BY STEVE MITCHELL
IRRESISTIBLE LIVERPOOL END FORESTâ€™S LONG UNBEATEN RUN:
After back to back defeats against Arsenal and Anderlecht, Liverpool got back to winning ways this afternoon at Anfield ending Nottingham Forestâ€™s 42 match unbeaten run in the process. A goal in each half from Terry McDermott ensured the Merseyside club got their revenge on the team that had taken away their league championship title last May, beat them in the League Cup Final and dumped them out of the European Cup back in September.
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The way that Bob Paisleyâ€™s men bounced back after Mondays European Super Cup first-leg loss to Anderlecht was impressive as the home side bossed the game from start to finish. One could sense right from the kick-off that the Reds were intent on putting Forest and their manager Brian Clough in their place and led by the irrepressible McDermott, Liverpool had the fans on the Kop purring and the only surprise of the afternoon was that it took 29 minutes for them to get their noses in front.
When the goal did come it was via the penalty spot after Kenny Dalglish was fouled inside the area. McDermott stepped up to take the kick replacing the regular penalty taker Phil Neal, and the England international made no mistake smashing the ball past Peter Shiltonâ€™s right hand.
Dalglish almost doubled the home sideâ€™s advantage minutes later forcing Shilton to make a wonderful save tipping the ball over the crossbar. Dalglishâ€™s Scottish international team-mate Graeme Souness was next to try his luck but his shot took a deflection, flashing agonisingly wide of the upright.
Clough had to work his magic during the interval to try to get the champions back in the contest but any words of encouragement fell on deaf ears as Dalglish and Ray Kennedy continued to control the central areas in the second-half. The Kop bade for more goals and they didnâ€™t have to wait long as McDermott got his and his teamâ€™s second on 49 minutes, latching on to a shot from Alan Kennedy that Shilton could only parry.
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Phil Thompson, recalled to the centre of defence in place of Emlyn Hughes who had a torrid time in Brussels, patrolled the back-line expertly with Alan Hansen. Anfield was in party mood as the Forest fire fizzled out with the champions resigning themselves to the fact that their record run was over. With no Tony Woodcock in attack, Forest looked toothless and former Liverpool defender Larry Lloyd seemed lost without his regular central defending partner Kenny Burns.
The Anfield crowd gave the visitors a sarcastic round of applause when they finally crossed the halfway line with the points already sealed by the league leaders. With Liverpool in this kind of form, only a fool would bet against them regaining the first division next May.
WEEK 19 ROUND-UP:
Everton sit just two points behind their neighbours from across Stanley Park and have a game in hand. The Toffees had no problems despatching Birmingham City thanks to a penalty from Trevor Ross and goals from Colin Todd and Bob Latchford. Alan Buckley got the home sideâ€™s consolation.
West Bromwich Albion followed up their impressive win over Valencia on Wednesday with a home win against Middlesbrough. Cyrille Regis and Len Cantello got the goals as Ron Atkinsonâ€™s men stay hot on the heels of the top two with games in hand.
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Arsenal had to settle for a point at Carrow Road after a goalless draw against Norwich City allowing Coventry City to gain ground on themselves and Forest thanks to a 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers at Highfield Road; young striker Garry Thompson grabbing the gameâ€™s only goal.
Manchester United came from behind to beat Derby County at the Baseball Ground. The Rams went ahead thanks to United old boy Gerry Daly but young striker Andy Ritchie got the visitors back into the match with his first ever league goal for the club. Jimmy Greenhoff put United in front after the break before Ritchie doubled his tally late on.
Tottenham Hotspur move into eighth after a John Pratt goal ensured they took the points against Ipswich Town at White Hart Lane. Leeds Unitedâ€™s improvement under new boss Jimmy Adamson suffered a blow this afternoon when the Yorkshire side were held to a 1-1 draw by Bristol City at Elland Road. Brian Flynn got the home sideâ€™s goal with Joe Royle on target for The Robins.
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Aston Villa heaped more misery on Chelsea after a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Allan Evans got the decisive goal to leave the West London side bottom of the table as reports linking Danny Blanchflower to the managerâ€™s job at the club continue to gather pace.
Wolves are in the final relegation spot following a 3-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park. Roy Greaves, Frank Worthington (penalty) and Alan Gowling did the damage for the home side with George Berry grabbing a consolation for the visitors.
Manchester City suffered a hangover after their resounding win against AC Milan in midweek going down 2-1 at home to Southampton. A Colin Viljoen own goal and Phil Boyer strike gave the Saints the points with Paul Power replying for City.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS â€“ SATURDAY DECEMBER 9:
Birmingham City 1-3 Everton (Buckley; Ross pen, Todd, Latchford)
Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Wolves (Greaves, Worthington pen, Gowling; Berry)
Chelsea 0-1 Aston Villa (Evans A.) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)
Coventry 1-0 Q.P.R. (Thompson)
Derby County 1-3 Manchester United (Daly; Ritchie 2, Greenhoff J.)
Leeds United 1-1 Bristol City (Flynn; Royle)
Liverpool 2-0 Nottingham Forest (McDermott 2, 1 pen)
Manchester City 1-2 Southampton (Power; Viljoen o.g, Boyer)
Norwich City 0-0 Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Ipswich Town (Pratt)
W.B.A. 2-0 Middlesbrough (Regis, Cantello)
UPCOMING FIXTURES â€“ SATURDAY DECEMBER 16:
Arsenal v Derby County
Aston Villa v Norwich City
Bristol City v Liverpool
Everton v Leeds United
Ipswich Town v Bolton Wanderers
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
Middlesbrough v Chelsea
Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City
Q.P.R. v Manchester City
Southampton v Coventry City
Wolves v W.B.A.
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