Ten Matches that Make Liverpool FC: Part Two
Part two of my "Ten Matches that Make Liverpool FC" series features a memorable, 7-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur in 1978.
Sept. 2, 1978, Division One
Liverpool 7, Tottenham Hotspur 0
Even the most optimistic of Liverpool fans would never have predicted such an annihilation in this early season clash.
Bob Paisley's men were European champions for the second year running, but they failed to secure the league title the season before. Bob emphasised how important it was to win the league, and he was determined to reclaim it from Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest.
Spurs were newly promoted and signalled their intentions for the new season with the captures of Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa, fresh from the Argentine World Cup-winning squad.
Much was expected of the South Americans, and Spurs fans were confident that their new signings could help cause an upset at Anfield.
The away side started brightly, stringing crisp passes together in the Liverpool half in an attempt to trouble Ray Clemence. The only scare, however, was when striker John Duncan rounded the Liverpool keeper to square the ball across the box, but Clemence recovered and claimed the ball comfortably.
After that, the home side began to get into its stride, and Kenny Dalglish thrived on the space the Spurs defenders were giving him. He struck the first goal after excellently controlling Jimmy Case's low cross, and drilled the ball into the net.
The second came soon after, with Case and Dalglish involved again. Case's wayward shot toward goal was picked up by King Kenny, who tapped in from six yards.
Spurs were overwhelmed by Liverpool's movement and quality, and the third goal followed almost immediately. Terry McDermott's cross was headed across goal by Ray Kennedy, and the ball was haplessly turned in by Spurs defender John Lacy.
The second half started as the first half ended, with Liverpool in irresistible full flow. A sweeping move from defence into attack ended with David Johnson latching onto a loose ball in the box and drilling it low into the net. It was 4-0 and The Reds were not finished yet.
Johnson claimed his second goal of the game with a cool finish after being put through by the unstoppable Dalglish.
Goal No. 6 was a penalty scored by defender Phil Neal, after John Duncan brought down Steve Heighway in the box.
The best goal was saved for last, and is arguably one of the greatest goals ever scored at Anfield.
The home side were defending a Spurs corner, where David Johnson picked up a headed clearance midway into his own half. He swept a splendid ball cross-field with the outside of his right foot to find Steve Heighway, who ran into acres of space down the left-hand side.
Heighway planted a perfect looping cross into the box, so perfect that it seemed to be magnetically attracted to the head of Terry McDermott. McDermott finished the breathtaking move with a magnificent header that left Spurs goalkeeper Daines helpless and The Kop in raptures.
It was a fitting goal to cap a fine performance, and Liverpool went on to have their best-ever league season. They stormed to the Division One title, finishing with 68 points (two points per win) while conceding just 16 goals.
The Team vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Clemence, Neal, A. Kennedy, Thompson, Hughes (Johnson), R. Kennedy, Dalglish, McDermott, Souness, Case, Heighway.
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