BY STEVE MITCHELL
LIVERPOOL MAKE CAPITAL GAINS WITH VICTORY AT LOFTUS ROAD
Liverpool’s mini slump is over after the league leaders recorded a 3-1 away win in the capital against Queens Park Rangers this afternoon. After defeat in the Merseyside derby to Everton and a home draw against Leeds United last weekend, Bob Paisley’s side got back on track at Loftus Road.
In a display that had the purists purring, the visitors outclassed the home side during the opening exchanges but such was their confidence, they unbelievably allowed Rangers to take a shock lead on 27 minutes with only their second attack of the game, when Peter Eastoe benefitted from some great work down the left by Paul McGee to rifle home a shot which left goalkeeper Ray Clemence stranded.
Unfortunately for Rangers, that woke Liverpool from their slumber and the visitors quickly replied with Steve Heighway’s shot taking a deflection to beat the unfortunate Phil Parkes in the Rangers goal.
If there was a stroke of luck about that goal, then there was certainly nothing fortunate about Ray Kennedy’s strike that gave the Reds the lead shortly before half-time; Scotland midfielder Graeme Souness played a lovely sweeping ball out to the left and Kennedy controlled it perfectly on his chest before despatching a left foot drive past Parkes.
Liverpool were looking hungry for more as the second-half began but Rangers must take huge credit in contributing to a wonderful game of football. In fact, for the first 20 minutes from the restart, it was the home side that threatened more and inspired by Stan Bowles, Rangers forced Clemence into two high quality saves to keep the visitors in front.
That, however, was the closest the West London side would come to levelling the contest as Liverpool once again began to exert their superiority. Full-back Phil Neal was having a superb match after his nightmare at Anfield against Leeds and led by example as the visitors went in search of a decisive third goal.
Kenny Dalglish, who was once again captain in the absence of Emlyn Hughes, also deserves a special mention playing in the same week he underwent an operation to remove a cyst from his mouth. Having been elbowed in the mouth early on at Loftus Road, the wound had opened up once again but the Scot played on despite experiencing huge pain.
The points were not sealed until five minutes from time when Dalglish intercepted a lazy pass from Ian Gillard. He in turn fed David Johnson who smashed home from the left to give Liverpool both points in an exhilarating encounter. After the match Rangers boss Steve Burtenshaw lavished praise on the visitors claiming it was, “The best football” he’d seen all season and that the display was “Worth the admission fee alone”.
EVERTON, WEST BROM & NOTTINGHAM FOREST KEEP UP THE PRESSURE
The chasing pack all took maximum points this afternoon. Everton were the victors in a five goal thriller at Goodison Park against Chelsea. Derby day hero Andy King and a brace from Martin Dobson did the damage for the hosts, former Everton favourite Duncan McKenzie and Tommy Langley replying for Chelsea.
In a re-run of last season’s FA Cup semi-final, West Bromwich Albion gained revenge on Ipswich Town at Portman Road thanks to a first-half goal from Alistair Brown. This defeat leaves Bobby Robson’s side dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Nottingham Forest’s extraordinary unbeaten run continued at White Hart Lane where the champions ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Viv Anderson, John Robertson and Garry Birtles; John Pratt grabbing Spurs’ consolation.
WEEK 14 ROUND-UP
Birmingham City recorded their first win of the season hammering Manchester United at St. Andrews. The Blues ran out 5-1 winners thanks to goals from Kevin Dillon, Alan Buckley (2) Don Givens and Jimmy Calderwood. Joe Jordan got United’s only goal of the afternoon.
Arsenal remain in title contention following a 1-0 win at Elland Road against Leeds United. Steve Gatting got the only goal of the game to keep the Gunners in fifth place in the table. The North London side sit just a point in front of Coventry City who beat Middlesbrough 2-1 at Highfield Road. Ian Wallace and Gary Thompson scored for the Sky Blues whilst Micky Burns was on target for the visitors.
Manchester City were surprisingly beaten by Derby County at Maine Road; John Duncan and a penalty from Gerry Daly gave the Rams a 2-0 half-time lead before a Gary Owen spot-kick halved the arrears.
It was raining goals at Ashton Gate this afternoon as Bristol City comprehensively beat Bolton Wanderers 4-1. Tom Ritchie, Joe Royle (2) and David Rodgers were on the mark for Alan Dick’s side, Mick Walsh grabbing Bolton’s consolation.Embed from Getty Images
Aston Villa ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at Molineux against crisis club Wolves. New boss John Barnwell is aware of the size of the task of keeping the club in the top-flight but watched on in horror as Gary Shelton, Ken McNaught, John Deehan and Dennis Mortimer gave the visitors a comfortable win.
Finally, Southampton and Norwich shared the points at The Dell after a 2-2 draw. Nick Holmes and Chris Nicholl were on target for Lawrie McMenemy’s men, Jimmy Neighbour and Tony Powell replying for the Canaries.
FIRST DIVISION RESULTS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 11
Birmingham City 5-1 Manchester United (Dillon, Buckley 2, Givens, Calderwood; Jordan)
Bristol City 4-1 Bolton Wanderers (Ritchie, Royle 2, Rodgers; Walsh) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)
Coventry City 2-1 Middlesbrough (Wallace, Thompson; Burns)
Everton 3-2 Chelsea (King, Dobson 2; McKenzie, Langley)
Ipswich Town 0-1 W.B.A. (Brown A)
Leeds United 0-1 Arsenal (Gatting)
Manchester City 1-2 Derby County (Owen pen, Duncan, Daly pen)
Q.P.R. 1-3 Liverpool (Eastoe; Heighway, Kennedy R, Johnson) (FULL MATCH PROGRAMME BELOW)
Southampton 2-2 Norwich City (Holmes, Nicholl; Neighbour, Powell)
Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Nottingham Forest (Pratt; Anderson, Robertson, Birtles)
Wolves 0-4 Aston Villa (Shelton, McNaught, Deehan, Mortimer)
UPCOMING FIXTURES – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18
Arsenal v Everton
Aston Villa v Bristol City
Bolton Wanderers v W.B.A
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
Derby County v Birmingham City
Liverpool v Manchester City
Manchester United v Ipswich Town
Middlesbrough v Southampton
Norwich City v Coventry City
Nottingham Forest v Q.P.R
Wolves v Leeds 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
PROGRAMMES COURTESY OF MILES MCCLAGAN https://www.flickr.com/photos/114058793@N05/sets