MX23RW : Saturday, September 22 01:36:36
May 4, 2003 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-3
LeedsLeeds United
Henry (30'), Bergkamp (63')
Bergkamp (64'), Keown (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Harte (48'), Kewell (4'), Viduka (89')
Viduka (65')

On this day: Leeds United beat Arsenal, hand Manchester United the title

Eleven years ago today, Leeds United win 3-2 away at Arsenal, handing the Premier League title to Manchester United in the process.

It's common knowledge that there is no love lost between Leeds United and Manchester United.

The two teams share an intense cross-Pennines rivalry, yet, when Leeds made the trip 11 years ago today to Highbury, then the home of Arsenal, they had the opportunity to do United a major favour.

With three matches left to play, the hosting Gunners were eight points adrift of Sir Alex Ferguson's leaders. It meant that to maintain their slim hopes of retaining the title, they needed to see off their visitors from Yorkshire, who had problems of their own.

Only goal difference was keeping Leeds out of the relegation zone after what had been a dramatic campaign at Elland Road. The financial problems that had started to grip the club forced the sale of Rio Ferdinand to United during the previous summer, while the likes of Robbie Keane, Jonathan Woodgate, Robbie Fowler and Lee Bowyer had all departed throughout the season.

However, caretaker boss Peter Reid still had the Australian duo of Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka at his disposal and both would go on to play a key role in North London.

Harry Kewell, then of Leeds United, skips away from Arsenal full-back Ashley Cole on May 04, 2003.© Getty Images

Arsenal started brightly but after Gilberto Silva had headed against the crossbar, Leeds broke the deadlock with five minutes on the clock. Jason Wilcox's lofted pass was controlled on the chest by Kewell, before the Aussie winger then lashed a half-volley across David Seaman and into the far corner of his net.

Kewell had an even better opportunity seven minutes later, but he could only drag his shot into the side netting and that miss was then duly punished by Thierry Henry with 30 minutes played. Visiting goalkeeper Paul Robinson was able to turn Ray Parlour's low effort on to the post, only for the Frenchman to pounce on the rebound.

The score remained level heading into the break, although just four minutes after the restart, Leeds were back in front. Ian Harte tried his luck with a low free-kick, which got the better of Seaman courtesy of two deflections. It was the third season in succession that the Irish full-back had found the net at Highbury.

Back came Arsenal, though, who equalised for a second time in the 62nd minute. Henry released Robert Pires, who having got the better of Danny Mills, picked out Dennis Bergkamp to poke the ball in from close range.

Leeds United defender Ian Harte celebrates scoring against Arsenal on May 04, 2003.© Getty Images

With Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in need of another goal to keep the title race alive, they poured forward during the closing stages. On the flip side, it left them susceptible to the counter-attack and that weakness was exploited two minutes from time.

Despite the home defenders claiming that he had inherited possession in offside position, Viduka continued forward. The Leeds centre-forward then stepped inside a retreating Oleg Luzhny, which opened up enough space for him to bend the ball out of Seaman's reach from 16 yards out.

In response, Henry's effort struck the upright, but Leeds held on to not only hand United the title, they had also secured their Premier League status, barring a dramatic swing in goal difference over the coming days.

Speaking afterwards, triumphant boss Reid said: "It is a great football club. It has still got great support, anyone at Highbury who has seen the reaction tells you this place is itching to get back into the big time and it is my job to do that. The result at Highbury was terrific for the club, myself and the players."

ARSENAL: Seaman; Toure, Luzhny, Keown, Cole; Wiltord, Parlour, Silva, Pires; Bergkamp, Henry

LEEDS: Robinson; Mills, Duberry, Radebe, Harte; Kelly, Matteo, Bakke, Wilcox, Kewell; Viduka

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Manchester United's Ryan Giggs scores against Arsenal at Villa Park on April 14, 1999.
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