Memory Match: Leeds United 7-0 Southampton

A look back to March, 1972.


Leeds United face Southampton at Elland Road on Saturday in an important Premier League encounter. Ben Scott takes us back to a memorable clash from the 4th March, 1972 which saw the Whites run out comfortable winners on home turf.

The 1971/72 season saw Leeds United win the FA Cup and finish runner-up in the top-flight. On their way to finishing second place in the First Division, especially at Elland Road, many teams came away from LS11 having had a tough afternoon, to say the least.

Newcastle United and Manchester United were both blown away, 5- 1. Nottingham Forest had it even worse, 6-1. The quartet of Arsenal, Derby, West Brom and Man City all lost 3-0. But the biggest and best hiding Leeds served up was a 7-0 sinking of Southampton.

The first Saturday in March saw Don Revie’s Leeds spring into the month in front of 34,275 and those in attendance will never forget the day. Those not in attendance had the fortune of seeing it later that evening, as the BBC had chosen it for one of the games on that night’s edition of Match of the Day (or #MOTD as younger fans may now know it!)

The first of the seven goals didn’t arrive, until the first half had only seven minutes left. Until then, the visiting defence held Leeds at bay. But from then, within 40 minutes Leeds had seven goals.

Firstly, striker Clarke fired in a low shot from the left after Gray had beaten one man and laid on the chance. Clarke hit the shot left-footed, across, and in.

Next Gray assisted Lorimer with a through ball that Lorimer lashed home right-footed into the far corner with four minutes of the half remaining.

The second half started just as the first had ended, with Leeds stroking the ball around, putting in crosses and shots at a goal that the Saints’ defence blocked and desperately defended.

The third goal came from Leeds playing through the middle in simple but effective fashion. Finding space, Bremner hit a forward pass for Giles. He again passed forward and Clarke gave the move the finish it deserved.

He took a few close deft touches so good that they left one visiting defender falling over, before Clarke then curled a low shot into the bottom corner with 60 minutes played.

Four minutes later Leeds had four goals, and it was Lorimer the scorer. He received the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the box, turned while nutmegging a Southampton defender and fired a well driven shot at goal that, despite a sliding connection from the last Saints defender, was going in anyway.

With 68 minutes played the visiting goalkeeper was beaten for the fifth time, and it was Lorimer bagging his hat-trick, all through his own efforts. He read the play and broke up a Saints passing move, then made a short surge forward before drilling home from around 10 yards out, pretty much from the same place he had netted his second goal just minutes earlier.

Leeds’ sixth goal saw them move the ball from right to left across the edge of the penalty box, showing great passing, skill and movement. The move was made up of short passes - Bremner to Lorimer to Giles to Madeley, before the overlapping Hunter sent a cross to the far post for his teammate at club and country, Charlton. He headed in powerfully from close range, high into the net.

It was seven up for Leeds with 78 minutes played. Gray waltzed past a defender and delivered a perfect cross for Lorimer at the back post. He headed down for Jones, who pounced on the loose ball, wrapping up the scoring.

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