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Leeds United v Birmingham City – The Last Five

For long periods these two sides have operated at different levels in the footballing world. When Leeds were in the top flight, the Blues mainly played at a lower level, with their ascendency to the upper echelons of the game coinciding with United’s slide into League One. The last five meetings at Elland Road have spanned 14 years, and have seen a different manager at the helm for Leeds on every occasion.

Simon Grayson's last act as Leeds boss was against The Blues last season.
Simon Grayson's last act as Leeds boss was against The Blues last season.
Alex Livesey


The end of the Simon Grayson era at Leeds came to a dismal end on a freezing cold night at Elland Road. With the transfer window clanging shut once again with no new arrivals, the writing was on the wall for the man who took United out of League One. In reality he should have gone weeks before, but a couple of decent results had bought him a little time. This crushing defeat though was the final act of a period of relative success. United actually took the lead on the night through Ross McCormack, before 6’7" freak Nicola Zigic took centre stage. He grabbed an equaliser before half time, before putting United to the sword in the second half. His second came after Aidy White was tormented by Chris Burke, before he completed his hat-trick with a thumping header. The final nail in Grayson’s coffin came with the Serb’s fourth goal and highlighted the manager’s tactical naivety, with Zigic "out leaping" Zac Thompson to head home from a corner. Less than 24 hours after the defeat Grayson’s services were "dispensed with".

23rd September 2006 LEEDS UNITED 3 BIRMINGHAM CITY 2

John Carver’s 1st game in caretaker charge saw struggling Leeds outplay the high flying Blues. With Carver being given a chance to stake a claim for the job on a full time basis, Leeds tore into Birmingham from the off. David Healey put United ahead on 6 minutes, before Tony Warner scored an unfortunate own goal to level things up, a shot coming off the post and striking him on the back. Leeds were back in front on 16 minutes though, Healey converting from the spot. When Michael Johnson was sent off for the visitors 19 minutes from time, Leeds looked home and dry, but Nicklas Bendtner, on loan from Arsenal and before he thought he was the best player in the world, levelled four minutes later. But United were not to be denied and were gifted a winner with just 5 minutes left as Oscar Tebilly somehow turned the ball into his own net from a tight angle to hand Leeds victory. It was to be the lone bright spot of Carver’s reign, a 5-1 defeat at Luton a month later seeing him relieved off his duties, ushering in the Dennis Wise era. Relegation to League One followed shortly after.

20th September 2003 LEEDS UNITED 0 BIRMINGHAM CITY 0

With the financial implosion which ruined the club well underway, a season of struggle was expected for Peter Reid and a side featuring a host of loanees such as Lamine Sakho, Salomon Olembe and Zoumana Camara to name but three. It was to be an afternoon of frustration as Leeds huffed and puffed with their limited resources. A point looked like being the least United deserved from the match until a cruel blow ten minutes from time. Birmingham were awarded a penalty but a superb save from Paul Robinson looked like it had saved the day. Unfortunately the linesman spotted a tiny movement before the kick was taken and Robbie Savage stepped up to slot home the retake. United’s misery was complete four minutes from time when future White, Mikkel Forssell, grabbed a second to secure the points.


A month which would end with his dismissal started well for Terry Venables. A fruitful Christmas period had saved the former England manager’s job after a slump in the League and a UEFA Cup exit. Eirik Bakke’s early goal set Leeds on their way before Mark Viduka sealed the victory midway through the second half. It was a brief respite for Venables, who would see Robbie Fowler and Jonathan Woodgate sold without his consent as the transfer window shut, leading to a breakdown in his relationship with Peter Ridsdale.


This FA Cup 5th Round tie was George Graham’s sides third home game against lower league opposition in that season’s competition. Leeds roared into a three goal lead thanks to a brace from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and a Rod Wallace strike. However Trevor Francis’s Blues roared back into the match inspired by Peter Ndlovu and two second half goals saw them come close to grabbing a replay. Leeds hang on for the win, only to go out in the quarter final at home to Wolves.