BY STEVE MITCHELL
CURRIE OUTSTANDING, AS LEEDS UNITED CONTINUE THEIR IMPRESSIVE FORM UNDER NEW BOSS ADAMSON:
When Jock Stein quit as Leeds United boss to take over a full-time role as manager of the Scotland national team, the West Yorkshire club were struggling to find consistency in the First Division. Since the arrival of Jimmy Adamson however, the club has won four of his first six games in charge and this afternoon at Elland Road, Leeds put Southampton to the sword with a comprehensive 4-0 win.
It didn’t take long for the home side to get into the groove either, with Scotland international Arthur Graham planting a superb left foot drive past Saints keeper Terry Gennoe early on to set the tone for the afternoon. The unlucky Gennoe was left helpless a short while after as a Paul Madeley shot took a wicked deflection leaving him firmly planted on the ground as the ball slithered into the bottom corner; this was Madeley’s first goal since Boxing Day 1975 and the player could hardly disguise his delight at finally getting back on the scoresheet.
Leeds could have gone further in front before the break but Tony Currie’s effort from a seemingly impossible angle was tipped over the bar by Gennoe who was having a busy afternoon. He was called into action again minutes later to save expertly from another Graham effort, as the hosts threatened to run riot.
Currie was up to his old tricks playing to the crowd and after displaying a magical touch to cushion a pass out to the left to Eddie Gray, the Elland Road faithful cheered and Currie took a bow; such was the confidence of Adamson’s side. The same move culminated with top scorer John Hawley heading onto the post with Gennoe well beaten.
Into the second-half and the home side’s dominance continued; then, on 55 minutes, came the moment of the match as Currie, playing at the top of his game, curled a superb shot past Gennoe in what surely must be an early contender for goal of the season. Once again the midfield maestro took the acclaim of the crowd who were having an afternoon to remember.
With the Southampton challenge extinguished a long time ago, Leeds players were hungry for more goals but they had to settle for just one more and this came courtesy of an unfortunate own goal from Yugoslav full-back Ivan Golac, who intercepted a Trevor Cherry cross only to knock it past the on-rushing Gennoe. It was Golac’s first goal in England and one he will one to forget in a hurry.
The result sees Leeds in tenth place in the table and just six points off a possible European spot next season. If Adamson’s men can continue this rich vein of form, clubs near the top of the table will be keeping a nervous watch over their shoulders.
LIVERPOOL & EVERTON PULL CLEAR AS WBA ARE HELD AT HOME BY VILLA:
The race at the top took another twist today as both Liverpool and Everton took maximum points whilst West Bromwich Albion were held at The Hawthorns by Aston Villa. Goals from Terry McDermott and Graeme Souness got Liverpool back to winning ways after being held by Spurs in midweek.Embed from Getty Images
Everton had skipper Mick Lyons to thanks as they narrowly beat Norwich City at Carrow Road. Lyons now looks to be back to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines through injury. After their efforts in midweek against Valencia, Ron Atkinson’s Baggies got themselves in front against Villa thanks to a Tony Brown penalty, but the visitors replied in the second-half through big Scottish defender Allan Evans.
WEEK 17 ROUND-UP:
West Brom’s slip allowed champions Nottingham Forest to draw level with them in third spot. John Robertson got the only goal as Brian Clough’s men narrowly beat Bolton at Burnden Park. Chelsea are now bottom of the table after losing 1-0 to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Jimmy Greenhoff’s second-half strike enough to give the Red Devils the two points.
Birmingham City move off the bottom of the table after a 1-1 draw with Bristol City at St Andrews. Argentine star Alberto Tarantini was on target for the Blues, replying to Kevin Mabbutt’s first-half opener for the Robins.Embed from Getty Images
Ipswich Town have also started to improve after a poor start to the campaign. Town picked up their second win in the space of four days beating Manchester City 2-1 at Maine Road. Eric Gates and Brian Talbot did the damage for Bobby Robson’s men with Asa Hartford grabbing City’s consolation.
Arsenal lost in Belgrade in the week and Terry Neil’s men laboured to a 1-1 draw with Coventry City at Highfield Road this afternoon. Frank Stapleton was on target for the Gunners with Steve Hunt getting the Sky Blues’ goal.
Tottenham Hotspur pushed Wolves deeper into crisis with a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane; Peter Taylor getting the game’s only goal. Finally, Derby County got back to winning ways with a 2-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers. Peter Daniel and Billy Caskey were on target for the Rams, Ernie Howe replying for Rangers.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 25:
Birmingham City 1-1 Bristol City (Tarantini; Mabbutt)
Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Nottingham Forest (Robertson)
Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United (Greenhoff J.)
Coventry City 1-1 Arsenal (Hunt; Stapleton)
Derby County 2-1 Q.P.R. (Daniel, Caskey; Howe)
Leeds United 4-0 Southampton (Graham, Madeley, Currie, Golac o.g.)
Liverpool 2-0 Middlesbrough (McDermott, Souness)
Manchester City 1-2 Ipswich Town (Hartford; Gates, Talbot)
Norwich City 0-1 Everton (Lyons) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Wolves (Taylor)
W.B.A. 1-1 Aston Villa (Brown T. Pen; Evans)
UPCOMING FIXTURES – SATURDAY DECEMBER 2:
Arsenal v Liverpool
Aston Villa v Coventry City
Bristol City v Derby County
Everton v W.B.A.
Ipswich Town v Leeds United
Manchester United v Norwich City
Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur
Nottingham Forest v Chelsea
Q.P.R. v Bolton Wanderers
Southampton v Birmingham City
Wolves v Manchester City
FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler