BY STEVE MITCHELL
LIVERPOOL CONTINUE THEIR PERFECT START TO THE SEASON:
Another powerful display from Liverpool this afternoon saw the Merseyside giants overpower Birmingham City at St. Andrews. The hosts played an hour of the contest with just 10 men after skipper Garry Pendry was sent off for picking up a second yellow card for an obstruction on Steve Heighway. By then the league leaders were already in front thanks to a deflected free-kick from Graeme Souness after just 11 minutes.
Up until Pendry’s harsh dismissal, the Blues had given the visitors much to think about and were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Don Givens looked to have been fouled by Alan Kennedy. The home side nearly drew level soon after going a goal down, but Gary Emmanuel’s shot deflected off Phil Thompson and went out for a corner.
Pendry’s first booking was for tugging the shirt of Kenny Dalglish but there were gasps around St. Andrews when referee Mr. Daniels produced a red on 29 minutes to effectively end Birmingham’s challenge. The second-half proved to be a stroll for the European champions who get ready to start the defence of their continental crown against league champions Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Wednesday.
On 56 minutes Dalglish fed Jimmy Case who lost the ball in a melee of defenders but regained it and stabbed a short pass to Souness who grabbed his second of the afternoon from ten yards out. Just eight minutes from time, full-back Alan Kennedy rounded off another great day for the Reds scoring his first goal in Liverpool colours.
WEEK 5 ROUND-UP:
Coventry City have turned out to be one of the surprise packages of the new season. Gordon Milne’s side remain unbeaten and sit just one point behind the leaders Liverpool after a five goal thriller at Highfield Road saw the hosts narrowly beat Chelsea. Scottish striker Ian Wallace, Bobby McDonald and Mick Ferguson were on target for the Sky Blues; Tommy Langley and Duncan McKenzie replying for the visitors.
Everton sit third behind Coventry on goal difference after a 2-0 home win over Middlesbrough. Mick Lyons and Martin Dobson were on target for the Toffees as Gordon Lee’s side continue to impress in the early weeks of the new campaign.
Nottingham Forest finally got back to winning ways and more importantly, got back on the scoresheet as the champions overcame Arsenal 2-1 at the City Ground. After three consecutive blanks, a John Robertson penalty and a goal from Ian Bowyer cancelled out Liam Brady’s strike for the Gunners, to give Brian Clough’s side their first win of the season ahead of next week’s huge European Cup first-leg clash against holders Liverpool.
Aston Villa are among the early pacesetters and Ron Saunders saw his side claim another two points in an impressive win at Portman Road against Ipswich Town. John Gregory grabbed the first before Andy Gray sealed the points from the penalty spot. Manchester United were in West London today where they drew 1-1 against bottom side Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Ian Gillard was on target for the hosts, whilst Jimmy Greenhoff got the visitors’ goal.
Manchester City hit top form this afternoon beating Leeds United 3-0 at Maine Road. A goal from England centre-half Dave Watson and a brace from Roger Palmer saw Tony Book’s side over the line. Tottenham Hotspur bounced back from last weekend’s 7-0 drubbing at Liverpool to beat Bristol City 1-0 at White Hart Lane thanks to an own goal from the unfortunate David Rodgers. West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City shared four goals at The Hawthorns; Lawrie Cunningham and Bryan Robson on target for the hosts, Martin Chivers and John Ryan replying for the Canaries.
Southampton lie in seventh after a 3-2 home win over Wolves at The Dell. Phil Boyer, Malcolm Waldron and Ted MacDougall got the Saints’ goals, Norman Bell and Peter Daniel replying for the visitors. Derby County’s troubled start to the new season continues after The Rams were beaten 2-1 by Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park. A brace from Alan Gowling was enough to give the hosts the points with Gerry Daly grabbing a consolation for the visitors who sit fourth from bottom of the fledgling table.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9TH:
Birmingham City 0-3 Liverpool (Souness 2, Kennedy A) (DOWNLOAD THE FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)
Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Derby County (Gowling 2; Daly)
Coventry City 3-2 Chelsea (Wallace, McDonald, Ferguson; Langley, McKenzie)
Everton 2-0 Middlesbrough (Lyons, Dobson)
Ipswich Town 0-2 Aston Villa (Gregory, Gray pen)
Manchester City 3-0 Leeds United (Watson, Palmer 2)
Nottingham Forest 2-1 Arsenal (Robertson pen, Bowyer; Brady)
Q.P.R. 1-1 Manchester United (Gillard; Greenhoff J)
Southampton 3-2 Wolves (Boyer, Waldron, MacDougall; Bell, Daniel)
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Bristol City (Rodgers o.g.)
W.B.A. 2-2 Norwich City (Cunningham, Robson; Chivers, Ryan)
First Division table September 9th, 1978
UPCOMING FIXTURES – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH:
Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers
Aston Villa v Everton
Bristol City v Southampton
Chelsea v Manchester City
Derby County v W.B.A.
Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v Coventry City
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
Middlesbrough v Q.P.R.
Norwich City v Birmingham City
Wolves v Ipswich Town