Following a strong start to their 1996/97 Premier League campaign, Roy Evans’ Liverpool side had endured a disappointing few weeks in the lead-up to their trip to Elland Road.
A 1-0 defeat to bitter rivals Man United, in which a young David Beckham scored the game’s only goal, was followed by a 3-0 loss to Blackburn Rovers in their next away outing.
Evans’ team were often criticised for being weak mentally- something that many feel was the one main difference between the Reds and United throughout the 1990s- and all eyes were on how they would respond against Leeds.
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Much of the pre-game talk was about Rush’s first match against Liverpool since leaving a few months earlier.
The Welshman had achieved incredible things during two spells at Anfield, with his astonishing tally of 346 goals still making him far and away the club’s leading goalscorer of all time.
It was not to be a happy afternoon for the legendary striker, though.
Ruddock and John Barnes were both denied by the former England international, while Rush’s only moment of note in the game was picking up a second-half booking. It was clear to see that his best days were very much behind him.
Despite Liverpool’s dominance, they didn’t put the game to bed until stoppage time, with McManaman rolling the ball into an empty after a rare misjudgement by Martyn.
It was a big victory for the Reds, whose title dream was given fresh impetus.