Liverpool let 4-goal lead slip

This was the most fantastic come-back performance I have ever seen. Aston Villa were trailing 0-4 down with half an hour to play, and were looking so disjointed and playing so badly it seemed they were in for a real tanning. Then they suddenly slammed three goals in nine minutes.

Five minutes from the end Bobby Thomson raced through and cracked the equaliser and in the very last minute Peter McParland missed a wide-open chance that would have brought an unbelievable win.

For so long it had seemed that Liverpool would be the first side to double Villa this season. As it was they were the first team to get four goals against the Second Division leaders.

Fierce shot

If Liverpool had not missed several openings, notably by Roger Hunt, they would have run this strangely slow-moving Villa defence out of sight.

Villa crashed back more with physical determination than skill to turn their grimmest hour of the season into the most exciting finish seen on the ground for many a day.

Hunt scored the first after Nigel Sims had fisted out a fierce Billy Liddell shot, and Hickson nipped between the slow, square Villa defenders to shoot home No 2 after a Jimmy Harrower pass.

Just before the break John Molyneux made it 3-0 when John Wheeler slipped a free-kick pass to the full-back whose shot was deflected in by a Villa defender.

Just on the hour, Hickson was given all the room he wanted to head home a centre by Alan A'Court.

Lashed home

McParland began the transformation when he whipped through on his own in the 66th minute. Thomson lashed home another six minutes later and three minutes after that Lynn scored with a penalty after Wheeler had handled, and Thomson equalised.

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