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Sinners in Saints clothing

By Chris James of "The Daily Mirror."

Bill Shankly once rustled the autumn leaves at the Dell when he described Southampton as "an ale house team". Whether he was comparing their standard of football with a pub side or likening their tactics to a bar room brawl was not clear.
 
On the evidence at Anfield and in referee John Lovatt's notebook, the latter interpretation was the more likely. There were almost as many sinners as Saints in Southampton's colours, with Kevin Bond, Steve Baker, Mark Wright and Jimmy Case all booked.
 
Not that Liverpool are softies. They haven't survived at the top at home and abroad for more than 20 years without having the steel to protect themselves when the going gets tough. A game of running feuds had begun to simmer in the first half and threatened to boil over in the second until the bookings, in a 24-minute spell, took some of the heat out of the situation.
 
Crewe referee Lovatt had to add more than three minutes for the time lost in cautioning and lecturing players and for the treatment of the wounded. It certainly incensed the 31,000 crowd, which can't be a good thing in football's current climate. But the fans were not present later to see that the "enemies" were still good friends.
 
One of the fiercest battles was between great Dane Jan Molby, forced into a defensive role because of the absence through injury of Alan Hansen, and that fabled Scottish warrior Joe Jordan. when Jordan retired from the contest after 65 minutes with knee and ankle injuries, it was to a storm of jeers from the home crowd.
 
But Molby himself nursing a calf injury, said : "It's part of the game. he got me a few times and I got him a few. But I think it was even in the end."
 
When the fur had finally stopped flying, Liverpool emerged with three points to keep them clinging to Manchester United's coat-tails and set up what should be a monumental collision at Old Trafford on Saturday.
 
A lot of their slick, stylish football lacked the incisive final pass until Craig Johnston swung over a 59th-minute corner which Mark Lawrenson and Ian Rush turned into the path of Steve McMahon, who rifled the winner.
 
Copyright - The Daily Mirror

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