BY STEVE MITCHELL
LATE GREENHOFF WINNER TAKES UNITED BACK TO WEMBLEY:
For the third time in four years, Manchester United will contest the FA Cup Final after beating Liverpool 1-0 in last night’s semi-final replay at Goodison Park.
Having ended the Merseyside club’s dream of the treble just two years ago, when they beat them 2-1 in the final, United put pay to any talk of the double for Bob Paisley’s men this season after Jimmy Greenhoff, the man that scored the winner in that final, headed in a late winner.
A late Alan Hansen goal at the weekend ensured Liverpool stayed in the competition, but their opponents deserved to go to Wembley on the balance of play last night, to set up a final meeting with Arsenal.
United started the better at Goodison, despite last Saturday’s late set-back and only the brilliance of Ray Clemence in the Liverpool goal kept the score-sheet blank. Manager Dave Sexton had stated in the press leading up to the replay that his United team would not be “steamrollered by the Liverpool machine” and he was right.
The Red Devils should have been three-up before Liverpool got a foothold in the contest. Scottish striker Joe Jordan, a goalscorer on Saturday, was like a man possessed and after rattling the crossbar with a header, he was booked for a foul on Terry McDermott as tempers once again threatened to boil over.
Late in the half, Liverpool midfielder Ray Kennedy crashed his header against Gary Bailey’s crossbar and United’s inability to get their noses ahead looked as though it would prove costly after the break, as the First Division leaders stamped their authority on proceedings.
Led once again by the brilliant Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool camped in United’s half for three-quarters of the second period but were always prone to the counter-attack.
On 77 minutes, Sexton’s team finally drove the dagger into the heart of their bitter rivals; Jordan got his head on a high clearance from the back and knocked the ball on to Welsh winger Mickey Thomas. He, in turn, drew the Liverpool defence towards him and when he curled in the most inviting of crosses, there was Greenhoff to stoop down and head home.Embed from Getty Images
United fans behind Clemence’s goal went berserk as Greenhoff was mobbed by ecstatic team-mates.
There was, however, another 13 minutes for Sexton’s men to hang on and as every white shirted player got behind the ball, many United fans must have feared a repeat of Saturday’s late drama.
They needn’t have worried; Liverpool this time could not find a way through and as referee Mr. Richardson blew for full-time, United celebrated as Liverpool players sunk to their knees in despair.
Over 180 minutes this had been one of the best semi-finals in recent memory; United, and in particular Greenhoff, proving once again, to have the Indian sign over their north-west rivals.
Liverpool – Clemence, Neal, Hughes, Thompson, Kennedy (R), Hansen, Dalglish, Johnson, Heighway, McDermott, Souness
Manchester United – Bailey, Nicholl, Albiston, Mcllroy, McQueen, Buchan, Coppell, Greenhoff (J), Jordan, Macari, Thomas
Referee: Mr D Richardson
FIRST DIVISION ROUND-UP:
After suffering cup heartache, Liverpool now find their lead at the top of the First Division cut to just four points after West Brom thrashed Manchester City 4-0 at The Hawthorns last night. Ron Atkinson’s men still have a game in hand too, after goals from John Trewick, Cyrille Regis, David Mills and Kevin Summerfield, saw off City who slump to 16th.
Everton’s 3-1 defeat at Bolton saw Gordon Lee’s side drop to third; a Trevor Ross penalty for the Toffees was only a consolation as Willie Morgan, Neil Whatmore and Paul Jones pulled Bolton further away from the relegation places.
Arsenal full-back Sammy Nelson is in hot water after dropping his shorts after scoring in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Coventry City at Highbury. The Northern Ireland international was responding to taunts from the crowd after his own-goal gave the visitors the lead in the first-half. He will now face a two-match ban having been fined two weeks’ wages and asked to appear in front of an FA disciplinary committee.
The bottom two clubs remain nine points from safety after 1-1 draws this week. Basement side Chelsea shared the points at Stamford Bridge against Derby County thanks to a goal from Tommy Langley, which cancelled out Roy McFarland’s strike for The Rams.
Defender Joe Gallagher was on target for Birmingham City in their home draw against Ipswich Town; Arnold Muhren scoring for the visitors.
Queens Park Rangers complete the relegation picture after they lost 2-0 against Bristol City at Ashton Gate; a Kevin Mabbutt brace making it another miserable week for west London.
Wolves suffered no hangover following their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal after a thrilling 3-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux. John Richards, Steve Daley and Kenny Hibbitt got the home side’s goals, Chris Jones netting both for the visitors.Embed from Getty Images
Finally, Nottingham Forest ran out comprehensive winners against Aston Villa in a Midlands derby at The City Ground. Million-pound striker Trevor Francis, scored his second in a week alongside goals from Tony Woodcock, Martin O’Neill and an own-goal from Allan Evans.
TUESDAY APRIL 3:
Arsenal 1-1 Coventry City (Nelson; Nelson o.g)
Birmingham City 1-1 Ipswich Town (Gallagher; Muhren)
Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Everton (Morgan, Whatmore, Jones; Ross pen)
Bristol City 2-0 Q.P.R (Mabbutt 2)
Wolves 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Richards, Daley, Hibbitt; Jones 2)
WEDNESDAY APRIL 4:
FA CUP SEMI-FINAL REPLAY
Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United (Greenhoff) at Goodison Park
Chelsea 1-1 Derby County (Langley, McFarland)
Nottingham Forest 4-0 Aston Villa (Evans o.g, Woodcock, Francis, O’Neill)
W.B.A 4-0 Manchester City (Trewick, Regis, Mills, Summerfield)
League Division One table after close of play on 05 April 1979
|2||West Bromwich Albion||29||19||6||4||61||27||34||44|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||34||5||11||18||33||55||-22||21|
SATURDAY APRIL 7:
Birmingham City v Southampton
Bolton Wanderers v Q.P.R
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Coventry City v Aston Villa
Derby County v Bristol City
Leeds United v Ipswich Town
Liverpool v Arsenal
Manchester City v Wolves
Norwich City v Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough
W.B.A v Everton
FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler