Leeds United carrying perfect recent top-flight home record into next Premier League game
YOU have to go back some way to find the last top-flight game between Leeds United and Sheffield United at Elland Road.
September 1993 to be exact, as the Blades suffered relegation the following year.
The two teams had initially gone up together in May 1990 as the Whites pipped the Blades to the Second Division title.
Four top-flight league meetings at Elland Road followed and Leeds won every one, including a memorable 4-3 triumph in West Yorkshire on October 5, 1991.
It was the season in which the Whites would be crowned champions of England in just their second season back in the country’s top flight – and its last as Division One.
English football’s top tier became the Premier League the following season, but the Blades only lasted two seasons before falling through the trapdoor at the bottom.
But two and a half years before they went down the Blades put up a terrific fight against the eventual champions at Elland Road before eventually being undone by the odd goal in seven.
Howard Wilkinson’s Whites had finished the previous season in fourth place after their first campaign back in the top division, Dave Bassett’s Blades comfortably surviving in coming 13th.
But the Blades got off to a dreadful start the following season and headed to Elland Road on the back of just one victory from their 11 league games, seven of which had ended in defeat.
Leeds had lost just once, that defeat coming in the contest that preceded the Blades clash via a 1-0 defeat at Palace.
Determined to bounce back, the Whites went ahead with just five minutes on the clock; Mel Sterland launched a long throw into the area, and when it was cleared only as far as Steve Hodge he prodded home a low volleyed finish.
The Blades were then penalised as keeper Phil Kite took a step outside his area with a goal kick, leading to a Whites free kick on the edge of the box.
Up stepped Sterland, who let fly with a thumping low drive that took a deflection off the wall before flying past Kite into the back of the net to make it 2-0 just one minute short of the half-hour mark.
Matters got even worse for the Blades nine minutes later when Ian Bryson pushed over Tony Dorigo on the left-hand side of the box as the Australian chased a through ball from Gary Speed.
Sterland took the spot kick and slammed a firm, low shot past Kite into the right-hand corner of the goal to make it 3-0 to the Whites with still six minutes of the first half left.
Leeds were rampant and a fourth goal arrived soon after the restart as Hodge doubled his tally when rifling home from the middle of the area after first Lee Chapman and then Speed had flicked on Whitlow’s free-kick.
The Blades were 4-0 down and going nowhere, yet they pulled a goal back when Jamie Hoyland headed in a cross from the left in the 54th minute.
A dreadful back pass from Carl Shutt then acted as the perfect through ball for Sheffield marksman Tony Agana, who stormed through on goal before slotting home beyond John Lukic to make it 4-2 with 14 minutes left.
The Blades had the wind in their sails and then pulled yet another goal back as John Gannon’s free-kick was tossed into the area and cleared only to Carl Bradshaw, whose low drive flew past diving bodies in the box to make it 4-3.
The visitors still had another seven minutes plus stoppage time to bag another but Leeds held on to record a victory which had looked set to be comfortable yet in the end proved anything but as part of a season in which the Blades finished like a steam train to end up ninth, eight places and 25 points behind the champions of England, Leeds United.
The two sides will now meet again in West Yorkshire in the first game back after the March international break.
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Thank you Laura Collins