WATCH - On This Day: Peter Lorimer dazzles as Leeds United blitz Arsenal in rehearsal for FA Cup final

PETER Lorimer produced a sensational display for Leeds United on this day in 1972 as Don Revie's Whites blitzed champions Arsenal 3-0 in a changing of the guard at Elland Road.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:31 pm

Leeds gave Arsenal a guard of honour before the game in recognition of their achievements in winning the double last year.

Whites captain Billy Bremner presented Gunners skipper Frank McLintock with a tankard and the appreciative Arsenal side then waved to the Elland Road crowd inside the centre circle prior to kick off.

But Leeds soon waved farewell to Arsenal in the contest itself and almost went ahead in the first minute only for Mick Jones to blaze a low shot just wide when played clean through from Peter Lorimer's through ball.

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MENACE: Leeds United's Peter Lorimer, left, caused chaos as the Whites defeated double holders Arsenal 3-0 on March 25, 1972 at Elland Road. Picture by Varleys.

Allan Clarke then saw an effort from inside the area saved by Bob Wilson but the Whites striker fired United into an 11th-minute lead after superb work from Lorimer who skinned left back Sammy Nelson and suppled a perfect cross from the right.

Back came Arsenal and Alan Ball saw a fierce shot deflected wide but another brilliant cross from the right from Lorimer presented Clarke with a free header which was sent over the bar.

More dazzling footwork from Lorimer then created another chance which ended with the ball being scrambled wide as Clarke looked to convert.

But Leeds doubled their lead when Mick Jones reacted quickest to a raking long pass from Terry Cooper and prodded the ball home from just inside the box.

Ball then hit the post as Arsenal looked to respond but Jones saw yet another Whites effort saved at the other end.

Clarke then narrowly failed to flick home Lorimer's fizzed in cross but Lorimer bagged United's third in sensational fashion one minute before the break.

The inside forward collected a pass from Johnny Giles some 40 yards out and then set himself before unleashing a swerving low piledriver that flew past keeper Wilson and crashed against the right hand post before bouncing into the back of the net.

Leeds then survived an almighty scramble in the second half as heroic Whites defending cleared the ball of the line but Clarke saw another fierce attempt saved by Wilson.

Ball was then booked as Arsenal's frustrations continued but Leeds were out of sight and the day belonged to Lorimer who somehow escaped three Gunners men on the right touchline with dazzling skill to break free and start another Whites attack.

The move eventually ended with Wilson producing yet another save to deny Clarke but Leeds were brilliant and moved four points behind leaders Manchester City but with two games in hand.

A 2-2 draw at West Ham United and then 2-0 defeat at Derby County then dealt huge blows to the title charge but Leeds still approached the last two games of the season within touching distance of sealing the double.

First came the FA Cup final against Arsenal in which Clarke famously scored the only goal of the game at Wembley - Clarke, 1-0 - but United were then tasked with travelling to Wolves for their league finale just two days later and fell to a 2-1 defeat which meant Derby were crowned champions by a point.

Leeds, though, were at the top of the game, as proved by the dazzling display against Arsenal at Elland Road in which the much missed Lorimer was simply superb.

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Thank you Laura Collins