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Fallen giants Leeds pull off famous win at Old Trafford

League One leaders Leeds United pulled off a huge shock at Old Trafford on Sunday to knock old rivals Manchester United out of the FA Cup and prove they are once more Premier League stuff.


AFP - Third-tier Leeds United produced the shock of the third round by knocking record 11-times winners Manchester United out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Fallen giants Leeds, the League One leaders who are 43 places below English champions Manchester United, won thanks to Jermaine Beckford's 19th minute goal and then denied their hosts, second in the Premier League, an equaliser.

It was the first time Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had lost in the third round of the FA Cup, the stage at which teams from England's top two divisions enter the knockout tournament, since he arrived at Old Trafford 24 years ago.

Not since 1984, when beaten by third tier Bournemouth, had Manchester United lost at this stage of the competition.

Victory was also Leeds's first at Old Trafford since 1981.

Their goal came after Jonny Howson's superb 50-yard pass over the head of Wes Brown found striker Beckford and he outpaced the defender before sliding the ball left-footed into the far corner and beyond goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

United did threaten and, after Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren had advanced quickly to block Wayne Rooney's initial shot, Jason Crowe had to clear off the line from the England striker.

Ankergren then produced another good block to deny Danny Welbeck early in the second-half.

Just short of the hour mark, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made a double substitution with veteran forward Ryan Giggs replacing Gabriel Obertan and striker Antonio Valencia coming on for Danny Welbeck.

But still Leeds denied the home side and, with 20 minutes left, Ferguson sent on Michael Owen, his final substitution, only to see the England striker scuff a shot from inside the box moments later.

Rooney then fired way over the crossbar and, with 12 minutes left, Beckford could have made it 2-0 only for his shot to whistle past the far post.

Leeds substitute Robert Snodgrass then hit the crossbar and, in the five minutes of stoppage time, Ankergren saved from Rooney.

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