Saturday’s game had some talking points which will long be discussed by supporters of both clubs. Liverpool claimed that Saturday’s header from Fagan’s pulled-back centre was over the line before Moore “shinned” it back into Burnett’s hands to clear. Everton’s defenders assured me afterwards this was not so. Paisley’s goal might not have eventuated had not Falder and Burnett both tried to make sure. Either one left to himself, might have got it away, though that is something we can never settle. From where I sat I Thought the ball had definitely gone behind for a corner before Wainwright pulled it back through Falder’s legs to present Liddell with the Red’s second goal. The Everton players on the spot, however, said it was never out of play, which just shows how distance can lend deception to the view. For the first twenty minutes or so I made Everton the better side, but once Liverpool, always calm and collected had settled down to their work, and Reds always looked the more impressive and better-balanced team. Yet there was always the possibility, even when Liverpool were two goals up and territorially well on top, that a sudden breakaway might have produced a goal which would have given Everton just that incentive they needed in the second half.
Vital Turning Point
I wrote down the vital turning point of the game, apart from Liddell’s goal, to be when Eglington missed Everton’s best chance of the day immediately before Paisley’s opening goal. In the end of course, there was no disputing Liverpool’s convincing victory, which was built on the foundation of their brilliant half-back line –Taylor, classic and stylish and always making wonderful use of every ball; Paisley, the terrier-like tackler and “shadower” who blotted Wainwright out and Jones, the epitome of ice-cold confidence, never hurrying or scurrying, but always in complete command. Liddell was brilliant in his own inimitable way. If the Scottish selectors haven’t already O’K d’ him for Hampden Park against England then I don’t know what they’re waiting for. The rest of the forwards all came up to expectation with Baron a great forager and worker, Stubbins the spearhead and complete foil to Liddell, Payne in great form in the first half if a little less prominent afterwards, and Fagan a tower of strength in defence as well as attack. Sidlow with a sound pair of backs in front of him, has rarely earned his money so easily. His tip over the bar from Eglington was the only really difficult shot he had to negotiate. For the rest it was a “piece of cake.”
Too Much Defence
Everton appeared to me to be so concerned to preserve their goal intact that they contributed to their own attacking weaknesses. When we saw Wainwright, Fielding and even Eglington so often back in their own penalty area it was no wonder that Catterick rarely got the support that was vitally necessary if Liverpool’s well-knit defence was going to be harassed out of its stride. Grimly through the Everton defence struck to its task, in the last half hour it began increasingly to will under the strain despite some great work by Farrell and Falder. Everton fought galliantly and never gave up. They were just not quite up to the task. All honours to both sides.
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