'We caught them on a bad night' - Leeds United's record home victory against Tottenham
LEEDS United will welcome Tottenham to Elland Road for the first league meeting between the two sides in West Yorkshire in over 17 years today.
Spurs last visited Elland Road for a league contest back in January 2004 when Robbie Keane sealed a 1-0 victory for the visitors when netting against his former side.
Leeds, though, had a decent home record against the London side in either Premiership or Premier League contests of the nineties and noughties.
Twelve meetings between the two sides at Elland Road since Division One turned to the Premiership yielded seven Whites victories, three draws and just two defeats.
In the first of those seasons, Leeds lined up as champions and recorded their best ever home victory against Spurs as Eric Cantona bagged a treble in a 5-0 rout.
The two clubs were at very different places to the two sides that will line up at Elland Road for today’s 3pm kick-off in which Spurs are chasing a Champions League place.
Back in August 1992, Leeds were very much the country’s top dogs having sealed what was the last ever First Division championship the previous season as part of a campaign in which Spurs finished only 15th and just ten points clear of the dropzone.
For Spurs, it had been a campaign which began with an appearance in the Charity Shield following the previous season’s FA Cup triumph as the side then managed by Terry Venables beat Nottingham Forest in the final.
Leeds had finished the season in fourth - six places ahead of Spurs - and there was even more distance between the two teams one year later.
And four games into the 1992-93 season there were five goals difference between the two sides at Elland Road as defending champions Leeds bounced back from their first defeat of the season in style.
That defeat came just three days before the Tuesday night visit of Spurs via a 4-1 loss at Middlesbrough which followed a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and 2-1 win at home to Wimbledon on the opening day.
Leeds had also sealed the Charity Shield at the start of the month with a 4-3 victory against Liverpool in which Cantona bagged a hat-trick.
Just 17 days later, the Frenchman was at it again as a Spurs side that had begun the season by taking just two points out of a possible nine were walloped in West Yorkshire.
Spurs gifted Leeds their opener when ‘keeper Eric Thorstvedt made a complete meal of attempting to control a loose ball on the edge of his 18 yard box.
Instead, his heavy touch was played straight to Rod Wallace who coolly rolled home a low finish into the bottom left corner from a tight angle.
More poor defending led to United’s second when Justin Edinburgh’s header to Cantona’s cross proved the perfect assist as part of a one two for Cantona who latched on the knockdown and slammed home a low finish past Thorstvedt.
Once again, Tottenham then failed to clear their lines for United’s third for which David Batty sent in a lovely floated cross that Cantona sent past Thorstvedt with a flicked header.
The Whites led 3-0 at the break and Cantona then completed his hat-trick after the restart with another clinical finish on the volley 12 yards out after Lee Chapman had challenged for a header.
And there was still time for Chapman to get in on the act too as Cantona’s strike partner then turned provider in latching on a square ball to take out the onrushing Thorstvedt to leave Chapman with a tap in to bring up the nap hand.
Leeds had put in a five star showing against their struggling London visitors who eventually got going later on in the season to finish eighth.
United, on the other hand, eventually ended up 15th but there was no sign of that at Elland Road in August 1992.
As Spurs boss Doug Livermore admitted: “Leeds taught us a lesson in everything they did. After their defeat on Saturday, we caught them on a bad night.”
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Thank you Laura Collins