Anfield romp

Anfield romp

By Roy Hayes of "The Liverpool Daily Post"

Kenny Dalglish's call for an improved performance from his players was answered in tremendous style as Liverpool went on an Anfield goal romp against Ipswich.

He didn't hide his disappointment after Liverpool's lack-lustre defeat at Newcastle, on Saturday, but the Reds put "a Cheshire cat" smile back on his face with as ruthless a display as you're likely to see this season.

I know East Anglia is famous for its survival TV programmes but there was no reason for the visitors to take it so literally. After briefly mounting a half-hearted challenge for the opening 15 minutes of the game, they spent most of their time trying to prevent Liverpool reaching double figures.

That they succeeded in this unrewarding pursuit was not so much down to their own defensive qualities, rather the agility of 'keeper Paul Cooper - despite what the scoreline suggests - and the thickness of the woodwork.

Any doubts anyone might have had that Liverpool would struggle to hit the target without the influence of Dalglish were easily dispelled as almost everyone bar Grobbelaar tried to get in on the act. Ian Rush led the way with a two-goal burst, but the blitz was started by Steve Nicol.

He latched on to an inch-perfect crossfield ball from Jan Molby, played a one-two with Craig Johnston, before slipping his shot into the corner of the net.

Rush opened his account from Liverpool's first corner in the 23rd-minute, brushing the ball past Cooper from close range, after Whelan had knocked Nicol's cross goalwards.

Just three minutes later Liverpool were 3-0 up, Molby finishing off from a yard out after fine work down the right by Nicol.

The only target Ipswich's strikers seemed capable of hitting were the legs of Liverpool players and D'Avray was booked after 28 minutes for flattening Alan Hansen.

Liverpool stepped up the pace in the second-half and Rush struck his second and Liverpool's fourth after 67 minutes, rounding off a superb one-touch move by Nicol and Johnston. Paul Walsh replaced Phil Neal, a minute later, to give the extra attack dimension and Liverpool had several near misses, most notably when Molby thundered a free kick against the crossbar and saw another shot pushed round the post by Cooper.

But it was left to Johnston to complete the rout, heading a Hansen cross past the stranded Cooper. It's hard to think that just four seasons ago Ipswich finished runners-up to Liverpool. Yesterday they looked like they were in a different league - they'll certainly be in one if they don't get their act together.

On form, however, were the supporters of both teams, who really were a credit to the game. Humour flowed from the terraces - summed up when the Kop shouted "Going down, going down," only for the small band of Ipswich fans to sing back "So we are, so we are,".

Copyright - Liverpool Daily Post.

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