Saturday, November 11 – 1944
Match: Football League, Northern Section, at Maine Road.
Manchester United – Liverpool 2-5 (0-2).
Referee: Mr. S. Boardman.
Manchester United (2-3-5): Jack Breedon, Joe Walton, George Roughton, Jack Warner, Briggs, Bert Whalley, Bill Bryant, Johnny Morris, Jack Smith, Albert Mycock, Charles Mitten.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Alf Hobson, Jim Harley, Jeff Gulliver (Reading), Matt Busby, Laurie Hughes, Jimmy McInnes, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Don Welsh, Billy Liddell.
The goals: 0-1 Welsh (8 min. – ass: freekick), 0-2 Fagan (17 min. – ass: Nieuwenhuys), 0-3 Welsh (65 min.), 0-4 Welsh (68 min.), 0-5 Liddell (70 min.), 1-5 Mitten (72 min.), 2-5 Mycock (85 min.).
Power in attack.
Quick scoring at Maine Road.
Liverpool, with five internationals in their side, looked as though they would sweep Manchester United out of the game at Maine Road, for they played football which was far and away superior to that of their opponents.
The pity was that we were not able to see much of the second half because of the presence of fog, for it was during the second period that most of the thrills of the game came. Liverpool had given a superlative display yet could only claim a tow-goals lead at the interval. It would have been more had it not been for Breedon and the fact that Nieuwenhuys missed a “sitter” just before half-time. The Liverpool forwards were much too powerful for the United defence, which was harassed and hammered as it probably has not been before this season.
Three in five minutes.
The United did not give up trying and for a spell in the second portion they gave Liverpool a lot to think about and Hobson a deal of work to do, for they shot with a will, if not always direction. But there came a period of 10 to 15 minutes when nothing could stop Liverpool, and they scored three times in five minutes. Welsh obtained goals No. 3 and No. 4, and Liddell the fifth. This seemed the end of everything so far as the United were concerned. But Manchester United hit back and Mitten scored at 72 minutes, and Mycock at 85 minutes, so that we had a spirited finish.
Liverpool, whose first-half goals were scored by Welsh from a free-kick in eight minutes and a clever header by Fagan, impressed as a team on the whole. They interchanged position frequently and hoodwinked the United defence, and by rights should have held a commanding lead at the half-stage.
But one has to pay tribute to two masterly saves by Breedon, a small but clever goalkeeper. But in the end Liverpool’s power told its own tale and the amazing thing was that the United had the heart to hit back as they did.
Right through the Liverpool team there was solidarity, and their power in the forward line was such that it was bound to produce goals. Here is the time-table of the goals: Welsh, 8 minutes; Fagan, 17; Welsh 65 and 68; Liddell 70; Mitten 72; Mycock, 85.
(Liverpool Daily Post,13-11-1944)
League table from the Birmingham Daily Gazette, Monday, November 13 – 1944.