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Liverpool FC in 1980/81: Paisley’s erratically good Reds protected 3rd Ecu Cup

A league name was once placed on hang for Liverpool in a marketing campaign the place accidents ran rampant, nevertheless it failed to forestall Bob Paisley’s males from their date with future as they lifted the membership’s 3rd Ecu Cup in 4 years.

When Liverpool took to the pitch, at Wembley, for the 1980 Charity Protect towards West Ham United, 366 days when they had dismantled Arsenal, within the 1979 enjoying of English soccer’s conventional opening act of the brand new season, they did so with the exact same beginning line-up that had so stylishly overwhelmed Terry Neill’s FA Cup winners, 12 months previous.

Ray Clemence, Phil Neal, Alan Kennedy, Phil Thompson, Ray Kennedy, Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, Jimmy Case, David Johnson, Terry McDermott and Graeme Souness.

Even at the replace’s bench, 4 of the 5 nominated through Bob Paisley towards West Ham were sat at the sidelines towards Arsenal. Simply as in August 1979, in August 1980 not one of the substitutes can be given a run out.

This was once as shut as Paisley ever got here to Invoice Shankly’s previous maxim when it got here to naming his line-up: “identical staff as final yr, lads.”

It was once with probably the most wonderful sense of Groundhog Day, that Liverpool gained the league name, in 1979/80. Mirroring the former marketing campaign, they’d fumbled the Ecu Cup early however made it all of the strategy to the FA Cup semi-finals, the place they promptly blew any other shot on the double.

Now not fairly as dominant in 1979/80, as they’d been in 1978/79, it had nonetheless been a somewhat at ease name win, warding off the easiest punch that Dave Sexton’s Manchester United may throw, claiming the prize with a sport to spare.

Within the absence of Ecu luck in 1979 and 1980, Liverpool had needed to ‘settle’ for home league supremacy as an alternative.

No primary signings have been made through Paisley, in the summertime of 1980, possibly aware of the place he may have compatibility any new pricey arrival, after the bizarre case of Frank McGarvey the former season, who were bought from St Mirren for the no longer inconsiderable sum of £270,000, most effective to be offered to Celtic in March, for the exact same price, by no means having made a first-team look.

Even the choice of bringing Kevin Keegan again from Hamburger SV was once resisted.

As an alternative, Paisley spent giant on possible. Swooping for Ian Rush and giving Chester Town £300,000 for his products and services. Added to this, defensive duvet was once sought with Richard Cash getting back from Fulham, a transfer which had maximum Reds questioning if previous Bob had forgotten that he’d signed Avi Cohen.

Past this, Paisley gave the impression pleased with the established skill he had, whilst he was once content material with the shadow gamers and early life merchandise he had coming thru.

Sammy Lee had made a slow-burning affect, in particular when masking for Case all over the run-in to the 1979/80 name, whilst Colin Irwin and Cohen had stepped in for Alan Kennedy, with out disgracing themselves.

(L-R) Liverpool's David Fairclough and Phil Thompson celebrate the winning goal (Picture by S&G S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport)

Additional down the pecking order, there was once the rising Howard Gayle and Colin Russell, a part of a rampant reserve facet that still integrated Steve Ogizovic, Alan Harper, Dave Watson, Ronnie Whelan, Kevin Sheedy and common contributions from Steve Heighway and David Fairclough.

Because the 1980/81 season started, it gave the impression a case of extra of the similar, with Terry Venables’ very popular Crystal Palace dismantled, at Anfield, at the opening day.

An early defeat at Leicester Town was once shrugged off and over the process Liverpool’s first 18 league video games, the reversal at Filbert Boulevard was once to be their most effective First Department loss, taking Paisley’s facet in opposition to late-November.

A 2-1 victory, at house to the leaders Aston Villa, courtesy of 2 objectives from Dalglish, the winner coming two mins from the tip, saved the reigning champions inside of touching distance of the summit.

In charge of too many attracts, Liverpool were limited to some extent in part of the ones first 18 league video games of the 1980/81 season, the final marketing campaign of 2 issues for a win.

Accidents have been additionally starting to take their toll. Alan Kennedy was once suffering, already enduring the second one of what can be 4 extended absences from the staff. Even Kennedy’s substitute, Cohen, would succumb, bringing Cash into the image.

Thompson was once the following sufferer, lacking the win over Aston Villa and most effective regaining health intermittently for the rest of the season, which means Irwin become a normal sight.

Very early within the season, Paisley had elected to make Lee his favoured possibility at the right-hand facet of midfield when Case suffered a recurrence of the damage that dominated him out of the run-in to the former marketing campaign.

Added to this, Johnson had additionally frolicked at the damage listing, which Fairclough made probably the most of, scoring a flurry of objectives, most effective to peer this spectacular sort curtailed through his personal damage issues.

The lack of Fairclough gave Rush his debut, introduced in as duvet when Dalglish ignored the draw at Ipswich The town a couple of days ahead of Christmas.

Finishing the yr as league leaders, regardless of the issues effervescent below the skin, Liverpool had additionally navigated a path to the Ecu Cup quarter-finals, placing ten previous Oulun Palloseura at Anfield, then disregarding the problem of Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen. A spot within the League Cup semi-final were received too.

Unwittingly, Liverpool have been heading right into a New 12 months ambush.

Having eased previous Altrincham, within the FA Cup 3rd spherical, every week later they went to Villa Park with out the products and services of each Thompson and Hansen. A makeshift central defensive pairing of Neal and Irwin struggled to sort an working out and the house staff took benefit to win 2-0.

Prior to January was once over, Paisley’s facet had misplaced to backside of the desk Leicester for a 2nd time and long past out of the FA Cup at Goodison, towards Everton within the Fourth Spherical.

Every other loss was once sustained at West Bromwich Albion in early February, which left Liverpool six issues adrift of each Ipswich and Aston Villa. 3 days later, alternatively, an in-form Manchester Town have been edged previous, in the second one leg of the League Cup semi-finals.

Inconsistencies put to 1 facet, upon the horizon lay a Ecu Cup quarter-final masterclass towards CSKA Sofia, wherein Souness was once at his imperious very best, scoring a hat-trick, all over a 5-1 first-leg victory at Anfield.

Previous to this, Liverpool were held to but extra attracts, at house to Birmingham Town and away to Brighton and Hove Albion. In opposition to Birmingham, Paisley’s facet was once so stretched through accidents that Sheedy was once passed his debut.

Scotland and Liverpool's Graeme Souness.

4 days ahead of the go back sport towards CSKA, Liverpool walked out at Wembley for the League Cup last, towards the runaway 2d Department leaders, West Ham United.

Lacking Thompson and Johnson, Liverpool have been getting ready to an extra-time victory till McDermott was once forced to punch a goalbound Alvin Martin header from below the crossbar.

Penalty professional, Ray Stewart transformed from 12-yards to equalise following Alan Kennedy’s opener which despatched the sport to a Villa Park replay, two and a part weeks later.

A spot within the Ecu Cup semi-final received, Liverpool adopted that up through profitable a scrappy Merseyside derby, 1-0, because of a John Bailey personal function ahead of dropping through the similar scoreline at Highbury, towards Arsenal.

Defeat in north London noticed Liverpool labouring in 6th place, ten issues at the back of the entrance runners, Ipswich. It was once successfully a consequence that marked the Reds’ abdication as champions.

For the League Cup last replay a couple of days later, Paisley welcomed the go back of Thompson, however was once nonetheless with out the objectives of Johnson, whilst Souness was once additionally dominated out.

Disregarding the blow of conceding early, objectives from Dalglish and Hansen became the sport round ahead of the 30 minutes mark on an evening when Rush was once introduced in to guide the road and Lee was once switched to central midfield, to hide the lack of Souness.

Paisley had secured Liverpool their first League Cup luck and with it got here a assured position in Europe for the next season.

Alan Hansen, Liverpool, 1980 (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

Profitable the League Cup was once an understated affect on the rest of Liverpool’s season.

The specter of no longer qualifying for Europe erased, it was once a extra comfy Liverpool that labored their method thru their final video games. Even supposing, there was once no let-up within the membership’s damage jinx.

Ray Kennedy was once compelled to pass over the discuss with of Stoke Town and with a window at the long run, in got here Whelan, to make a goalscoring debut.

When Bayern Munich got here to Anfield for the Ecu Cup semi-final first leg, the Bavarians headed house with a valuable goalless draw, on a night when Johnson and Souness have been once more absent. The green Rush, arguably making an attempt too laborious, was once simply treated through Klaus Augenthaler.

Failing to win any in their subsequent 3 league video games, together with a 1-Zero loss at house to Manchester United, Liverpool got little probability of attaining a 3rd Ecu Cup last once they strode out at Munich’s Olympiastadion.

No Alan Kennedy, no Thompson and Dalglish lasting most effective 9 mins, the tie was once as a lot became through a leaflet advising Bayern supporters on commute plans for Paris because it was once the rest at the pitch.

Irwin along Hansen in central defence, Cash at left-back, when Dalglish limped from the pitch in below ten mins, the most obvious number of bringing at the enjoy of Case was once unnoticed through Paisley.

As an alternative, the Liverpool supervisor became to Gayle.

Asking the professional winger to perform down the left, in entrance of Cash, pushing Ray Kennedy up into his previous position of striker was once an impressed transfer.

Tormenting Wolfgang Dremmler, Gayle was once an entire unknown to the Bayern training staff. Added to Lee expertly shadowing the proficient however boastful Paul Breitner, it made for a disorientating night for the house staff.

Kicked over and over again, however with out punishment, Gayle ultimately spoke back to the remedy he was once being dealt.

Brandished a yellow card, Gayle become a marked guy. Paisley, erring upon warning, changed him on 70 mins with Case.

Gayle, clearly disenchanted, felt he had the self-discipline to not have spoke back a 2nd time, however watched on from the bench as his teammates finished their perceived undertaking unimaginable.

Kennedy grabbed the all-important away function, with most effective seven mins final and regardless of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge getting an equaliser 4 mins later, Liverpool went directly to protected considered one of their best Ecu successes.

Liverpool's winning goalscorer Alan Kennedy celebrates with the European Cup

A race towards time to end up their health for the overall for a glut of gamers, Alan Kennedy, Thompson, Dalglish and Johnson all made Paisley’s beginning line-up towards Actual Madrid, on the Parc des Princes, as a blank invoice of well being was once given through all.

A deficient spectacle of a sport was once made up our minds 8 mins from time, when the Kennedys of Ray and Alan blended, because the latter gained a throw-in from the previous, ahead of bursting into the Actual penalty house, to be probably the most surprising of Ecu Cup last profitable goalscorers.

The overall mins of the sport marked the final acts in a Liverpool blouse of each Clemence and Case. Ray Kennedy, McDermott and Johnson have been all unknowingly on borrowed time too.
New heroes have been ready within the wings.

For now, even though, 1980/81 had introduced an excellent 3rd Ecu Cup to Anfield. A stunningly acquainted finish to a season that had gave the impression of industry as standard, till the flip of the yr.

Home inconsistencies have been shelved, within the title of turning into champions of Europe, all over again.

Liverpool, 1980/81

Liverpool captain Phil Thompson (left) lifts the European Cup after Liverpool won the trophy for the third time, in Paris

Supervisor: Bob Paisley
Captain: Phil Thompson
Most sensible Scorer: Terry McDermott (22, all competitions)
Maximum Appearances: Phil Neal (63, all competitions)

League Place: fifth (51 issues)
FA Cup: Fourth Spherical
League Cup: Winners
Ecu Cup: Winners

Overall video games: 63
Video games gained: 31
Video games drawn: 22
Video games misplaced: 10
Blank sheets – league: 15
Blank sheets – total: 24
Overall objectives: 113

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