On This Day: Eddie Gray's Whites sink Manchester City at Maine Road as Ian Baird opens Leeds United account

LEEDS United will seek a first ever win at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium this weekend but the Whites enjoyed plenty of success at City's old Maine Road ground.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 11:32 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 11:34 am

One such success arrived 36 years ago on this day when Ian Baird's first goal for the Whites sealed a 2-1 victory in City's own back yard.

The hosts were a million miles away from the all-conquering outfit that they are today and both Leeds and City were down in English's football's second tier.

Leeds had been relegated in 1982 and finished the previous two seasons eighth and tenth in Eddie Gray's first two campaigns in charge whereas City had gone down in 1983 and finished fourth upon their first attempt at going back up.

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OFF THE MARK: Ian Baird opened his account for Leeds United on this day in 1985. Picture by Varleys.

Now under the care of boss Billy McNeil, the Manchester side would ultimately seal promotion at the second attempt in the 84-85 campaign via finishing third but not without a home reverse to Gray's Whites on April 8, 1985.

In front of a gate of 33,553, City went ahead five minutes after the break when substitute Jim Tolmie netted from the penalty spot after United's Andy Linighan had handled in the box.

But Leeds drew level four minutes after the hour when recent recruit Baird headed home a Peter Lorimer cross and matters then got even better for the Whites when Scott Sellars curled home a 77th-minute winner.

Baird had only signed for Leeds from Southampton two months earlier.

Leeds were also helped by some fine saves from Mervyn Day but left with all three points although City had the last laugh in going up in finishing third as United ended up in seventh as the wait for a return to top-flight football went on.

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Thank you Laura Collins