29 January 1973 - Leeds United 5 Norwich City 0
|FA Cup third round second replay - Villa Park - 33,225|
|Scorers: Clarke 3 (2 mins, 13, 20), Jones (35), Lorimer (71)|
|Leeds United: Harvey, Reaney, Cherry, Bremner, Madeley, Hunter, Lorimer, Clarke (Yorath 77), Jones, Giles, Bates|
|Norwich City: Keelan, Payne, Butler, Stringer, Forbes, Howard, Livermore, Bone, Cross, Paddon, Anderson|
By the time Leeds United tangled with Norwich City in neutral Birmingham at the end of January 1973, the two sets of players must have been heartily sick of the sight of each other. The clash was the fourth between the clubs in the space of 17 days.
In addition to their two indecisive attempts at settling their FA Cup third round tie, the sides met in a First Division clash on 20 January.
Their first attempt at deciding who would progress to the fourth round ended in a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road on 13 January.
David Lacey in The Guardian: 'Leeds United are most of the things that Norwich are not, and probably all that they would like to be and the distinctive lines of class which divide the sides are unlikely to be blurred now that, as a result of Saturday's drawn third round tie at Carrow Road, the pair are having to meet three times in the space of eight days. One hesitates to offer conclusive prognostications concerning Norwich's chances of winning against the odds, so often they are written off, only to come galumphing through with rustic glee.
'But on the evidence of Saturday, Leeds, the FA Cup holders, ought to find a place in the fourth round at Elland Road on Wednesday, not to mention two league points at Carrow Road four days later. They might have saved themselves the trouble of a replay had they not preferred to play to keep Norwich at bay through the last half hour, but it would have been out of character for Leeds to risk a victory where the draw was the safer ambition.
'The size of the crowd, a disappointing 32,000, suggested a local acceptance that in reaching the final of the League Cup Norwich had passed their peak of achievement for the season. Much of the talk before the game was pessimistic due perhaps to the fact that Norwich have not won a First Division match since 18 November 18 and certainly in the knowledge that Leeds, on their first visit to East Anglia since the FA Cup debacle at Colchester in 1971, were unlikely to be of a charitable disposition.
'And so it proved. As a team, Leeds possessed the breadth, depth, scope, skill and imagination that Norwich, with their gasping Garryowens, could not hope to equal. Forbes was back to bolster the centre of Norwich's defence but they faltered on the flanks as Clarke swerved and jinked round the unfortunate Black - with Bremner, the subject of the game's two bookings - and Lorimer seemed to run right through him in scoring Leeds' goal in the 29th minute.
'The goal epitomised the difference in the awareness of the two sides. Norwich seemed to have broken up a Leeds attack and Stringer was preparing to bring the ball out of defence when Jones darted from behind him, gained possession and set the chance up for Lorimer, whose pace and power of shot did the rest. It was the sort of situation which one could never see Norwich creating. From time to time Cross would test Madeley, playing at centre-half, his weakest position, tellingly in the air but Norwich rarely had enough zest forward to take advantage of these occasions.
'When they did score it was largely as a result of Paddon's pressing up towards half-time. He was fouled on the left and from his free kick Cross headed a good goal, the ball crossing the line before Reaney could clear it. On the hour Paddon robbed Bremner tenaciously near Norwich's penalty area and fed the ball out to Black who exchanged passes with Anderson and scarcely broke his stride as he met the return and centred low for Bone to shoot first time but unluckily straight at Harvey. This was the one instance in the match when Norwich were the masters; for the most part they were just willing servants.'
It was widely accepted that the replay at Elland Road was a foregone conclusion, and so it looked for much of the night as United's forwards pounded the visitors' goal. However, they were held at bay by one man's defiance.
Norman Fox in The Times: 'A devastating mixture of two parts skill and one part luck was enjoyed by Norwich City's goalkeeper, Kevin Keelan, at Elland Road last night, and it won his team a second replay against Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup. Keelan stood up to Leeds throughout 120 minutes of almost incessant pressure.
'Leeds took up residence in the Norwich half for most of the game and extra-time. They had easy access through the middle of the field and almost queued up for the chance to aim a shot at the incredible Keelan. And that was their downfall. So easy was it for them to reach the Norwich penalty area that when they got there they shrivelled in apprehension, wanted such ideal positions from which to attempt to score, or were denied by Keelan's brilliant goalkeeping. They finished up being jeered for failing to be positive in front of goal.'
United racked up chance after chance, starting with a powerful shot from Johnny Giles in the second minute. But Keelan somehow saved that effort and carried on in the same vein. He saved a flashing Lorimer free kick, Jones' accurate header and then dived to clear another shot from Lorimer.
After 39 minutes, City managed to relieve some of the pressure and launched a swift breakaway. Centre-forward David Cross got on the end of a Max Briggs centre to flick his header past goalkeeper David Harvey, a bored spectator for much of the contest. It was a goal that was so utterly against the run of play that United were fully justified to feel cheated.
They continued to lay siege to Keelan's goal after the resumption as their frustrated supporters bayed incessant urges to 'Attack, Attack!' After 75 minutes, just as they were starting to fear they would never break through, Giles' curling effort from 20 yards found the net off the post with Keelan unable to get a clear sight of the ball. It was a blessed relief.
Leeds could not build on that equaliser and there were no further scores, even with the added 30 minutes of extra-time; the game ended in another 1-1 draw.
Matters were somewhat simpler for Leeds in the league game at Norwich three days later and they rarely looked back after Joe Jordan gave them a 21st minute lead. Allan Clarke increased the advantage 14 minutes later; City had to be content with a consolation goal from Cross in the second half. The degree of Leeds' superiority was far greater than the 2-1 scoreline suggested.
Frank Keating in The Guardian: 'Leeds have their desserts at last. After outplaying Norwich for the third time in a week, they were finally rewarded with a victory at Carrow Road on Saturday - a victory so comprehensive that it would be beyond belief if they were to be knocked out of the FA Cup when the two sides meet again in their third round replay next week.
'Leeds scored twice in half an hour on Saturday, then dawdled the game away in an elegant celebration of their way of life, allowing Norwich only a breezily boisterous rally which did, in fact, have them hanging on to their hats in a flustered annoyance to the very last.'
Norwich manager Ron Saunders was bitterly critical of the visitors after the game, claiming, 'Leeds carry professionalism to the extreme. It borders on intimidation. Our players have been told not to dispute a referee's decision, but when you play Leeds it seems you have to, otherwise they try to gain an unfair advantage.'
Don Revie was affronted, and used his weekly column in the Yorkshire Evening Post to offer his retort.
'One would have thought Saunders had been in the game long enough to avoid clutching at straws when his team are held or beaten. This is exactly what he has done in connection with Norwich's inability to overcome my side in this season's four previous clashes between the two clubs.
'After the 1-1 FA Cup draw at Carrow Road two weeks ago, Saunders claimed Leeds disrupted Norwich's rhythm by repeatedly feigning injury. That's nonsense.
'Besides, Saunders is the last person who should complain about such tactics when you consider Norwich themselves were accused of this when they won 2-0 at Arsenal in the League Cup.
'All players appeal for free kicks, throws in and corners to be awarded in their favour, but I am quite sure no referee would agree unless he was convinced they were right. In view of Saunders' experience and stature as a coach, I am surprised that he should choose to cover up for his team's limitations in this way.
'It is fair to say that Norwich are lucky to still be in the FA Cup, as Leeds were by far the more skilful side in our two earlier ties. This was particularly true in the first replay at Elland Road, where Kevin Keelan - one of the best uncapped goalkeepers in the country - had the game of his life. Not even Saunders could have had any complaints if Norwich had lost by at least six goals that night.'
Revie pleaded, 'I hope they let us play football at Villa Park … We are ready for another hard game and expect Norwich to turn in a vastly different display to the one at Sheffield on Saturday,' referring to City's 2-0 defeat at Bramall Lane.
On this occasion, Revie's anxieties proved groundless, for Leeds turned in one of their best displays of the season to send home their supporters glowing with satisfaction. The match was a personal triumph for lethal goalscorer Allan Clarke.
Terry Cooper and Eddie Gray were still unavailable for selection, though the Scot was making his way back to match fitness in the reserves. Otherwise United were at full strength. Paul Madeley continued at centre-half and the only change from the side that defeated Stoke City 1-0 two days previously saw a fit again Mick Jones recalled in place of Joe Jordan.
United were in determined mood and simply not prepared to contemplate another night of frustration. They were onto the offensive instantly, and a mere 104 seconds had elapsed when they got the show on the road.
Combination work between Bremner, Reaney and Lorimer on the right flank ended with the ball reaching Allan Clarke, his back to goal on the edge of the Norwich goal area. The striker laid a pass out wide to Reaney, who threw a cross to the far side of the area. Jones clipped the ball back towards the penalty spot and Clarke was on it in a trice. He flicked it up for himself and looped a left-footed volley back over his shoulder into the top right hand corner of the net, leaving Keelan grasping at thin air. It was spectacular and clinical execution.
Clarke was injured in a challenge shortly afterwards and was off the field for several minutes receiving treatment to his right knee. He was limping when he returned but nearly snatched an immediate second with a header. Bremner twice came within inches of doubling United's advantage as they surged into constant attack and Clive Payne did well to block Giles' shot on the line.
A second goal was inevitable with such one way traffic and it came in the 13th minute. Madeley came out of United's back four to launch a long ball towards the Norwich penalty area. Centre-back Dave Stringer's clearing header was poor and dropped limply to Jones, standing centrally 30 yards out. The centre-forward slipped the ball out to his right for the onrushing Bremner, who steadied himself to consider his options. Lorimer made his way across and behind the Norwich defence on the right, pointing eagerly where he wanted the ball to go. Bremner flicked it wide to the space and Lorimer spun on the ball to loft a cross high to the back post. Clarke beat his man in the air and as the ball dropped to the turf the striker was the first to react, slamming his shot into the roof of the net on the half volley.
The emphatic strike gave Norwich notice that this was not to be their evening and seven minutes later the game was as good as over when Clarke completed a masterful hat trick.
A throw in from the left found Cherry racing into the Norwich area. He beat his man to hit the byline and stretched full length to drag the ball back low into the middle. Jones and Lorimer in turn went for the strike but on each occasion desperately diving City defenders blocked the ball. Their efforts availed them little: the ball ran out to Clarke on the edge of the area and the England striker imperiously waited his moment, took careful aim and lashed home left-footed.
Norwich were done for …
But still Leeds were not satisfied; they were intent on taking due advantage of their utter dominance. Lorimer gave more evidence of their irresistible force as he took the ball on a 60-yard run before firing inches wide of goal.
Bremner was the creative force behind United's fourth goal when it came in the 35th minute. He cut through the static Norwich defence before clipping back a low angled effort which beat Keelan, allowing Jones to finish off.
After 41 minutes Clarke came close to his own fourth goal with a header but it was still 4-0 at the break and Norwich could finally draw breath.
The second half saw United continue to batter their opponents, though the buffer of a four-goal lead blunted some of their urgency and there was only one more score.
It was not for the want of trying, however, with Hunter the first to make a thrust. He abandoned his defensive duties to storm forward and crash in a shot that ran narrowly wide. Lorimer blasted a shot over the bar when clean through, then Bates' header sailed over before Lorimer had an effort chalked off for an infringement.
In the 71st minute, the Scottish wide man did register the fifth and final goal. He took a throw in to Bates, accepted the return and breezed into the Norwich area before firing a swerving drive inside the far post.
With 13 minutes of the game remaining, Clarke surrendered to his knee injury and limped out of the action to be replaced by Terry Yorath. The crowd roared their approval for a man at the peak of his form as he hobbled off the pitch.
Clarke later revealed that he had been given an injection in the foot just before the game to make sure he could play and knew he would not be able to last the full ninety minutes. For a man struggling with injury, he had given a vibrant, all-round performance.
He said after the game: 'I feel I am in one of my best ever runs at the moment and I'm disappointed that Sir Alf Ramsey has overlooked me again.'
Don Warters asked the obvious question in the Yorkshire Evening Post. 'What must Allan Clarke do to regain a place in the England side? United's leading scorer, whose three goals against Norwich took his total for the season to 16, says, "I suppose I must just keep on trying to score goals in the hope that I shall be picked again for England."
'Clarke … has made no secret of his disappointment at not making the England side for the recent World Cup qualifying matches against Wales. "I was understudy to Geoff Hurst for about four years and I began to think I would never be chosen. But when my chance came I was not quite 100 per cent fit. My aim is to win a regular place in the side, for I would love to help England qualify for Munich and then help them to win the trophy again," he added.
'Clarke's record for England is not bad. Although he has made only six full international appearances, he had scored four goals. To those who, like myself, have watched Clarke in action regularly this season, there can be little doubt that he is in top form and worth a place in the England side, which is not scoring many goals.
'I put it to Clarke that maybe his face did not fit anymore. "That may be so, but I would still like to get back. I feel I am playing well, and at least I think I have proved myself around the First Division. I have been scoring more than 20 goals a season over the last seven or eight years. Players like Rodney Marsh and Kevin Keegan are in the England side and they have hardly had time to prove themselves in Division One."
'Clarke scored the last two goals of his hat trick with a damaged right knee, but an X ray this afternoon revealed no broken bone. He injured it in the sixth minute after he had already scored a goal and played on another 70 minutes before retiring. "It is still swollen but I have not ruled myself out of Saturday's match against Plymouth," he said.'
Norwich keeper Keelan had been able to do little to halt the one way traffic, admitting, 'I thought I was on a golf range. I hope I never have a match like that again. I never had a sniff of any of the goals except the third one - and that went in like a rocket.'
Terry Brindle in the Yorkshire Post: 'The old white magic flowed as of old at enchanted Villa Park last night as Leeds United swept into the fourth round of the FA Cup with uncanny ease. Three goals in 20 magic minutes from United's sorcerer in chief, Allan Clarke, sent Norwich spinning out of the reckoning and left one wondering why United had taken two attempts and 210 minutes to work their spell. It took them just 104 seconds to vex Norwich last night, half an hour to demoralise and defeat them.
'It was a magnificent performance, one laced with flair, confidence and creativity. Norwich, for all their earnest endeavour, could not match Leeds on those terms. They could only stand, as we did, and admire the rich talents of a United team which suddenly threw off all suggestion of weariness and hesitation. I have never seen Leeds United play better.
'Nor Clarke, this lightweight beanstalk of a man who asserts his authority with ability non sine, a man who plunders goals with the relish of a footballing Fagin collecting two pence pieces.
'United schemed, feinted and deceived until Norwich were reduced to an almost pathetic travesty of opposition. They might have conceded six or seven more goals had United been more ruthless in front of goal or, perhaps, less merciful. United were enjoying themselves. There was little need for overkill.'
Eric Todd in The Guardian: 'Leeds United put Norwich City firmly in their place in the FA Challenge Cup third round second replay last night at Villa Park. They scored four goals in the first half, then were overtaken by compassion, and, instead of doubling their total, as they might have done, settled for just one more. But they took great care to keep their own scoresheet clean.
'It must be said at the start that there was none of the nastiness which irresponsible propaganda suggested there might be. This was a thoroughly entertaining and sporting match in which Norwich, run off their feet, outplayed and mesmerised by Clarke, accepted their hiding with commendable grace. They allowed Leeds to play football, and sometimes appeared to stand as if lost in admiration. And there was not a bad foul throughout. It was a night to remember, especially if you happened to have been born in Leeds.
'Having made allowances for the inferiority … of the opposition, full marks must be awarded to Leeds for the quality of their performance. They moved the ball about with arrogant ease, they teased and they tormented; and even Keelan, who played such a marvellous game at Elland Road, never had a hope of saving any of the shots which beat him. For the rest of his life he will have nightmares of the Leeds forwards queueing up for shooting practice, and in the second half had cause for gratitude that they were so compassionate and reckless in turn.
'Clarke again was irrepressible. He ghosted his way through the Norwich defence, and when he was not attacking he was back helping out his defenders. Not that they needed much assistance. Clarke was everywhere, and he did everything in spite of injuring a knee which caused his retirement in favour of Yorath 13 minutes from the end. This was about the only occasion when Norwich looked happy.'
Brian James in The Times: 'The score permits no argument. Leeds United simply outclassed Norwich City in the FA Cup last night. One finally was reminded of that common little motorway cameo, when owner of a Porsche allows a family saloon to labour alongside for a mile or two before accelerating over the horizon with perhaps just the hint of a smile.
'For the amazing feature of this second replay at Villa Park is that it should have been necessary. Including one league game, these teams have met three times in the past month and an aggregate score of 4-3 to Leeds suggests a parity in performance that now seems ludicrous. Leeds do not need the money, and certainly they do not need the extra matches. With the extra capacity that their class gives them, one wonders why they had not touched the throttle earlier in three hours of indecisive Cup football.
'A magnificent team performance by Leeds was fashioned into a weapon and then thrust home by one particularly majestic player, Allan Clarke. As though tiring of the whole saga Clarke simply did not permit the tie to remain in dispute once this third game began. In 100 seconds he had scored a goal, by the 20th minute he had taken two more. Bearing in mind that he was off the pitch injured for four of those minutes, and spent perhaps two more gingerly testing the sore leg, this was an individual contribution of massive proportions.
'Tall, slim and like a cat constitutionally incapable of an ugly movement, Clarke insinuated those tapered legs into gaps where Norwich had suspected none to exist. Once there, his scheming mind and quick skills extracted a terrible toll. By the time he finally left, limping, in the 75th minute his marksmanship alone had added embarrassing topicality to the question, "How can England leave him out?"
'Leeds of course were more than a one-man team. Indeed, at times they seemed to have a legion of players and were determined to involve them all in moves of six, eight and ten passes which slashed through the bedraggled ranks that Norwich put in their path. Norwich, brave and dogged if you insist, were left looking not only without a similar grand design but also without efficiency in the barest details.'
Clarke had indeed done enough to earn his recall to the England team almost immediately. He took his place in a match against Scotland at Hampden Park on 14 February to celebrate the centenary of the Scottish FA. He scored twice in a memorable 5-0 victory to take his international record to six goals from five starts and two substitute appearances. Clarke remained an international fixture for the rest of the year before falling out of favour following England's failure to qualify for the World Cup finals in 1974.
Clarke: 'I hadn't played for England since May 1971 for one reason or another. In 1972/73, however, I was back in the side to play at Hampden Park when the Scottish FA celebrated their centenary. It was a big match for me because the crunch World Cup qualifying games against Poland were coming up and I was desperate to be involved. Also, because so many Leeds players were involved on both sides, it was essential we didn't lose.
'Alf hated the Jocks, and all he said before the game was "You know who we're playing today, get them beat, if you don't we'll not live it down till next season." The atmosphere was always electric and you could sense the hatred their fans had for us on the terraces it was unbelievable. It turned out to be one of my most satisfying games for England because I scored twice in our 5 0 win. Afterwards I flew back with Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer and Paul Madeley - although Billy and Peter were pretty quiet on the journey home!'