When Leeds United's hat-trick hero was still on the losing side against Liverpool

GOALS were most certainly on the agenda when Leeds United met Liverpool upon their Premier League return back in September at Anfield.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 5:45 am
FEAST OF GOALS: Lee Chapman, right, bagged a hat-trick and Carl Shutt, centre, also scored against Liverpool at Elland Road in April 1991 but Leeds United still left with nothing. Picture by YPN.

Unfortunately for the Whites, Mo Salah bagged three of them in a 4-3 victory.

Back in April 1991, it was Leeds who had a hat-trick hero as the Whites met the Reds when Lee Chapman helped himself to a treble.

Yet Chapman somehow still found himself on the losing side as Ronnie Moran’s Reds left Elland Road with an epic 5-4 victory.

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Moran was in caretaker charge of the Merseyside giants two months after the shock resignation of Kenny Dalglish whose defending champions were still top of the Premier League table and three points clear when Dalglish called it a day.

By the time Liverpool arrived at Elland Road on Saturday, April 13, 1991 the Reds had slipped to second.

Leeds, meanwhile, were in their first season back in the top flight after an eight-year absence having been promoted as Division Two champions the previous term.

Howard Wilkinson’s Whites made a seamless transition to the top tier and lined up against the Reds sat fourth.

The contest also featured the division’s two leading strikers - Liverpool’s Ian Rush on 24 goals and Chapman on 25.

Rush drew an Elland Road blank but played a pivotal part in Liverpool’s victory and the Reds went ahead in the 11th minute when Ray Houghton latched on to a scooped cross from John Barnes before firing past John Lukic from close range.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Whites when a neat Reds move released Rush who was hauled down by the onrushing Lukic to concede a penalty.

Jan Molby sent Lukic the wrong way and slotted home the spot kick with still only 16 minutes on the clock.

The Reds then went 3-0 up after just 25 minutes when David Speedie was left with a tap in at the far post from a low Barnes cross following fine work from Molby and also former Whites target Peter Beardsley who was pulling the strings in midfield.

Barnes himself then got in on the act just three minutes later after the Reds countered at rapid pace from a Whites attack.

A neat one-two with Rush in the quagmire centre circle sent Barnes clear and the Reds star raced away before tucking a finish past Lukic into the bottom right corner.

Liverpool were 4-0 up after just 28 minutes and took the four-goal lead into the interval but Leeds pulled a goal back in the 68th minute when Chapman netted home from close range after Reds keeper Mike Hooper had spilled Gary McAllister’s shot.

Chapman was netting his 26th goal of the season and looked to have bagged his 27th shortly after when heading home a long ball from David Batty but referee Ken Redfern judged that Chapman had fouled ‘keeper Hooper underneath the crossbar.

But there was no denying a second Whites goal in the 77th minute as Carl Shutt reacted the quickest to convert from the middle of the box after the Reds failed to clear a long Gary Speed throw.

The Whites comeback was well and truly on but Liverpool hit back just two minutes later as Rush’s back heel released the onrushing Barnes who drove into the box and fired into the bottom left corner off the post for the game’s only goal at that end.

Leeds still weren’t done and a storming run from Batty led to their third goal as Batty’s terrific cross picked out Chapman who powered a header past Hooper in the 81st minute.

Chapman was causing chaos and incredibly completed his hat-trick with two minutes still left on the clock with yet another header at the far post, this time from a Gordon Strachan cross after twists and turns from the magical Scot.

Leeds were back within one goal and Chapman up to 28 for the season yet Liverpool held on to win a thriller which had both sets of fans applauding at the full-time whistle.

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Thank you Laura Collins