Sir Alex left ‘frightened’ after Man Utd hotel was surrounded by Leeds fans

Sir Alex Ferguson was left frightened by the presence of hundreds of Leeds fans outside the team hotel during his time as Manchester United boss.

In the build up to a League Cup tie at Elland Road back in the 2011/12 campaign, Leeds fans got wind that the United side were staying at the Malmaison Hotel.

With a crowd forming with the idea of disrupting their rivals on their bus route to the ground, Ferguson compared the scenes to British soldiers being outnumbered by Zulu warriors.

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"We had a lot of problems outside the hotel," Ferguson said at the time.

"I don’t know how many hundreds of them there were, but it was like the film Zulu. The police were fantastic, though. It was frightening. There were seven police vans around the hotel protecting the team.

"I don’t understand it between Leeds and Manchester United. But it’s there and it’s not nice.

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"Liverpool-Manchester United games, as we have said before, have always been fierce in many aspects and sometimes supporters can play a bad part in particular games.

"But it never reaches the levels of Leeds versus United. It’s just modern society I suppose."

United went on to win the contest by three goals to nil with Michael Owen scoring twice, losing to Crystal Palace in round five having also beaten Aldershot Town.

The rivalry, which has been referred to by some as the Roses rivalry, has been contested since 1923 and stayed strong despite the 40 mile distance between the sides.

United, who have won 49 games and lost 26 against Leeds in their history, have welcomed their old rivals back to the top flight with three wins from five matches.

Those contests include a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford earlier this month in which the visitors led 2-0 before a second-half comeback.


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