Tuesday 26th September 2000 | Elland Road, Leeds
United made a big statement in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League by defeating Turkish side Besiktas 6-0 at Elland Road.
Drawn in Group H of Europe’s elite competition after a seven-year absence, David O’Leary’s men were given a huge reality check when Barcelona turned them over 4-0 on the opening night at the Nou Camp.
They responded brilliantly the following week, however, with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over AC Milan.
Lee Bowyer scored an 89th-minute winner against the Italian giants and it took him just seven minutes to break the deadlock on matchday three.
A neat move involving Alan Smith and new signing Mark Viduka saw Ian Harte whip in a cross from the left, and Bowyer arrived late in the six-yard box to round it all off.
He was involved again as Leeds doubled the lead five minutes later. His quick throw-in found Gary Kelly who sent in a dangerous cross which caught the Turkish defence off-guard, and an unmarked Viduka drifted into the area to head home his first goal for the club.
Fellow summer purchase Dominic Matteo then opened his account to make it 3-0 midway through the half.
Bowyer’s corner was won by sheer determination from Smith and the former Liverpool man pounced on the loose ball, dancing around goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu and finishing.
Smith’s persistence was also instrumental in the fourth after the break, capitalising on some sloppy play from the visitors before feeding the ball to Viduka. The Australian held it up and layed off Eirik Bakke, who sent a sweetly-struck 20-yard effort into the bottom corner.
Darren Huckerby got himself on the scoresheet in the final minute, showing great instincts to control Harte’s powerful downward header from Bowyer’s corner and swivelling to fire home.
The substitute then turned provider for the sixth in stoppage time, racing down the touchline after Bowyer had won possession inside his own half.
He then played the ball across goal for the midfielder to ghost in and grab his second, putting the icing on the cake of a truly memorable European night at Elland Road.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 6-0 Besiktas
Leeds United: Martyn; Kelly, Radebe, Mills, Harte; Bakke, Dacourt (McPhail), Bowyer, Matteo; Smith (Huckerby), Viduka. Unused Subs: Bridges, Jones, Hay, Burns, Robinson
Besiktas: Shoronmu, Erman (Rahim), Umit, Khlestov, Munch, Karhan, Ibrahim (Mehmet), Tayfur, Nihat; Dursun, Nouma (Fazli). Unused Subs: Murat,Bayram, Yasin, Fevzi