Liverpool back in the groove

December 7, 1977
Liverpool’s dazzling performance in demolishing S.V. Hamburg by 6 clear goals to win the European Super Cup last night should put them right back in the groove. One man in particular who had a close-up view this quality show, certainly thinks so, Kevin Keegan, back on the ground he graced for six years while becoming a Liverpool and England star, said later:
“Liverpool look as strong, if not stronger than they ever were. There were no cracks.”

Keegan gave a low-key display in a Hamburg show which he described as “diabolical.” But he went on to pay tribute to the Anfield fans for their great reception to himself. He had been worried what their reaction was going to be on his return. He had no need to be – the fans and especially the Kop were warm and welcoming.

But the welcome stopped there. The Liverpool team were in no mood to be hospitable to the Hamburg side, last season’s European Cup Winners Cup holders. They made them look very ordinary on another night of European magic at Anfield as Liverpool became the first English club to win the super cup with a display of great conviction.

Keegan also went on to praise his old team. He said: “I didn’t think Liverpool would play as well as that. I had heard that they had not been doing too well but from where I was standing, watching, there didn’t seem to be much wrong with them. We are not as bad a team as we looked, but Liverpool scored six and could have had more.”

Man-of-the-match was Terry McDermott, 26 tomorrow, who had an early birthday celebration with the first hat-trick of his career. He won a trophy awarded by a German newspaper as the competition’s outstanding player and said: “We proved that we are back on song again and the rest of the First Division can start worrying.”

McDermott’s goal were the highlight of some stunning shooting by Liverpool, who could have doubled their score but for an outstanding performance by the Hamburg goalkeeper, Rudi Kargus. It was the finishing which gave manager Bob Paisley most pleasure from the match. He said today:
“Our chances went in, which they haven’t been doing recently. Our form has been a lot better over the last few games, and things are picking up again.

“It was difficult to assess the result against Hamburg. They had nine men playing who were in the team when they won the Cup Winners’ Cup, with Kevin Keegan one of the other two, so they can’t have been so bad at one time. But they are clearly not the team they were. You can only win your games, and I’m happy that we did so last night.”

But there were a few injury problems to sort out in the aftermath of this thrilling display. Ian Callaghan missed the game with a heavy cold and Steve Heighway came off at half-time because he felt he was about to become a similar sufferer. But injuries apart, it was the occasion when Liverpool were back to their peak, both in creative football and finishing power.

Rumours which swept the ground later that Liverpool were about to sign a player were denied by Mr. Paisley who said: “There is nothing happening.”

Perhaps the sight of unsettled Manchester City winger Dennis Tueart watching the game from the stand, led to the speculation. Football’s grapevine has it that Tueart is a target by Middlesbrough who could be prepared to offer their midfield player Graeme Souness in an exchange deal. City have been interested in Souness for some time.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 7, 1977; via © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited


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