Articles

Grobbelaar earns Liverpool a share of the spoils

By Ronald Atkin of "The Observer".

With the conditions an obvious winner, it was only right that the points were shared in this fast and incident packed match, watched by Forest's best attendance of the season.

 

A penalty award in the second-half gave Forest the chance to win it but Grobbelaar produced one of his other-world reactions to the kick and earned Liverpool the draw they deserved.

 

Given their manager's well known ability to walk on water, the Forest players would have given much even to be able to maintain a proper footing on an already frozen pitch which got more difficult as the game wore on and the temperature plummeted.

 

In the first 10 minutes it was Liverpool who provided most of the thrills. MacDonald's shot cannoned off a red shirt and Sutton won a lucky rebound off Rush when he raced out of his area in response to a searching ball by Lawrenson.

 

Dalglish shook his head in dismay when he lobbed an inviting chance tamely into Sutton's arms but Rush was even more culpable just afterwards when, unmarked to the left of goal, he put a cross-shot well wide.

 

Having survived all that, Forest scored in the 12h minute. Clough, looking almost demure in a pair of gloves, sent Webb surging through the centre with a beautifully judged chip, and the former Portsmouth man's shot found the net as Grobbelaar could only half-block it.

 

Clough uncorked another lovely ball, this time to Davenport, but Grobbelaar pulled off a stupendous double save, first with his body and then with his legs.

 

Forest, deploying Robinson and Metgod wide down the touchlines, kept Liverpool so anxiously on the defensive for a while that Beglin was booked for upending Metgod and his name was followed into the book soon afterwards by the Liverpool manager, Dalglish, for dissent.

 

Forest were decidedly lucky to survive, however, when close-range drives by Rush and Dalglish were charged down but Nottingham had the last word of a memorable opening half as Robinson raced on to Metgod's through-ball to demand another great save from Grobbelaar.

 

In a match in which much depended on bounce and skid, Liverpool's equaliser in the fifty-fifth minute owed nothing to either. MacDonald began it, Whelan and Johnston kept the momentum going and, when Dalglish squared a pass across the face of the penalty area, MacDonald was there again, arriving at full tilt, to strike a low shot into the corner of goal.

 

Forest were offered the opportunity to regain the lead after 66 minutes. Davenport, sent into the area by Webb, fell under Beglin's tackle as he attempted to turn inside the Liverpool defender and the referee awarded a penalty, a tricky decision on such a surface. MacDonald complained so bitterly that he became the third visiting player to be booked. He need hardly have bothered since Grobbelaar pulled off one of his extra-special saved from Davenport's spot-kick, throwing himself high to his right to turn the ball aside.

 

Copyright - The Observer

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