BY STEVE MITCHELL
LATE McDERMOTT PENALTY RESCUES POINT FOR LIVERPOOL
Liverpool left it late, but in the end managed to salvage a point from this afternoonâ€™s bruising encounter with Leeds United at Anfield. Still smarting from last weekendâ€™s derby defeat to Everton (their first of the campaign), the league leaders were expected to get back on track against the side from West Yorkshire.
The visitors hadnâ€™t read the script, however, and took the lead on 18 minutes in bizarre circumstances; goalkeeper David Harvey took a free-kick after Liverpool had had a goal disallowed following a foul from Graeme Souness on Paul Madeley. From the resulting play, Reds defender Phil Thompson misjudged the flight of the ball and as it squirmed between his legs, John Hawley nipped in to put the ball past Ray Clemence and into the home sideâ€™s net via an upright.
Liverpool had conceded only their second goal at home this season but they thought theyâ€™d grabbed a penalty shortly after following Trevor Cherryâ€™s clumsy tackle on Steve Heighway. However, referee Nolan waved play on which incensed the majority of the crowd inside Anfield.
Now the pressure was building with the brilliant Kenny Dalglish at the centre of everything despite some rather brutal tackling from the away side. Leeds had already settled for the 1-0 win and as tempers began to fray, the Yorkshire side did little to alleviate the mood by time wasting at every opportunity.
Striker David Johnson can count himself fortunate not to have been dismissed on 36 minutes when he was involved in an altercation with Leeds defender Paul Hart. Both men escaped with a yellow card despite Johnson having his hands around Hartâ€™s neck at one stage.
Three minutes later, the hosts were awarded a penalty as Hart, still seething from the earlier incident, pushed Johnson down inside the box. Up stepped Phil Neal who smashed his shot against the post and out for a goal kick.
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The bad mood continued after the break and after 55 minutes, Liverpool boss Bob Paisley replaced Graeme Souness with Terry McDermott as nearly 52,000 fans (the biggest of the season at Anfield) bayed for blood.
Inspired once again by Dalglish, Liverpool continued to try to knock down the wall put up in front of them but the best moment of the half happened at the other end when Clemence pulled off a brilliant save to prevent Ray Hankin doubling the visitors lead.
Leeds, to their credit, dug in bravely but with just eight minutes remaining, Liverpool grabbed a lifeline when Frank Gray hauled down Heighway to leave Mr. Nolan with no other option than to award another spot-kick. Substitute McDermott stepped up this time and he made no mistake to level the score.
As Liverpool pushed for a winner, Tony Currie fouled Ray Kennedy out of sight of the referee then Alan Kennedy hacked down Arthur Graham to become the sixth player to be shown the yellow card. Right at the death, Liverpool thought theyâ€™d grabbed both points but Harvey pulled off a magnificent save from Heighway to leave honours even.
WEEK 13 ROUND-UP:
Everton missed the chance to close the gap on their city rivals to just a point after they were held to a goalless draw at the City Ground by Nottingham Forest. Both sides have been involved in European action this week with Forest progressing to the last eight of the European Cup whilst Everton were eliminated from the UEFA Cup by Dukla Prague.
That draw opened the door for West Bromwich Albion who are now just four points off the summit following a 1-0 home win over Birmingham City; John Trewick grabbing the only goal of the game. Arsenal got revenge on Ipswich Town following their FA Cup Final defeat in May. A Frank Stapleton hat-trick and one from Sammy Nelson saw The Gunners run out emphatic 4-1 winners at Highbury; Paul Mariner grabbing Townâ€™s consolation.
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Both Manchester clubs played out 1-1 draws this afternoon; City had midfielder Gary Owen to thank for rescuing a point at Aston Villa after John Deehan had opened the scoring for the home side. At Old Trafford, Jimmy Greenhoff was on target for United who were held by Southampton thanks to a goal from Nick Holmes.
Coventry City and Bolton Wanderers played out a goalless draw at Burnden Park whilst Spurs shared four goals with Norwich City at Carrow Road; Colin Lee and Peter Taylor were on target for the North London side, John Ryan and Martin Peters getting the goals for The Canaries.
It was stalemate at Ayresome Park too this afternoon as Middlesbrough were held by Bristol City and the scoresheet wasnâ€™t troubled at Loftus Road as Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea fought out the West London derby.
Derby County picked up a much needed home win over Wolves. Gerry Daly, Gordon Hill, Billy Caskey and John Duncan did the damage for The Rams with Willie Carr grabbing the away sideâ€™s consolation.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS â€“ SATURDAY NOVEMBER 4:
Arsenal 4-1 Ipswich Town (Stapleton 3, Nelson; Mariner)
Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester City (Deehan; Owen pen)
Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Coventry City
Derby County 4-1 Wolves (Daly, Hill, Caskey, Duncan; Carr
Liverpool 1-1 Leeds United (McDermott; Hawley)
Manchester United 1-1 Southampton (Greenhoff J; Holmes)
Middlesbrough 0-0 Bristol City
Norwich City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Ryan pen, Peters; Lee, Taylor)
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Everton (full match programme below)
Q.P.R. 0-0 Chelsea
W.B.A. 0-0 Birmingham City
UPCOMING FIXTURES â€“ SATURDAY NOVEMBER 11:
Birmingham City v Manchester United
Bristol City v Bolton Wanderers
Manchester City v Derby County
Everton v Chelsea
Coventry City v Middlesbrough
Ipswich Town v W.B.A
Leeds United v Arsenal
Q.P.R. v Liverpool
Southampton v Norwich City
Tottenham Hotspur v Nottingham Forest
Wolves v Aston Villa
FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler