BY STEVE MITCHELL
LIVERPOOLâ€™S DOMINANCE CONTINUES AT CARROW ROAD
Liverpoolâ€™s stranglehold on the first division continued this afternoon at a sun drenched Carrow Road as Bob Paisleyâ€™s pace-setters put Norwich City to the sword in a 4-1 victory that keeps them in pole position at the top of the table.
The Reds were ahead as early as the sixth minute when a Steve Heighway cross somehow found itself in the back of the home sideâ€™s net. Four minutes later, the Irishman was on target again when he was quickest to react to a Kenny Dalglish shot that rebounded off the post. City goalkeeper Kevin Keelan will have been disappointed with his own reaction allowing Heighway to convert the chance.
He will have been even more annoyed on 36 minutes when another scintillating Liverpool move put David Johnson in the clear. Despite a rather tame effort on goal, Keelan was unable to stop the ball nestling into the back of his net once again as the away side disappeared out of site before the interval.
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Four minutes into the second-half and Liverpool stretched their lead even further when a Jimmy Case free-kick deflected off the Norwich wall to leave Keelan stranded once again. To their credit, the home side kept plugging away for some sort of consolation and 15 minutes from time, a rash tackle from full-back Phil Neal on Keith Robson gave the Canaries a spot-kick; John Ryan making no mistake beating Ray Clemence with ease.
This latest win sees Liverpool sitting three points clear at the top having dropped just one point so far this season. Their early exit from the European Cup means that Paisleyâ€™s side can concentrate fully on reclaiming the First Division title from Nottingham Forest and it would be a brave man who bets against them doing just that.
FOREST SET A NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE RECORD AT A JUBILANT CITY GROUND
Having equalled Leeds Unitedâ€™s 34-game unbeaten run record last weekend, champions Nottingham Forest are now out on their own as record breakers after a 3-1 home win over hapless Wolverhampton Wanderers at the City Ground.
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It was another memorable afternoon for young striker Garry Birtles who scored a brace against the side from the Black Country who look set for a long hard winter. Midfielder Martin Oâ€™Neill got Forestâ€™s third with Mel Eaves grabbing a consolation for the visitors. The win moves Brian Cloughâ€™s men up to fourth spot in the table.
KING PENALTY MISS SEES EVERTON LOSE GROUND IN THE TITLE RACE
It was a day to forget for Evertonâ€™s Andy King who missed a penalty in his sideâ€™s goalless draw against Southampton at Goodison Park. King, who has been in hot goal scoring form this term, scuffed his spot-kick early on in this afternoonâ€™s encounter which left boss Gordon Lee frustrated at the final-whistle.
This stalemate, played in front of another capacity Goodison crowd, leaves the Toffees three points adrift of their Merseyside rivals at the top of the table having been tipped as one of the pre-season favourites to win the championship.
WEEK 9 ROUND-UP:
Coventry City continue to surprise although Gordon Milneâ€™s men were held to a 2-2 draw by Ipswich Town at Highfield Road this afternoon. Alan Green and Gerry Thompson were on target for the hosts, Russel Osman and Clive Woods replying for the FA Cup holders.
West Bromwich Albion suffered a surprise defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur. Ron Atkinsonâ€™s side have been one of the most entertaining in the opening weeks of the new campaign but succumbed to a Peter Taylor goal at The Hawthorns this afternoon.
Manchester United were involved in a five-goal thriller at Old Trafford against Middlesbrough. Two goals from Scottish international Lou Macari and another from derby hero Joe Jordan got Dave Sextonâ€™s men over the line; David Mills and Micky Burns getting Boroâ€™s consolation.
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Goals from Brian Kidd and Ron Futcher ensured Manchester City left St. Andrews with both points this afternoon to leave Birmingham City rooted to the bottom of the table. Alan Ainscow grabbed a consolation for the Blues who are already becoming cut adrift at the basement.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa at Highbury. Alan Sunderland got the home sideâ€™s goal, John Gregory replying for Villa. Queens Park Rangers won narrowly against Bristol City at Loftus Road, Martyn Busby grabbing the only goal of the game.
Bolton Wanderers continue to improve after a convincing 3-1 win over Leeds United at Burnden Park. Willie Morgan, Brian Smith and Frank Worthington did the damage for the Trotters, Arthur Graham grabbing a consolation for Jock Steinâ€™s side.
Finally, an own goal from veteran defender Ron Harris, gave Derby County the points against Chelsea at the Baseball Ground. This afternoonâ€™s defeat leaves the London side second bottom in the table with the Rams moving away from the danger zone in 16th place.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS â€“ SATURDAY OCTOBER 7th
Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa (Sunderland; Gregory)
Birmingham City 1-2 Manchester City (Ainscow; Kidd, Futcher R)
Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Leeds United (Morgan, Smith, Worthington; Graham)
Coventry City 2-2 Ipswich Town (Green, Thompson; Osman, Woods)
Derby County 1-0 Chelsea (Harris o.g.)
Everton 0-0 Southampton (VIEW FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)
Manchester United 3-2 Middlesbrough (Macari 2, Jordan; Mills, Burns)
Norwich City 1-4 Liverpool (Ryan pen; Heighway 2, Johnson, Case)
Nottingham Forest 3-1 Wolves (Birtles 2, Oâ€™Neill; Eves)
Q.P.R. 1-0 Bristol City (Busby)
W.B.A. 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Taylor)
UPCOMING FIXTURES â€“ SATURDAY OCTOBER 14th
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Bristol City v Nottingham Forest
Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers
Ipswich Town v Everton
Leeds United v W.B.A.
Liverpool v Derby County
Manchester City v Coventry City
Middlesbrough v Norwich City
Southampton v Q.P.R.
Tottenham Hotspur v Birmingham City
Wolves v Arsenal
FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler