BY STEVE MITCHELL

LIVERPOOL SUFFER THEIR SECOND DEFEAT IN THREE DAYS AFTER SUPER CUP LOSS TO ANDERLECHT:

The timing of the game was not exactly perfect but Liverpool boss Bob Paisley saw his Liverpool team beaten for the second time in three days as they succumbed 3-1 to Anderlecht in the first-leg of the European Super Cup.

On a passionate night in Brussels, the home side and current Cup Winners Cup holders ran out convincing winners to leave the European Cup holders with a mountain to climb at Anfield in the second-leg on December 19.

Embed from Getty Images

The Belgians looked threatening right from the start and despite the return after injury of Reds skipper Emlyn Hughes, Anderlecht, inspired by the mercurial Rob Rensenbrink, never looked in danger of defeat after Franky Vercauteren headed them in front on 13 minutes after uncertainty in the Liverpool defence.

The only consolation for Paisley’s side was that they did score the best goal of the night when Jimmy Case smashed home a firecracker of a shot just before the half hour to level things up. Liverpool’s joy was short-lived however as Francois van der Elst restored Anderlecht’s lead on 38 minutes after finding a gaping hole in the heart of the Liverpool defence to leave goalkeeper Ray Clemence absolutely stranded.

Kenny Dalglish was once again at the heart of all of Liverpool’s good work and after going close on a couple of occasions, he was the victim of a careless challenge by Jean Thissen which earned him a booking on the stroke of half-time.

Embed from Getty Images

The visitors needed to respond after the interval but it was Anderlecht who came out guns blazing as they attacked in waves towards a defence that looked uncertain all evening. Dutch hero Rensenbrink made life uncomfortable for Hughes who looked out of sorts after his long injury lay-off and he deservedly got his side’s third of the night finishing off another wonderful move by the hosts.

Paisley is understood to be in the transfer market for a new defender and is likely to go shopping in the New Year to strengthen his rear-guard ahead of the second half of a domestic campaign they have dominated from the start. Saturday’s defeat to Arsenal was only their second loss of the season and now Paisley must get his troops together for another tough test at the weekend against champions Nottingham Forest.

Anderlecht – De Bree, Van der Elst, Broos, Dusaba, Thissen, Haan,Coeck, Vercauteren, Nielsen, Geels, Rensenbrink

Liverpool – Clemence, Neal, Kennedy A, Hughes, Kennedy R, Hansen, Dalglish, Case, Johnson, McDermott, Souness

 

EUROPEAN ROUND-UP: CITY & ALBION PROGRESS, ARSENAL ELIMINATED BY RED STAR:

Manchester City produced a breathtaking display of first-half attacking football to dump Italian giants AC Milan out of the UEFA Cup. After a 2-2 draw at the San Siro, City put on a five star display at Maine Road in what manager Tony Book described as one of the best performances he had seen by a City side during his time at the club.

Central defender Tommy Booth got things off and running with a superb header from an Asa Hartford free-kick before Hartford himself smashed home an absolute beauty for number two. Brian Kidd, a European Cup winner with Manchester United in 1968, got the third as Milan were simply blown away before the interval.

Embed from Getty Images

It was a night to remember also at The Hawthorns as West Bromwich Albion continued their impressive campaign with a 2-1 win over Valencia. A brace from Tony Brown (including one from the penalty spot) saw Ron Atkinson’s vibrant side seal their place in the next round of the UEFA Cup after their 1-1 draw at the Mestalla two weeks ago.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be a hat-trick of English successes in the competition as Arsenal crashed out to Red Star Belgrade. 2-1 down from the first –leg, the Gunners got their noses in front in the second-half at Highbury thanks to an Alan Sunderland goal, but an equaliser from Savic secured Red Star’s passage into the next round.

UEFA CUP THIRD ROUND, SECOND-LEG RESULTS:

Arsenal 1-1 Red Star Belgrade (Sunderland; Savic)

Manchester City 3-0 AC Milan (Booth, Hartford, Kidd)

W.B.A. 2-0 Valencia (Brown T 2, 1 pen)

FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler

Advertisements