To win narrowly, and hit the winner at the death, is one of the most satisfying things in football. At least afterwards. During the match fans hearts takes some beating. The game at Anfield tomorrow between Liverpool and Manchester United has all the ingredients to be a nail-biting affair. Hopefully Liverpool comes out on top and the team can check the history books to learn how to do it - even if it´s tight. Just do like the Red team did 49 years ago. Like this:
It was on New Years Day 1966 when Liverpool hosted Man Utd in a top of the table clash. The home side featured stars like Ian St John, Ian Callaghan and Roger Hunt. The vistors could boast fine talent aswell in Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law. In the managerial seats it was even more high-profiled. Bill Shankly was the Liverpool boss and Matt Busby was in charge of Man Utd.
It was an important match with Liverpool leading the table and Man United being five points adrift in third. The clash turned out to be a spine-chiller. Home fans were early on in for a shock. Denis Law put United in front in the second minute and the vistors then kept the attacking home side out until the 39th minute when Liverpool hard man Tommy Smith drove home the equalizer.
In the second half Liverpool chased the winner and created a lot of gilt-edged opportunities. St John hit the bar twice and several other chances were squandered. It appeared that the home onslaught would be fruitless. But finally Liverpool managed to break through the opposing wall.
In the 88th minute defender Gerry Byrne tried a shot from 25 yards and somehow it travelled past a lot of bodies and a final headed touch from midfielder Gordon Milne made the ball hit the back of the net. The fans went crazy and the well-deserved win more or less ended title hopes for the visitors. The Reds, on the other hand, marched on and lifted the league trophy gaining 61 points. Liverpool lead the league from November to the final day of the season. Leeds in second place was six points behind and Manchester United another four in fourth place.
I wouldn´t mind a similar scenario tomorrow with Steven Gerrard smashing home a 25 yard screamer for the winner in the last minute in his last encounter with the old foe from down old East Lancs Road. I cross my fingers and hope for it to happen (including a camera kiss) when:
We Go Again.
Sources: lfchistory.net, statto.com, soccerbase.com.