Monday, February 12 – 1968
Match: Football League, First Division, at Stamford Bridge, kick-off: 19:30.
Chelsea – Liverpool 3-1 (1-0).
Chelsea: Peter Bonetti, John Hollins, Eddie McCreadie, John Boyle, Stewart Houston, Ron Harris, Charles Cooke, Thomas Baldwin, Peter Osgood, Bobby Tambling, Peter Houseman.
Liverpool: Tommy Lawrence, Chris Lawler, Tommy Smith, Geoff Strong, Ron Yeats, Emlyn Hughes, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Tony Hateley, Ian St John, Peter Thompson.
The goals: 1-0 Tambling (21 min.), 2-0 Baldwin (48 min.), 3-0 Tambling (62 min.), 3-1 Thompson (80 min.).
Liverpool’s legendary strength was destroyed by the speed and determination of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last night. Battered to their heaviest defeat of the season, Liverpool were made to look like a team who have been too long at the top. And it was the manner of their defeat rather than the size of it which must lead to an inquest in their camp this morning.
Liverpool have been outskilled before but their phenomenal strength can rarely have been equalled, let alone overcome, as it was last night. Chelsea can take much of the credit for this. They were the first to the ball, more ruthless in their pursuit of it.
Liverpool had little answer against a team who brought in 18-year-old college boy Stewart Houston to mark Tony Hateley, sold from Stamford Bridge for £90,000 before the season began.
Chelsea’s confidence in Houston’s ability led them to plunge him into what promised to be one of their toughest encounter of the season. But Houston can hardly have expected his debut to be as comfortable as it was.
Watched by Scottish team manager Bobby Brown, Chelsea’s Charlie Cooke was the chief tormentor of Liverpool with swift touchline runs and passes of a quality he has rarely produced in the past.
Liverpool with a long line of hard-earned points away from home sat back attempting to establish traditional composure in defence. Chelsea would have none of it as they came forward seeking to pierce the flat line of Liverpool’s defence and the acres of space behind it.
But for goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence’s willingness to move bravely and skilfully from his line, Liverpool could have been in trouble before Bobby Tambling swooped to score in the twenty-first minute. Liverpool could offer only sporadic raids in reply, and passes that were speared forward for Roger Hunt were always cut out by John Hollins.
Hunt found himself free to left-foot a Hateley header wide of an upright, but in the 48th minute Chelsea scored again when Peter Osgood swept cleverly wide of Lawrence to lay on a goal for Tony Baldwin.
Tambling headed further agony on an off-form Emlyn Hughes when he cut past him to score Chelsea’s third in the 62nd minute. Liverpool then sent Tommy Smith forward and Peter Thompson cut Chelsea lead with a fierce left-footer.
Smith and Lawrence apart there are few Liverpool men who can look back on this match with much satisfaction. Chelsea had to failures and watching Norwich officials must have left with fears about the outcome of this Saturday’s FA Cup match.
(Daily Mirror, 13-02-1968)