King Kenny puts Oxford to the sword

King Kenny puts Oxford to the sword

By Alan Nixon of "The Sunday Mirror"

King Kenny Dalglish is in no mood to abdicate - and his merry men are now set for a crowning finish. Liverpool's living legend will pick up the rewards for his long and illustrious career this week with the Freedom of Glasgow and this 100th Scottish cap. But his breathtaking performance suggests there is plenty more to come in the immediate future in the way Dalglish tormented Oxford.

Suddenly the League and FA Cup double - and even the World Cup - are within the great man's sights again. "It amazes me that he's not playing more", said Oxford boss Maurice Evans. "He's still got enough to compete at the highest level".

Dalglish thrust the daggers into Oxford in the first half and then let magical Jan Molby and deadly Ian Rush finish them off. Inside a minute Dalglish put Rush free for the opening goal. And it left keeper Steve Hardwick wondering what had happened to his defence during the month's loan spell at Crystal Palace.

Then as Liverpool's back four rocked under assaults from Jeremy Charles, who hit the bar, and Ray Houghton, that man Dalglish showed why he is the envy of every other manager. The young Anfield boss took matters into his own hands with a dream pass to allow Mark Lawrenson a waltz-in for number two in the 18th minute. Rush crashed two shots off the bar in the space of two minutes before taking Dalglish's pass to set up Ronnie Whelan with a third five minutes from half-time. Even the loss of Lawrenson with an ankle injury could not stop the flow. Steve Nicol came back after two months to slot nicely into the pattern.

The second half was merely an exercise in boosting Liverpool's goal difference. Molby started the ball rolling with a 51st minute penalty harshly given for a tackle on Rush.

Rush produced a fifth that was brilliant even by the day's sky-high standards when he played a one-two with Molby and rounded the keeper in the 71st minute. Molby brought the house down with a last minute stunner, provided by the inevitable Dalglish.

The way the Kop hysterically greeted the news of Everton's defeat tells its own story. The race is on and Liverpool are already in top gear. "We could have scored a lot more," said Dalglish. "But I'm happy that we're spreading the goals around. If others want to contribute to our success by losing I'll accept it."

Copyright - Sunday Mirror

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