BY STEVE MITCHELL

KENNEDY DOUBLE HAS THE CHAMPAGNE ON ICE AT ANFIELD:

Liverpool are virtually home and hosed in their quest to win back the First Division title from Nottingham Forest, after a devastating display at Burden Park on Tuesday night which saw them brush aside Bolton Wanderers 4-1.

England midfielder Ray Kennedy was the star of the show, smashing in two wonderful goals to put Bob Paisley’s men on the brink of the championship. Such was Liverpool’s dominance, Bolton boss Ian Greaves said after the match that; “Liverpool are the greatest club side I’ve ever seen, they are even better than Manchester United in their hey-day”. Praise indeed from a man who was on the playing staff at Old Trafford during the Matt Busby era.

The visitors ran the game from start to finish, on a boggy pitch that had been battered by heavy snow showers. Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence’s biggest problem all evening was to try to keep himself warm, as his teammates camped in the opposition’s territory for large swathes of the contest.

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Their passing game was an absolute joy to behold and when David Johnson opened the scoring after great work between Kennedy and Footballer of the Year Kenny Dalglish, it was always going to be about damage limitation for the home side.

In fact, the Reds should have been four goals to the good by half-time, but Bolton had been spared (for now) by some wayward finishing – the only negative in a truly dominant first 45 minutes.

After the break, Liverpool set to put that right; Kennedy’s first coming from a stunning volley after Bolton centre-half Sam Allardyce had made a mess of a clearance, his second, and Liverpool’s fourth, a superb drive from 20 yards.

In between, the home side had the audacity to pull a goal back thanks to a Graeme Souness own-goal, but shortly after, Dalglish (who else), collected a fine headed pass from Johnson for Liverpool’s third.

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The massed hordes of travelling fans began singing “We are the champions”, as their team threatened to score more. Their superiority across the whole campaign has never been in question; nights such as this just reaffirms what a wonderful football team Paisley has constructed.

 

FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP:

Nottingham Forest’s late charge to defend their title came unstuck at Molineux on Monday night, when a John Richards goal gave Wolves a 1-0 win over the European Cup finalists. This slip allowed West Bromwich Albion to take over second spot after a 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park 24 hours later.

David Mills and Bryan Robson were on target for the visitors, with reports suggesting the latter is being watched by some of the country’s biggest clubs and could be the subject of transfer speculation this summer.

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With Peter Barnes and Asa Hartford in the stands once again, Manchester City inflicted another defeat on relegated Birmingham City. Both Barnes and Hartford have been linked with moves to West Brom this summer, but they would have been impressed with a double strike from Polish star Kazimierz Deyna and skipper Paul Power. Birmingham’s consolation came courtesy of Steve Lynex.

Young Manchester United striker Andy Ritchie ensured the FA Cup finalists got a point at Southampton on Monday night; Phil Boyer getting the home side’s goal before they had to travel to the East Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest last night; million pound man Trevor Francis grabbing the only goal of the game as Forest move level on points with West Brom, but with an inferior goal difference.

Two goals in the space of five days for Aston Villa’s Ken Swain ensured his team took a share of the points at Villa Park against Ipswich Town last night. John Deehan was also on target for the home side in a 2-2 draw, with Dutchman Arnold Muhren getting both goals for the visitors.

 

RESULTS:

MONDAY APRIL 30:

Southampton 1-1 Manchester United (Boyer; Ritchie)

Wolves 1-0 Nottingham Forest (Richards)

 

TUESDAY MAY 1:

Bolton Wanderers 1-4 Liverpool (Souness o.g; Johnson, Kennedy R 2, Dalglish)

Everton 0-2 W.B.A (Mills, Robson)

Manchester City 3-1 Birmingham City (Deyna 2, Power; Lynex)

 

WEDNESDAY MAY 2:

Aston Villa 2-2 Ipswich Town (Swain, Deehan; Muhren 2) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Southampton (Francis)

League Division One table after close of play on 02 May 1979

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 38 26 8 4 76 16 60 60
2 West Bromwich Albion 37 21 11 5 69 33 36 53
3 Nottingham Forest 38 18 17 3 54 23 31 53
4 Everton 41 17 16 8 51 39 12 50
5 Leeds United 39 17 14 8 65 44 21 48
6 Arsenal 40 17 12 11 60 47 13 46
7 Ipswich Town 40 18 9 13 56 47 9 45
8 Aston Villa 38 14 15 9 56 43 13 43
9 Manchester United 39 14 14 11 56 59 -3 42
10 Coventry City 41 13 16 12 55 68 -13 42
11 Bristol City 41 15 10 16 47 49 -2 40
12 Southampton 40 12 16 12 47 50 -3 40
13 Middlesbrough 40 14 10 16 54 49 5 38
14 Manchester City 39 12 13 14 53 50 3 37
15 Norwich City 41 7 22 12 50 56 -6 36
16 Tottenham Hotspur 39 11 14 14 43 59 -16 36
17 Bolton Wanderers 40 12 10 18 53 72 -19 34
18 Wolverhampton Wanderers 40 13 8 19 42 62 -20 34
19 Derby County 41 10 11 20 44 68 -24 31
20 Queens Park Rangers 39 6 13 20 41 62 -21 25
21 Birmingham City 40 5 9 26 34 63 -29 19
22 Chelsea 39 5 8 26 40 87 -47 18

UPCOMING FIXTURES:

FRIDAY MAY 4:

Leeds United v Q.P.R

 

SATURDAY MAY 5:

Birmingham City v Arsenal

Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa

Chelsea v Ipswich Town

Coventry City v Wolves

Derby County v Middlesbrough

Liverpool v Southampton

Manchester City v Bristol City

Norwich City v Nottingham Forest

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton

W.B.A v Manchester United

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

PROGRAMMES COURTESY OF MILES MCCLAGAN https://www.flickr.com/photos/114058793@N05/sets

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