Tuesday August 12 1969
LIVERPOOL 1 (St John 46)
MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Smith 45og, Bowyer 90)
The match was a compelling tussle between two teams who expect to be challenging at the top come April next year. While Liverpool worked tirelessly in midfield to contain City, the Manchester club created by far the better chances and it could be argued that they deserved to travel back home with both points.
City’s attacking game was a joy to see, with Lee and Bell running proceeding like traffic policemen. They read the game well and, through their passing, created ample space for Summerbee and Bowyer to shoot at the Liverpool goal. It’s a daunting feeling running towards a wall of noise that is the Liverpool Kop and this could be the reason Summerbee and Bowyer’s shooting wasn’t amply successful in the first half.
In fact City’s first goal came through a moment of good luck that side footed Liverpool’s goalkeeper. With a minute to go in the first half, Lee once again gave Summerbee an exemplary opportunity to score within the Liverpool penalty box. Summerbee’s shot was on target, but Lawrence produced an excellent save to concede a corner.
From the resulting corner, a Coleman sliced shot was confidently heading safely away from the Liverpool goal. By a stroke of luck the ball hit Smith and deflected back towards the net. Lawrence could not adjust his positioning in time and City were 1-0 ahead at Anfield.
Liverpool had their revenge immediately at the beginning of the second half. With St John gathering the ball just outside the box he avoided the City defenders and looked up to see Corrigan dangerously out of position. With a deft chip he floated the ball into the goals, with Corrigan left to flap wildly like a dodo which has recently decided it wanted to fly, but increasingly looks ridiculous to its friends.
Manchester City now attacked with more vigor, to retrieve their slender lead with wave of attacks that had Liverpool scrambling to nullify.
Yet for all their dominance, City were left till the last minute of the game to gain their reward when they were awarded another corner. Off trundled Bowyer to take the resultant corner kick. As he crossed it in the ball floated and dipped through the air. So much so that the ball bypassed the Liverpool keeper and dipped beneath the bar and into the Liverpool net. City had regained the lead and the Liverpool players look bemused.
City didn’t have long to protect their lead and their relief was evident when the referee blew his whistle to end the match in City’s favor.
Liverpool: Lawrence, Lawler, Strong, Smith, Yeats, Hughes, Callaghan, Hunt, Graham, St. John, Thompson.
Manchester City: Corrigan, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Bowyer, Coleman.
Tuesday 12 August Division One Matches
Coventry 4 WBA 0
Ipswich 0 Derby 0
Nott Forest 1 Stoke 0