Sunday, April 20, 2008

1979 Nottingham Forest 1-0 Malmo

As luck would have it, Nottingham Forest’s first opponents in the European Cup turned out to be their fellow English club and reigning European champions Liverpool F.C.. Despite having finished seven points clear of Liverpool in winning the League Championship, Forest were still heavy underdogs, but they were to take their doubters by surprise in the first leg of the first round match at their City Ground stadium. Liverpool knew little about young Garry Birtles who started up front for Forest, but it was he who tapped home a Woodcock pass to give his side the lead after 26 minutes, and it was Birtles again who pounced on a mistake in the Liverpool defence during the final minutes of the game and crossed the ball to Woodcock who knocked the ball down to the onrushing Barrett to volley the ball home for a crucial 2-0 lead. Still Liverpool were favourites to go through, but the tie was now set up perfectly for Forest. With the defence keeping things tight at the back and with the midfield closing down Liverpool's creative players, the European Cup holders could find no way through in the return game. The match finished 0-0 and Liverpool, after having beaten all comers in Europe for two seasons, found themselves knocked out by a fellow English team.

The tournament was won by English champions Nottingham Forest F.C. in the final against Malmö FF.

No comments: