Best performance ever?

Liverpool thrashed Brian Clough's young Forest side with a devastating display of precision football and power. Many observers likened the Reds' display to the Real Madrid team which swept all before it in the late 1950s. Certainly, on this day there was probably not a team in Europe which could have lived with the Anfield side.

Liverpool were strong in every department and attacked relentlessly from start to finish. Barnes, with an elegant shake of the hips, strode past defenders almost at will, whilst the nimble Beardsley showed tremendous aggression, forcing his way into the Forest penalty area and creating chances for his colleagues.

That was the signal for Forest to capitulate. Barnes twice went close before Aldridge struck his 26th goal of the season after 36 minutes. Beardsley delivered a telling 30-yard pass which split the Forest defence and Aldridge raced clear to lift his shot over the onrushing Sutton. Liverpool were now in rampant mood and Beardsley forced Sutton to tip the ball over the bar.

Forest's problems were increased when Des Walker suffered an ankle injury and was replaced at the interval by Darren Wassall. Sutton continued to deny Liverpool's efforts but, on the hour, Gary Gillespie, who was giving such a calm and assured display at the back, made it 3-0 when he crashed a left-footed volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards after another perfect pass from Beardsley.

After 78 minutes, Beardsley added his name to the score-sheet. The mercurial Barnes "nutmegged" Chettle and then jinked past Crosby before squaring the ball to Beardsley, who rifled it past the helpless Sutton. It was a goal that his superb performance richly deserved.

Liverpool completed this great display when Aldridge scored with four minutes remaining, after excellent work by Nigel Spackman. Liverpool's merciless destruction of Forest had been achieved with a display of unbelievable pace, accuracy and imagination. It was a display which personified the style of manager Kenny Dalglish - and it was a display which must rank as one of the best team performances ever seen in Britain.

Copyright -  Brian Pead (Complete record).

Article links

  • 5 - 0 Nottingham Forest


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