Chelsea 'robbed' Leeds United with infamous 1970 kung-fu kick, says Mark Clattenburg

Chelsea rekindle their FA Cup rivalry with Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Chelsea and Leeds United in action in the first of the two 1970 finals.Chelsea and Leeds United in action in the first of the two 1970 finals.
Chelsea and Leeds United in action in the first of the two 1970 finals.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has slammed the refereeing of Eric Jennings in the infamous 1970 FA Cup Final replay between Chelsea and Leeds, ahead of the fierce rivals' meeting at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The two historic clubs have previous in the much-loved domestic competition and emotions are set to run high in London tonight. The Blues and the Whites have, of course, met in the Premier League in recent years but the FA Cup brings out a different type of beast in the rivalry.

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That no doubt harkens back to that 1970 fixture, widely regarded as the dirtiest match in the history of British football. Chelsea and Leeds had played out a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in the final and so it became the first FA Cup final to require a replay since 1912. The second fixture was then held at Old Trafford on April 29, which Chelsea won 2-1, but it's the antics of the match that are remembered more than the result.

Clattenburg sat down with the Daily Mail to re-watch the match and give a modern referee's take on the action. Unsurprisingly, it was Chelsea star Eddie McCreadie's high-flying kick to take out Billy Bremner that proved the highlight of the debate.

The incident came in the 85th minute and could have led to a game-defining penalty for Leeds United. Clattenburg shared his appreciation for letting the game flow but argued that the referee has 'decided the outcome of the match' - something officials strive to avoid.

Chelsea and Leeds United in action in the first of the two 1970 finals.Chelsea and Leeds United in action in the first of the two 1970 finals.
Chelsea and Leeds United in action in the first of the two 1970 finals.

The referee said: "That is a penalty, red card and Leeds have the chance to go 2-1 up against 10 men with a few minutes to play. They have been robbed. I don't care if it's 1970 or 2024, that is a kung-fu kick to his head.

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"Even by the standards of 1970 he let too much go. The players realised the bar for a yellow was extremely high, never mind a red. This led to a lot of retaliation. But in their defence, they never once complained and just got on with it - even when they're getting punched and kicked in the head. I don't think it spoilt the game - we ended up with a great spectacle that we're still watching and talking about 54 years later."