16,000 people paid record gate receipts of £68,000 to see Liverpool end Dundalk's unbeaten home European record under Jim McLaughlin. Dundalk put up a good show but they could not get to grips with the team who had won the European Cup three times in the previous five years. Liverpool played at their best and if it was not for some resolute defending and great goalkeeping the scoreline would have been much worse.
The speed of the Liverpool attacks provided a serious test for the Dundalk defence. The Reds got off to a great start after 7 minutes. A move involving Rush, Hodgson, and Dalglish ended with the ball being played into space for Ronnie Whelan, who had last played against Dundalk for Home Farm, who shot accurately past Blackmore from a tight angle.
The Dundalk full backs were being given a torrid time by the Liverpool attack. Gregg made a mistake under pressure and Hodgson stole in only to shoot wide in front of an empty goal. Liverpool were clearly intent on ending the tie as a contest as quickly as possible and Blackmore had to be alert to save shots from Dalglish and Rush.
Dundalk rarely threatened Bruce Grobbelaar's goal. The one time they did get near the Liverpool area Mick Fairclough set up Martin Lawlor whose long range shot went over the bar. After 29 minutes Ian Rush and Hodgson set up Whelan to make it 2-0.
After Barry Kehoe tested Grobbelaar with a good long range effort, Liverpool made it 3-0 after 32 minutes. A long ball by Kenny Dalglish was flicked on by Sammy Lee to Ian Rush who finished superbly past Blackmore.
Ollie Ralph came on for Willie Crawley at the start of the 2nd half and very nearly pulled one back straight away. Grobbelaar came out of his box to intercept a long ball but Ralph got their first and shot for goal. It looked like a goal all the way but Alan Hansen somehow managed to clear the ball off the line out for a corner via the crossbar.
On 55 minutes Liverpool got their fourth when Alan Kennedy set up Hodgson to score from close range. In the closing minutes Leo Flanagan got a consolation goal with a wonderful strike from a free kick.
The teams that night were:
Dundalk: Blackmore, Gregg, Dunning, McConville, Lawlor, Byrne, Flanagan, King, Kehoe, Fairclough, Crawley.
Subs: Ralph for Crawley, Archibold for Byrne
Liverpool: Grobbelaar, Neal, Kennedy, Hansen, Thompson, Lee, Souness, Whelan, Dalglish, Hodgson, Rush.
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