Manchester United and Leeds United: The never-ending rivalry between

Manchester United and Leeds United: this is a look into the rivalry between the two football clubs that has transcended the sport.

The Wars of the Roses. This historical rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire spilled into modern life with the rising popularity of football in England. The two clubs have had long storied histories, but the one thing they can agree on is their mutual hatred of the each other.

The early days

The early days of the rivalry, which began in the late 20th century, did not pick up until the Busby and Revie era. Sir Matt Busby rebuilt Manchester United after World War II, and filled the team with young, hungry, talented players. When the “Busby Babes” met their tragic demise at Munich, Busby and Jimmy Murphy rebuilt the team. Before the Munich air disaster, players like Duncan Edwards, David Pegg and Bobby Charlton led the team. After the crash, Charlton, Denis Law, and George Best each won the Balon d’Or during the 1960s.

Don Revie would create a hard, uncompromising side with stars such as Charlton’s brother Jack, Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter. As Manchester United won the league in 1966-1967, and the European cup in 1968, Leeds exerted their dominance. They never finishing outside the top four with Revie leading them. They even came close to a Cup Treble in 1970. By 1982, with Manchester United a mid-table team and Leeds relegated, it looked like the end of the rivalry.

1990s onward: the rivalry reignited

In 1990, Leeds United came back to the first division under the supervision of manager Howard Wilkinson. In the title race that season, it was between Leeds and Manchester United. Led by Gordon Strachan, Lee Chapman and David Batty, Leeds won the league by four points. In 1992, Leeds happily sold their temperamental French forward they were eager to get rid of.

For Eric Cantona and Manchester United, the rest was history.

While Manchester United exerted their dominance across the Premier League during the 1990s, they had success in Europe too. They became the first and only English team to win the treble in 1999 as Leeds struggled. While they did have a semi finals appearance in the Champions League in 2001, Leeds began to financially struggle. Before they were relegated in 2004, Leeds United lost Alan Smith and Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United. With few interactions, the rivalry was dormant; until the 2020-2021 Premier League season with Leeds back up.

They lost their first Premier League meeting at Old Trafford since 2004 6-2.

It’s great to be a Manchester United fan.

We play Leeds again on August 14th, the opening weekend of the 2021-2022 Premier League season.

Author: Tawfik

Favorite Manchester United players: Wayne Rooney, Eric Cantona, and Marcus Rashford

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