LUFC Memory Match: Barnsley 2-3 Leeds 1997/98
Barnsley 2-3 Leeds United 29th November 1997
Referee: M D Reed (Birmingham)
Leeds United are currently the comeback kings in the Championship, so it`s probably only fitting that in this weeks memory match between Leeds and Tuesday night`s opponents Barnsley, we go back to the 1997/98 season when Leeds had a similar reputation and were involved in a five goal thriller at Oakwell.
Leeds were under the stewardship of George Graham, who wasn`t particularly well known for his attacking style of football and he had grown his reputation as building sides with a strong defence. They would usually pinch the odd goal to claim the points during his time with Arsenal that led to the fans singing '1-0 to the Arsenal` as that`s how it usually finished.
In the previous season, his first at Elland Road, Leeds had both scored and conceded just 28 goals in the whole season.
During the season the Elland Road faithful reworded the Vera Lynn classic, we`ll meet again, and started singing, 'We`ll score again, don`t know where, don`t know when`.
Therefore it had come as something of a surprise that in the previous three games involving Leeds, the fans had been spoilt to sixteen goals in total.
In the first of those games, Leeds came back from 3-0 down to Derby County to claim a thrilling 4-3 win.
They then entertained Reading in the Carling Cup and after going a goal behind, they then led 2-1 only to eventually lose 3-2.
In their next Premiership game, they again came from a goal down to beat West Ham 3-1.
Therefore, a trip to Oakwell to face Barnsley in their one and only season in the Premiership did not really worry the Leeds fans when they fell 2-0 down inside the opening half hour to comeback and win 3-2.
Barnsley were actually enjoying their season so far in the Premiership and had recorded a 1-0 win at Liverpool only seven days before the Leeds game so came into the game full of confidence.
Leeds almost took the lead inside the first five minutes when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw an effort hit the bar and go to safety.
Barnsley took the lead after only eight minutes when Andy Liddell followed up his own shot to beat Nigel Martyn in the Leeds goal.
Andy Liddell had a great chance to make it 2-0, as did Joso Bosancic but both failed to beat Martyn.
The home side eventually made it 2-0 on twenty-eight minutes when Ashley Ward was on hand to fire in after Nigel Martyn couldn`t hold a Martin Bullock shot.
Hasselbaink was looking the most likely to get Leeds back into the game and he came close when his fierce shot was turned wide by Barnsley keeper Lars Leese.
From the resulting corner, Alfe Inge Haaland was on hand to head in and give Leeds a lifeline with ten minutes of the first half remaining.
On a horrible wet day, both keepers were struggling to keep hold of the ball and Liddell could have given Barnsley a two goal advantage again early in the second half when Martyn couldn`t hold onto a Darren Barnard long range effort. Liddell followed in but lifted the ball over the bar to Leeds relief.
Liddell was proving a constant thorn in Leeds side and when he did beat Martyn again, defender David Robertson was on hand to clear off the line.
With just eleven minutes remaining on the clock it looked like Leeds were running out of time to turn the game around. However, out of nothing a long clearance from Martyn found Rod Wallace with a run through on goal and he made no mistake to bring the scores level.
Leeds now had their tails up and with their recent belief of turning games around it came as no surprise when they took the lead just three minutes later.
Rod Wallace was again involved, this time his run and cross down the right found substitute Derek Lilley who had only been on the pitch five minutes and he fired past Leese at the near post.
Barnsley almost claimed a point in injury time when De Zeeuw headed wide from close range following a Barnard free kick.
The win lifted Leeds into the top four whilst Barnsley remained in the relegation zone.
For the record, Leeds finished in fifth spot and claimed a place in the UEFA Cup whilst Barnsley finished second bottom and returned to the second tier of English football after just one season in the Premiership.
Leese, De Zeeuw, Eaden, Redfearn, Liddell (Hristov 85), Bosancic (Moses 72), Tinkler, Ward, Barnard, Bullock (Appleby 79), Markstedt
Subs Not Used: Watson, Hendrie.
Booked: Bosancic, Ward, Moses.
Goals: Liddell 8, Ward 28.
Martyn, Kelly, Halle (Maybury 45). Radebe, Wetherall, Robertson, Haaland (Molenaar 69), Ribeiro, Wallace, Hasselbaink, Bowyer (Lilley 77)
Subs Not Used: Beeney, Laurent.
Booked: Halle, Radebe, Haaland, Maybury, Wallace, Robertson
Goals: Haaland 35, Wallace 79, Lilley 82.
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