Memory match: Nottingham Forest 0-4 Leeds United
A classic clash from the 2011/12 campaign.
Leeds United head to the East Midlands on Sunday lunchtime, to take on an inform Nottingham Forest side. Looking back over previous years, Ben Scott takes us back to 29 November 2011, for a memorable clash at the City Ground.
Leeds closed out November 2011 in classy style, with a four-goal victory at the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest. Four different scorers for Leeds over a 46-minute period left the hosts outclassed and outfought.
It was a tough watch for the home fans and boss for Steve Cotterill, who had only taken control in the October after Forest had had four people lead them since December 2008.
Leeds United and the wider footballing world were still processing the tragic news that Wales international and title-winner at Leeds, Gary Speed, had died aged only 42 on the Sunday before this clash of two of England’s best-known clubs.
The pair had reached many finals between them, both at home and abroad, over the last 46 years and retained a rivalry in the present day.
Leeds' recent away form held up nicely, with two wins from two. After only 20-minutes, Adam Clayton stole the ball and it fell invitingly for Robert Snodgrass. The Scotsman then did what he did many times in a United shirt, and delivered a sweet, left-footed, clinical finish. He left Lee Camp with no hope, even though Snodgrass had shot from outside of the penalty area.
They say in football that goals either side of the half-time break can be crucial, and Leeds delivered just that with a goal just before the break and then another four minutes into the second half.
From goal-getter, Snodgrass became provider. He was positioned centrally, outside of the area and laid a ball off wide as Jonny Howson pushed forward.
Howson was near enough to the area Snodgrass had scored from when he let the ball bounce in front of him, as he weighed up a shot. And he did shoot - a perfect volley, right-footed, into the top corner. Camp again had little, if any, chance again of stopping such a sweet effort.
In the second half, the Whites attacked the goal with their fans housed behind it. Soon, they and the players celebrated as one. It came as Michael Brown delivered a pinpoint-perfect cross towards Luciano Becchio at the near edge of the six-yard box. He glanced the ball with his head to the far corner of the net, despite being tightly marked as he went to take the chance.
Leeds looked ruthless and the hosts were struggling, as Grayson’s side delivered the knock-out blow after 66 minutes when they romped home with a fourth goal, courtesy of Clayton - although it was owing largely to a skillful foray forward by Howson.
As he bore down on goal, he shot and Camp was able to save it, but could only parry and Clayton was one of many onrushing Leeds players that were on hand for a close range finish, to complete the rout from six-yards out with his left foot.
Leeds comfortably saw out the remaining minutes and headed back to West Yorkshire with the points.