Elland Road played host to its biggest crowd of the season for the clash with club's Roses rivals and the atmosphere was electric for the Carling Cup third round tie.Leeds brought back Luciano Becchio and Leigh Bromby, and Simon Grayson's side started the game on the front foot.Indeed, it took some desperate defending from the visitors inside the opening five minutes to deny both Andy Keogh and Adam Clayton after Tom Lees got his head on a corner.The visitors did win an early corner themselves which was dealt with, but it was Leeds who looked to take the game to the Reds.But the visitors were in front inside 15 minutes, courtesy of Michael Owen. Dimitar Berbatov and Ji Sung Park combined to feed Owen, whose scuffed shot crept inside of the post.United did test visiting keeper Ben Amos moments later, when Clayton cut inside and tried his luck from distance. But the visitors seemed content to get men behind the ball before looking to use their pace on the break.And it was that pace on the break that led to a second goal shortly after the half-hour when Owen scored with a stunning strike from distance which Andy Lonergan could do nothing about.
The United goalkeeper was also called upon to make sharp near post stop after the visitors seized on a loose ball in the Leeds half.But the game was effectively over before half-time when Ryan Giggs weaved his way in from the left flank before scoring past Lonergan with the outside of his foot.On 52 minutes, Grayson made a double change, introducing Finnish duo Mikael Forssell and Mika Vayrynen.Moments later, the visitors did have another opportunity though when Owen capitalised on a defensive error and lifted a shot just wide.
'With the game heading towards its inevitable conclusion, Grayson made his final change with Ramon Nunez replacing Ross McCormack.Despite the changes, Leeds were unable to make any real headway - Vayrynen was denied by an offside flag and Clayton lifted a shot over the top - and the visitors never looked like relinquishing their three-goal advantage.In the final minute, United did have one real opportunity when Nunez broke through, but he screwed his shot wide of the mark in what proved to be the last action of the game.