King Kenny torments Derby

Like the football professors they are Liverpool go around putting the pupils in their place. But in a hectic, frantic, fury of a game they did not leave the Baseball Ground on this raw afternoon without a scare and a mauling. For a start, Derby, haunted by relegation, grabbed a dramatic penalty within 30 seconds. It was Derby’s new signing Trevor Whymark, returning from a stint with Vancouver Whitecaps and Sparta Rotterdam, who set up the move.

As rangy, dark-haired striker Roger Davies moved onto the ball, Phil Neal’s tackle sent him tumbling in the box. There was a moment’s stunned silence and then, to Liverpool’s consternation, a dreaded penalty was given. From the spot kick Davies beat Ray Clemence all the way.

Kenny Dalglish and company had no time to settle. And when the did stream forward there was that old lion David Webb breathing fire and defiance at the centre of Derby’s suspect defence.

But then an astonishing thing happened from Ray Kennedy’s free kick. Davies lost his hero’s halo when he headed the ball into the top corner of his own net in striving to clear.
It was not until the second half when brave Derby began to flag that we began to see glimpses of the real Liverpool.

Even so it was an unnecessary bad foul to Bruce Rioch in the 51st minute which set Liverpool on their onevitable victory trail. Rioch left Dalglish prostrate just inside the box. The game was held up while Dalglish received attention, but in the 53rd minute Terry McDermott planted the ball to the right of wrong footed Derby ‘keeper David McKellar.
Derby’s midfield star Gerry Daly was booked afterwards for dissent, but it was a perfectly legitimate penalty and the first one Liverpool scored from in more than a year.

Liverpool now had their heads up. It was from a left flank move that the champions scored their third. From Ray Kennedy to Alan Kennedy the ball flew to that tartan torturer – Dalglish. The galloping David Johnson arrived at the exact moment Dalglish released the ball. The next second it was in the net.

Copyright The Sunday Express published on 23-12-1979 - Transcribed by Kjell Hanssen.

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