Ben Woodburn’s record-breaker & a teenage James Milner – Liverpool’s last 5 games vs. Leeds

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As Liverpool prepare to host Leeds United in the Premier League opener, we take a trip down memory lane and recall recent meetings.

What a game we have to look forward to as the annual curtain-raiser.

An exciting Leeds side managed by the charismatic Marcelo Bielsa head to Anfield on Saturday evening, in what should be an entertaining encounter.

Liverpool are hoping to retain the league title and begin with a bang, silencing any doubts creeping in over iffy recent form.

Ahead of the match, we take a look back at the last five meetings between the two clubs.

 

Liverpool 2-0 Leeds – Nov 29, 2016 (League Cup)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 29, 2016: Liverpool's goal-scorer Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold after the 2-0 victory over Leeds United during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The most recent clash took place a little under four years ago, as the pair were pitted against one another in the League Cup quarter-finals.

It was to be a historic night for Ben Woodburn, who came off the substitutes’ bench and became the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool’s history.

The Welshman was just 17 years and 45 days old when he fired home in front of the Kop late on, after Divock Origi had already given the Reds the lead.

Those scenes of Woodburn peeling away to celebrate live fondly in the memory – it’s a shame that he hasn’t quite managed to kick on since.

Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure was really gathering pace by this point, and while key men were rested on the night, it was further indication of the squad depth he had created.

Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lucas, Klavan, Moreno, Stewart (Woodburn 67′), Ejaria (Milner 82′), Can, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi (Grujic 90′)

 

Leeds 0-1 Liverpool – Sep 22, 2009 (League Cup)

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 22, 2009: Liverpool's David Ngog in action against Leeds United during the League Cup 3rd Round match at Elland Road. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

By September 2009, Rafa Benitez’s time as Liverpool manager was slowly reaching its conclusion, following such an impressive 2008/09 campaign.

On a forgettable night at Elland Road, the Reds again got the better of Leeds in the League Cup, this time in the third round.

Benitez went with a much-changed starting lineup, with Fabio Aurelio, Andrea Dossena, Albert Riera and Ryan Babel all in the same team.

The quartet were all left-sided players – work that one out!

A David N’Gog strike proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the Frenchman finishing well from a slight angle.

Arsenal would knock Liverpool out in the next round, as Benitez suffered a final season of struggle.

Liverpool XI: Cavalieri, Degen (Johnson 72′), Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Aurelio, Mascherano, Spearing, Dossena, Riera, Babel (Skrtel 90′), N’Gog (Gerrard 79′)

 

Leeds 2-2 Liverpool – Feb 29, 2004 (Premier League)

James Milner, Leeds United (Picture by Adam Davy EMPICS Sport)

It is scary to think that it is 16 years since Leeds last played Premier League football.

Remarkably, their last league meeting with Liverpool featured a teenager called James Milner – what happened to him?

Just 18 at the time, Milner played his part in an entertaining contest at Elland Road, as the two teams came away with a share of the spoils.

Former Leeds man Harry Kewell brilliantly curled Gerard Houllier’s men in front, only for Eirik Bakke and Mark Viduka to turn the game on its head.

Fortunately, Milan Baros was on hand to equalise shortly before half-time, earning Liverpool another point towards Champions League qualification.

It was to be Houllier’s final few months in charge, though, and Benitez replaced him in the summer of 2004.

Liverpool XI: Kirkland, Finnan, Hyypia, Henchoz, Carragher, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Owen, Baros (Heskey 80′)

 

Liverpool 3-1 Leeds – Oct 25, 2003 (Premier League)

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 26, 2003: Liverpool's Michael Owen celebrates his fourth goal against West Bromwich Albion during the Premiership match at the Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Earlier that season, Liverpool breezed past their opponents at Anfield, with the teenage Milner starting at the ground he would later become a legend at.

It is both incredible and admirable that the midfielder has shone at his boyhood club and won two league titles with Man City, yet will be remembered most for his spell at Liverpool.

Michael Owen and Alan Smith exchanged goals in the opening 45 minutes, but the Reds’ superiority shone through as the contest progressed.

Goals from Danny Murphy and Florent Sinama-Pongolle consigned Leeds to another defeat, in what was a relegation season for the Yorkshire club.

It was Sinama-Pongolle’s first-ever Liverpool goal, taken clinically in front of the Anfield Road end.

Liverpool XI: Dudek, Finnan, Hyypia, Biscan, Riise, Diouf, Gerrard, Smicer (Murphy 49′), Kewell (Le Tallec 87′), Heskey, Owen (Sinama-Pongolle 58′)

 

Liverpool 3-1 Leeds – Mar 23, 2003 (Premier League)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 19, 2003: Liverpool's manager Ge?rard Houllier celebrates a 2-1 victory over Everton with captain Stephen Gerrard after the Merseyside Derby Premiership match at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool had big aspirations heading into the 2002/03 season, having finished second behind Arsenal the previous term.

It proved to be one of many false dawns during the Premier League era, however, as Houllier’s flaws started to shine through.

By March, the Reds were desperately trying to keep in touch with fourth-placed Chelsea, as the duo fought for the final Champions League spot.

Liverpool were too strong for a struggling Leeds team at Anfield, as Owen, Murphy and Steven Gerrard found the net in a 3-1 victory.

While the victory kept the pressure on Chelsea – they were two points adrift afterwards – they would eventually lose at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the season.

Had Liverpool won or drawn there, they may arguably never have been a Roman Abramovich takeover in west London.

Liverpool XI: Dudek, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Riise, Diouf, Hamann (Diao 78′), Gerrard, Murphy, Heskey (Baros 78′), Owen

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