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Liverpool pull double out of the flames

Liverpool pull double out of the flames

by Reg Drury of "News of the World"

 

How do they do it ? Liverpool looked dead and buried until the 57th minute.

Then they staged one of their typical revivals at Wembley to create all kinds of records.

They followed North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal as only the third club this century to win the League and Cup double.

 

Kenny Dalglish becomes the first player-manager to win the FA Cup and, the ultimate irony, Liverpool won it without a single Englishman.

 

They owed a tremendous debt to the remarkable Man-of-the-Match Ian Rush as he proved again that he is the finest marksman in the business with two clinical goals.

 

And, in between, he had a hand in the second goal when Craig Johnston put Liverpool ahead.

Everton of all teams, made the mistake of thinking they had Liverpool beaten and they paid the price.

 

Yet is is impossible not to feel sympathy for them after they dominated the first half, played some attractive football and grabbed a 28th minute lead.

 

It came, oddly enough, from an error by Dalglish who lost possession and was immediately punished as Peter Reid struck a superb 30 yard pass through Liverpool's defence.

 

Gary Lineker outpaced Alan Hansen to go clear, and though Bruce Grobbelaar blocked the first shot the England striker reacted in a flash to round the keeper and shoot home.

It was the kind of goal, Lineker's 40th for the club this season, which would have delighted absent England boss Bobby Robson.

 

Everton should have wrapped it up in the 10 minutes after half-time when Trevor Steven and Kevin Sheedy both fired tremendous shots just wide with Grobbelaar beaten.

 

But that was the turning point - and the great comeback was under way.

 

It started with a sloppy pass by Everton's Gary Stevens, Kevin MacDonald intercepted, slipped the ball to Jan Molby and the Dane sent Rush clear in the kind of position where he is absolutely deadly. Rush hardly checked his stride as he side-stepped young goalkeeper Bobby Mimms and slotted the ball home.

 

And Liverpool took command in their next attack after 63 minutes. This time Rush was the architect with a pass to Molby whose cross was missed by Dalglish right in front of goal only for the boss to be rescued as Johnston popped up on the far post to score.

 

Everton to their credit, tried an adventurous substitution in an attempt to pull the game round by replacing Stevens with Adrian Heath and played only three men at the back.

 

But, with just six minutes left, Molby and Ronnie Whelan carved open the Everton defence and there was the tall Welshman to easily beat the unprotected Mimms.

 

The cynics will say it was hardly a vintage Liverpool display but they have staged the revival act so often that I give them full credit. They won 11 of their last 12 League games to take the Championship and yesterday they had the front to give Everton a goal start.

 

Yet, early on, the Liverpool defence looked strangely hesitant with Lineker causing them all kinds of problems. Indeed, Lineker never stopped running from beginning to end and, after Liverpool had taken the lead, he might have got a second goal from a well placed Sharp pass.

 

But Everton hardly deserve to finish the season empty-handed after producing so much bold and attractive football. Against any other side but their Mersey neighbours they might well have hit the Wembley jackpot but all the rules which apply to other teams never seem to work with Liverpool.

 

Copyright - News of the world.


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