Leeds United send Manchester United crashing out of FA Cup

Jermaine Beckford’s 19th minute facile goal for Leeds United sent the Premier League Champions Manchester United crashing out of the FA Cup in the third round creating history of sorts. Never before has Manchester United Lost in the third round ever since Sir Alex Ferguson took over the reigns of the club 23 years ago in 1986. Last time Manchester United lost in the third round was in 1984.

Manchester United were unable to respond despite throwing the kitchen sink at the League One club. Both teams created almost equal number of breath taking chances but Beckford’s goal remained the difference between the two teams till the end. The final few minutes, when Leeds just about held on rebutting wave after wave of Manchester United attack, were arguably the most exciting moments of the entire season. Leeds fans were seen either deliriously shouting their guts out or praying fervently for it is not everyday that Manchester United are humbled in their own home ground, Old Trafford.

FA Cup games have a charm of their own as here is an opportunity for the ‘Davids’ of lower leagues to slay the ‘Goliaths’ of the Premier League. That is exactly what Leeds united did today. Teams from lower leagues come here in pursuit of a dream to beat the Premier League giants while Premier League teams take the field to defend their reputation. Leeds United will be celebrating their dream win with a unabated fervor as the rivalry between the two clubs is so legendary that it is popularly known as ‘War of the Roses’ alluding to the strong enmity between the historic counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire dating back to the 15th century. Though Leeds will not like to be called minnows but they were definitely Giant killers today.

After the game Sir Alex Ferguson said,”Leeds had far bigger appetite than us,” Though unhappy with the stoppage time allotted at the end of the match, he for once, offered no explanation or excuses for his teams surprise defeat, “Human beings can always surprise you but we didn’t expect that today. We didn’t start right, Leeds got their goal and it was something to hold on to.”


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