Saturday 14 September 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
It was an unhappy return to Leeds United for Rio Ferdinand as Manchester United succumbed to a second successive Barclays Premier League defeat at Elland Road.
Ferdinand was treated to a lively reception by the home supporters as he returned to his former club after moving to rivals Man Utd in the summer for a record £30million fee, and the England defender will have come away from Yorkshire with his ears still ringing from the raucous atmosphere.
But for the excellence of goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who pulled off a string of saves, and defender Jonathan Woodgate, who was resolute in defence, the visitors might have won the match in a first half they dominated.
However, Leeds manager Terry Venables rang the changes at half-time, bringing on Eirik Bakke and Lucas Radebe for Nick Barmby and Dominic Matteo respectively, and altered the formation from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 come 4-5-1.
The changes had an immediate impact with Lee Bowyer coming close within seconds of the restart and, three minutes later, Harry Kewell eluding Feridnand and Mikael Silvestre to flick Ian Harte's right-footed cross past Fabien Barthez with a clever header.
Leeds managed to hold on for their first victory over their trans-Pennine rivals in 10 attempts to move top of the Barclays Premier League ahead of Arsenal's encounter with Charlton Athletic later in the day. Following defeat by Bolton Wanderers three days earlier, meanwhile, Ferdinand's United slipped to ninth place in the standings with eight points from six matches.
Ferdinand enjoyed the last laugh, however, as United rallied to reclaim their Barclays Premier League crown, finishing five points above Arsenal, and 36 above Leeds, whose campaign ended in a 15th-place finish, five points above the relegation zone.
Ten years and six Barclays Premier League titles later the 34-year-old Ferdinand remains a central figure at United, for whom he has made 301 of his 482 top-flight appearances.