left before curling a fine shot into the right corner from just inside of the box to give the Toffees a fourth-minute lead.
The lead lasted for only 11 minutes with Lee Bowyer then spraying the ball across the pitch to Harry Kewell whose fierce low cross was thumped home by Bridges from close range.
Back came the hosts with a fine Hutchinson through ball releasing Campbell who danced his way into the box before producing a neat chipped finish to beat Nigel Martyn in the 28th minute.
This time Leeds took just seven minutes to respond and in some style as Kewell’s speculative long range effort from the left touchline dipped under Paul Gerrard to make it 2-2.
Yet just two minutes later Everton went back ahead for the third time AS Don Hutchinson cashed in on United’s failure to clear a bouncing ball by prodding an effort past Martyn eight minutes before the break.
United were looking at a defeat, never mind a seventh-straight league win and centre-back Lucas Radebe could then count himself very fortunate for not being sent off on the hour mark when hauling down Hutchinson as the last man on the edge of the box.
Referee Dermot Gallagher clearly thought Radebe had won the ball but VAR would have had the defender heading for an early bath.
United then rubbed salt in the wound twice as a brilliant Bridges half volley from the edge of the box sailed over Gerrard to make it 3-3 with 23 minutes left.
Then, just five minutes later, Jonathan Woodgate put the Whites ahead for the first time with a bullet header from Ian Harte’s corner that crashed in off the crossbar.
But deep into stoppage time Everton ensured a thrilling game would end all square as Weir rose highest to head home a David Unsworth free-kick to end United’s winning run.
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Thank you Laura Collins