BY STEVE MITCHELL
CORRIGANâ€™S HEROICS NOT ENOUGH TO STOP LIVERPOOL SEALING LATE ANFIELD WIN
It took a penalty four minutes from time by Phil Neal to ensure First Division leaders Liverpool grabbed both points against Manchester City at Anfield this afternoon. The result was harsh on City goalkeeper Joe Corrigan whose heroics almost secured a point for Tony Bookâ€™s men.
The England custodian put in a man of the match performance on Merseyside but was forced to head back up the East Lancs Road empty handed. The Reds got into top gear early on forcing Corrigan to display his abundant talent as both Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish went close.
City, however, refused to allow their hosts to dominate play and with Asa Hartford calling the shots in midfield, the visitors got a foothold in the contest as the rain poured down at Anfield. Just before the half-hour mark, City midfielder Mick Channon was forced to go off after pulling a thigh muscle with Paul Futcher replacing him.
Despite the enforced change, City continued to look dangerous and almost took the lead when Roger Palmerâ€™s half-volley was cleared off the line by Alan Kennedy. The same player almost turned goalscorer at the other end but watched as his effort flashed agonisingly wide of Corriganâ€™s goal.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool began the second-half in the ascendancy and Corrigan almost gifted them a goal when he mishandled a free-kick from Neal but the big keeper was relieved to see the ball squirm away for a corner. City were now on the back foot as Dalglish and David Johnson opened up their defence time and time again only to be thwarted by the superb Corrigan.
As conditions deteriorated, mistakes became inevitable but despite a blank scoreline, the game was played at an unrelenting pace and at a high quality. For all the home sideâ€™s second-half supremacy, City almost took the lead when defender Tony Boothâ€™s header went just wide from a corner; it turned out to be the visitorâ€™s best chance of the afternoon.
Five minutes from time came the gameâ€™s big talking point; England centre-half Dave Watson was adjudged to have held Ray Kennedy as the two players went up for a header, Cityâ€™s protests fell on deaf ears as referee Walmsley pointed to the penalty spot. Neal converted as City players continued to dispute the decision. Brian Kidd and Graeme Souness had to be separated as tempers exploded and as the final whistle sounded, Book had to come on to the field to usher his players away as they continued to contest the penalty decision.
City now travel to Italy on Thursday to face AC Milan in the UEFA Cup third round.
(Donâ€™t miss our exclusive interview with Joe Corrigan next week in The Football Pink).
ARSENAL PUT THE BRAKES ON EVERTONâ€™S TITLE AMBITIONS:
Everton dropped valuable points at Highbury as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Arsenal. The visitors went in front on 20 minutes as former Gunner Trevor Ross got assistance from the blustery conditions in North London to surprise Pat Jennings direct from a free-kick.
The wind also played a part in Arsenalâ€™s 50th minute leveller as Everton keeper George Wood misjudged the flight of the ball and as he let it slip from his grasp, he inadvertently brought down striker Frank Stapleton to concede a penalty. Stapletonâ€™s Eire team-mate Liam Brady converted from the spot.
12 minutes later, Brady got his second of the afternoon as he started and finished the move which saw his shot leave Wood with no chance. Everton refused to surrender their unbeaten start to the league season however, and the Toffees merited their equaliser when Martin Dobson took the ball down on his chest from a corner before flicking the ball past Jennings. The visitors almost snatched a dramatic late winner but Jennings denied Bob Latchford with a brilliant reaction save. The Gunners head to Belgrade next week to take on Red Star in the third round of the UEFA Cup.
WEEK 15 ROUND-UP:
West Bromwich Albion are just a point behind Everton in third after a narrow 1-0 away win against Bolton Wanderers. Alistair Brownâ€™s second-half goal was enough for Ron Atkinsonâ€™s men who are putting together a strong title challenge. The Baggies are also in European action this week as they head to Spain to face Valencia in the third-round of the UEFA Cup.
Champions Nottingham Forest continued their astonishing unbeaten run despite having to settle for a point in a goalless draw against Queens Park Rangers at the City Ground and Manchester United recovered from last weekendâ€™s mauling at St. Andrews to beat Ipswich Town 2-0 at Old Trafford; goals in either half from Steve Coppell and Jimmy Greenhoff heaping more pressure on Bobby Robsonâ€™s men.Embed from Getty Images
Aston Villa sit seventh after a 2-0 home win over Bristol City. John Deehan and Gordon Cowans were the match winners for the home side. Coventry City slipped up at Carrow Road as they were beaten 1-0 by Norwich City thanks to a second-half goal from Kevin Bond.
Tottenham Hotspur inflicted more woe on Chelsea as they ran out 3-1 winners in the London derby at Stamford Bridge. Tommy Langley had put the home side in front but goals from Colin Lee (2) and Glenn Hoddle took the points back to White Hart Lane.
Derby County ended Birmingham Cityâ€™s mini revival with a 2-1 win at the Baseball Ground. Gerry Daly and Steve Buckley were on target for the Rams, Don Givens getting a consolation for City. Wolves failed to take full advantage of Birmingham and Chelseaâ€™s slip ups when they drew 1-1 with Leeds United at Molineux. Peter Daniel scored for John Barnwellâ€™s men, Tony Currie replying for the visitors.
Finally, Middlesbrough secured both points after beating Southampton 2-0 at Ayresome Park. Micky Burns got his second in as many games for Boro with David Mills netting the other.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS â€“ SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18
Arsenal 2-2 Everton (Brady 2, 1 pen; Ross, Dobson) (full match programme below)
Aston Villa 2-0 Bristol City (Deehan, Cowans)
Bolton Wanderers 0-1 W.B.A. (Brown A)
Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Langley; Lee 2, Hoddle)
Derby County 2-1 Birmingham City (Daly, Buckley; Givens)
Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City (Neal pen)
Manchester United 2-0 Ipswich Town (Coppell, Greenhoff J)
Middlesbrough 2-0 Southampton (Burns, Mills)
Norwich City 1-0 Coventry City (Bond)
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Q.P.R.
Wolves 1-1 Leeds United (Daniel; Currie)
UPCOMING FIXTURES â€“ WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 22:
Leeds United v Chelsea
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 25:
Birmingham City v Bristol City
Bolton Wanderers v Nottingham Forest
Chelsea v Manchester United
Coventry City v Arsenal
Derby County v Q.P.R.
Leeds United v Southampton
Liverpool v Middlesbrough
Manchester City v Ipswich Town
Norwich City v Everton
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolves
W.B.A. v Aston Villa
FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler