Liverpool’s classic display


October 2, 1939
Some of the side had one a route march.
Circumstances conspired against Liverpool F.C., but they have rarely played better than when beating Blackburn Rovers by 5 goals to nothing. Everything went badly for the winners until the match actually started. They had difficulty in getting the release of their army players; the team had to change into their football kit while travelling in the motor-coach which took them from Liverpool to Blackburn, and even then the kick-off was 10 minutes late. As if this were not enough, some of the men in side had just come from a 12-miles route march.

The strange thing was that when everything pointed to their playing indifferently they played outstandingly well. Once Rogers had struck the bar with a penalty award against Riley in the early minutes, Liverpool put up one of the finest exhibitions of first class, fluent, effective football I have ever seen. They were five magnificent goals, and if Van Den Berg had not been off the field through injury for a margin of the second half he would have rounded off his side’s grand work by being the fifth of the forwards to beat Barron.

Phil Taylor’s first goal came after an inspired move to go through on his own to beat the offside trap. Nieuwenhuys followed with a bullet shot; Balmer with a go-as-you please shot after a marvellous interchange of passes. Fagan hit the shot of the match to get the fourth, and Taylor timed a centre and swept it in beautifully for the fifth. There were other pieces of forward work that proved Liverpool to have the finest inside three of any club in the country.

Busby played well, but Easdale was not quite so good as he had been against Bolton. Bush blotted out practically all danger to Riley when the ball was in the air, and Riley and his full backs were so obviously on top form that Blackburn’s efforts looked puny.

Result: Liverpool 5, Blackburn Rovers 0.

Blackburn Rovers: Jim Barron, Ernie Lanceley, Walter Crook, Billy Lee, Bob Pryde, Jock Wightman, Billy Rogers, Len Butt, Tom Hargreaves, Bobby Langton, Jack Chew.
Liverpool: Arthur Riley, Jim Harley, Bernard Ramsden, Matt Busby, Tom Bush, Jack Easdale, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Herman Van den Berg.
Referee: Mr. A. Cunliffe (Blackburn).
(Liverpool Daily Post: October 2, 1939)

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