Liverpool complete remarkable recovery
by Clive White of "The Times"
A recovery more stupendous than that of Manchester United on Saturday was stealthily completed last night before a comparative handful of witnesses compared to Wembley's watching millions. I speak of the achievement of yesterday's men, Liverpool, who, from a seemingly hopeless position seven months ago, clambered into second place in the Canon League.
If the race were extended, like Saturday's FA Cup Final, who knows Liverpool might even have caught up with their young successors, Everton. How appropriate that Liverpool's final match of the season should be against the new rulers on Thursday when the abdication and crowning can receive Merseyside's collective acknowledgment in a belated derby disrespectfully devalued by fixture congestion.
So Howard Kendall was not merely being respectful back in October when he said that his Everton team would win the league if they finished ahead of the then ailing Liverpool. His prediction was more precise than even he could have imagined.
It would be nice to think that Liverpool's improvement could carry on until next Wednesday, at least, when they may yet hold on to the biggest prize of all, the European Cup, against the awesome challenge of Juventus. But Liverpool's season might have run its course at Upton Park last night, for all the merit of this opportunist victory, their seventh in the last nine games.
Still without Lawrenson, their Herculean defender who resumes training tomorrow, and his replacement Gillespie, who resumed training yesterday, Liverpool suffered another blow to the centre of their defence when Molby was helped from the field in the fourth minute, leaving behind him two front teeth.
Centre backs one way and another, played significant roles last night. West Ham gave one, McPherson, his debut and he undeservingly had a hand in all the goals. Walsh's first-half brace, in the 26th and 36th minutes, effectively put an end to the competitive nature of the contest. In the 57th minute McPherson checked an attempted through pass by Dalglish and the ball rebounded obligingly to the influential Scot, who nodded it neatly into the path of Beglin and the full-back scored with impressive composure.
Copyright - The Times