Over the course of their last five meetings with Everton, Leeds have failed to win in four of them, despite possessing stars from Lucas Radebe to Mark Viduka. Their only success came with Neil Warnock at the helm and El Hadji Diouf starring up front.
It is ironic that the Whites’ best performance came at the start of their long and tedious spell in the Championship, but perhaps less so when the four matches prior help tell the story of Leeds’ famous fall from grace.
From Wayne Rooney and James Milner making names for themselves as teenagers, to Aidan White’s brilliant goal, these are the last five meetings between the Peacocks and the Toffees.
3rd November 2002: Leeds 0-1 Everton (Premier League)
Wayne Rooney may have been pocketed by Pascal Struijk while playing for Derby County last season, but, believe it or not, there was a time when he was actually quite good.
Breaking onto the scene as a teenager, the future all-time top scorer for Manchester United and England came on as a substitute in this match, and his impressive winner would hand Everton their first win at Elland Road in over 50 years.
It was a solo strike that undid the hard work of Paul Robinson in the hosts’ goal; the 23-year-old had made a number of saves to keep Leeds in the match.
Jonathan Woodgate came closest for the Peacocks, seeing his header cleared off the line by Tony Hibbert, while Alan Smith had a penalty appeal dismissed by referee Neale Barry.
Condemned to their sixth consecutive match without a win, things would not get much better for Leeds in upcoming matches against David Moyes’ side.
1st February 2003: Everton 2-0 Leeds (Premier League)
Having seen his header cleared off the line in the previous match, Woodgate would be central to the following meeting between the sides, albeit for different reasons.
Leeds had sanctioned the central defender’s £9 million sale to Newcastle two days earlier, with the club already knees-deep in their financial crisis, but it was a decision which angered Whites supporters.
A stale affair ended with David Unsworth and Tomasz Radzinski’s second half goals securing the win and leaving the visitors with nothing to show for their battling display.
Supporters’ protests against Ridsdale would continue over the next year, before Leeds’ subsequent relegation from the Premier League, but Everton were not finished with the Yorkshire outfit just yet.
28th September 2003: Everton 4-0 Leeds (Premier League)
As matters got worse for Leeds, so did the scorelines, and Everton subsequently ran riot against the visitors at the start of the following season.
Steve Watson hit a hat-trick for the Toffees, scoring either side of Duncan Ferguson to establish a 3-0 advantage in the first half before completing his treble after the interval.
It was Leeds’ third consecutive loss in which they had failed to score, and although they would bounce back with a victory against Blackburn Rovers, they would go on to lose the next five fixtures.
Thankfully, this is the last time Everton beat Leeds to date, with the Whites taking the overall advantage in the final two meetings.
13th April 2004: Leeds 1-1 Everton (Premier League)
Leeds’ most recent Premier League encounter with Everton was certainly an intriguing one, with Rooney scoring the opener, James Milner equalising and Nigel Martyn denying his former club with a brilliant performance in the Toffees goal to deny them three points.
It was indeed a man-of-the-match display from one of the Whites’ greatest ever goalkeepers (editorial, not “one of”, he’s the greatest and no-one is convincing me otherwise) - who was ousted from the first team at Elland Road by understudy Paul Robinson - as he made several saves before and after Milner’s leveller.
The last time Everton & Leeds met in the Premier League, two 18-year-olds were the scorers - Wayne Rooney & James Milner have made a combined 1,558 career apps since that game in April 2004— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 27, 2020
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Unfortunately for Martyn’s former club, his performance between the sticks meant Leeds missed out on a desperately needed win, with the club staring down the barrel of relegation.
Three days later, Thierry Henry’s Arsenal would score five unanswered goals against the Peacocks, and things would start to look rather bleak again.
25th September 2012: Leeds 2-1 Everton (League Cup)
Hazzah! The first win over Everton since 2001 came at an unexpected time, with the visitors firm favourites to defeat Leeds in the League Cup clash at Elland Road.
Neil Warnock’s side shone on a cold and rainy evening, as Aidan White’s superb opener was followed up by a close range finish from Rudy Austin.
El Hadji Diouf played a starring role, linking up well with the “slightly” more popular Luciano Becchio, in one of the few bright moments during Leeds’ barren Championship spell prior to Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival six years later.
It is safe to assume that El Loco slept under a poster of Warnock last night...
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