BY STEVE MITCHELL
LIVERPOOL RELENTLESS AFTER HOME WIN OVER CHELSEA:
11 games gone so far in the 1978-79 First Division title race and Liverpool have moved four points clear after a 2-0 home win over Chelsea. Goals in each half from David Johnson and Kenny Dalglish ensured Bob Paisley’s men have only dropped one point all season.
The visitors to Anfield this afternoon are going through a difficult period despite last week’s incredible comeback against Bolton Wanderers and former Red Star Belgrade boss Miljan Miljanic, who is tipped to possibly come into the club as an advisor to manager Ken Shellito, was in the crowd to witness the Reds’ relentless drive to reclaim the league championship back from Nottingham Forest.Embed from Getty Images
Only a world class save, however, from Ray Clemence prevented Steve Wicks from becoming only the second player to score at the famous old stadium this season, but by this time, Liverpool were already a goal to the good thanks to Johnson’s sixth minute strike. The visitors must have feared the worst after conceding so early on with Liverpool having recently rifled in seven against Tottenham Hotspur.
A superb performance from Blues goalkeeper John Phillips prevented the hosts from doing just this as time and time again he repelled everything the Reds’ threw at him. Ray Kennedy and Dalglish could have helped themselves to a hatful of goals had it not been for the heroics from Phillips, but it was fitting that the Scottish genius finally put the game to bed 19 minutes from time, rounding the keeper after another slide-rule pass from his international teammate Graeme Souness.
Afterwards, Miljanic, who is not expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge until January, told reporters that; “I have to listen to what Chelsea have to say. But no matter what is decided, I cannot come until after Christmas as I have commitments until then”.
VILLA CLAIM BRAGGING RIGHTS AFTER SECOND CITY DERBY VICTORY:
Scottish striker Andy Gray is the toast of Aston Villa after his eighth minute goal won the second city derby against bottom side Birmingham City at St. Andrews.
A parachute display ahead of kick-off set the scene for the afternoon and the visitors hit the front in the opening stages when Gray combined beautifully with Brian Little to grab what turned out to be the only goal of a keenly fought contest.Embed from Getty Images
New signing Don Givens had Birmingham’s best chances but each time he was foiled by Villa keeper, Jimmy Rimmer. This result leaves the Blues in serious trouble at the foot of the first division table having taken just three points from their opening 11 matches.
Villa on the other hand, are making progress and currently sit in eighth position in the current standings.
WEEK 11 ROUND-UP:
Everton have lost more ground on their city rivals at the top after a 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. England striker Bob Latchford put the Toffees in front on 26 minutes but Ian Gillard scored just seven minutes after the break to give Rangers a share of the points. Next weekend, all eyes will be on Goodison Park for the first Merseyside derby of the season.
Shock of the day came at Old Trafford where a Kevin Mabbutt hattrick ensured Bristol City ran out 3-1 winners against Manchester United; Jimmy Greenhoff grabbing a consolation for the Red Devils. There was no European hangover for Nottingham Forest as they followed up Wednesday night’s 2-1 win in Athens with a 1-0 win against Ipswich Town at the City Ground. A Martin O’Neill goal on 13 minutes made it 37 games unbeaten for Brian Clough’s men.
No doubt about performance of the day after West Bromwich Albion hammered Coventry City 7-1 at The Hawthorns. A brace for Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis and goals by Len Cantello, Tony Brown and Derek Statham ensured Baggies fans went home with a spring in their step and their team in fourth position in the table; Mick Ferguson got Coventry’s consolation.
Manchester City were held to a 2-2 draw by Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park. Roger Palmer and Gary Owen got the goals for the visitors with Alan Gowling and Frank Worthington replying for the hosts. It was a similar tale at the Baseball Ground where Derby County and Spurs shared four goals; Steve Buckley and John Duncan were on target for the Rams, Peter Taylor and Don McAllister replying for the North London side.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal had Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Brady to thank as they narrowly beat Southampton 1-0 at Highbury; Brady securing the points for the Gunners with an 89th minute winner. Norwich City and Leeds United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Carrow Road this afternoon. John Ryan and Martin Peters scored for the Canaries; Frank Gray and John Hawley replying for Jock Stein’s men.
Finally, Middlesbrough chalked up a 2-0 win at Ayresome Park against struggling Wolves thanks to goals from David Armstrong and Mickey Burns.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 21
Arsenal 1-0 Southampton (Brady)
Birmingham City 0-1 Aston Villa (Gray)
Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Manchester City (Gowling, Worthington; Palmer, Owen)
Derby County 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Buckley, Duncan; Taylor, McAllister)
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea (Johnson, Dalglish)
Manchester United 1-3 Bristol City (Greenhoff J; Mabbutt 3)
Middlesbrough 2-0 Wolves (Burns, Armstrong)
Norwich City 2-2 Leeds United (Ryan, Peters; Gray F. Hawley)
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Ipswich Town (O’Neill)
Q.P.R. 1-1 Everton (Gillard; Latchford) (Full match programme below)
W.B.A. 7-1 Coventry City (Cantello, Cunningham 2, Regis 2, Brown T. Statham; Ferguson)
UPCOMING FIXTURES – SATURDAY OCTOBER 28
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough (Being played Friday October 27)
Bristol City v Arsenal
Chelsea v Norwich City
Coventry City v Birmingham City
Everton v Liverpool
Ipswich Town v Q.P.R.
Leeds United v Derby County
Manchester City v W.B.A.
Southampton v Nottingham Forest
Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
Wolves 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