Round Up – Ronald Atkin (Observer January 11, 1970 p.24)
The British game bulldozed its way through another Saturday of assorted winter delights – ice, fog, rain and mud – but managed in spite of everything to provide an exhilarating afternoon.
The mud splattered gold medal goes without a doubt to that all purpose, all weather institution, Leeds United… Leeds ruthlessly jolted Chelsea’s championship dreams, wrecking their unbeaten home record and adding five goals to the eight Chelsea had conceded in their previous 12 home matches.
But Everton’s competent demolition job on Ipswich, in Alan Ball’s last game before a five week suspension, ensure that Leed’s stay in second place.
Jeff Astle of West Bromwich was another striker in striking form yesterday. His hattrick halted the jeers of disillusioned Hawthorns fans.
The day’s scoring sensations was anchored the Third Division. Bury looked certain to break the scoring record when they put seven past Tranmere in the firs half. But one more goal (an own goal) afterwards meant that they only equaled the best win of this season, by Fulham.
Chelsea 2 Leeds 5 – Hugh McIlvanney (Observer January 11, 1970 p.24)
Chelsea’s delusions of grandeur disintegrated abruptly at Stamford Bridge yesterday. The faced the champions with an admirably brazen confidence for three quarters of an hour, came from behind to take the lead and then collapsed like a balloon that had been stabbed with a burning cigarette end.
Their loss of will and authority had much to do with the clumsy uncertainty of their goalkeeper. On this evidence, Hughes compares with Bonetti the way a Nissen Hut compares with the Empire State building. Of curse he cannot be as bad as he looked here (and his manager said afterwards that he was so ill that it was an achievement even to appear) but Chelsea can hardly thank him for choosing this day to show such costly originality.
Long before the finish there was a gulf between the sides that could not be explained by the errors of Hughes. Leeds exposed Chelsea as naive, shattering the convictions of many of us who suspected that they were approaching the highest class.
Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1 – Arthur Hopcraft (Observer January 11, 1970 p.23)
Peter Marinello’s goal for Arsenal, in his 15th minute of English league football was a moment of rare grace for Arsenal, and one of ominous disarray for United. Three Manchester defenders hung back in evident confusion of responsibility inside the penalty area and th young Scots sudden advance and shot punished them for it.
The excellent piece of personal enterprise was Marinello’s only memorable contribution to the game. It was also the last instance of positive attacking we were to see from Arsenal’s forwards.
Without Best, beginning with his month’s suspension, United gradually adjusted to a busy, unremarkable, conscientiousness. Well before the end they had developed an appreciable fluency. Arsenal, by disagreeable contrast, got relentlessly cruder and duller.
Tottenham 2 Derby County 1 – Tony Pawson (Observer January 11, 1970 p.23)
Dave Mackay may be the maker of Derby but he remains the legend of Tottenham. White Hart Lane gave him a generous welcome as he led his team out on to a pitch so wet and sandy the tide might just have receded.
This was hardly the surface for delicate precision but Derby moved always with smooth fluency. Tottenham had to concentrate too hard on survival to have time to indulge their own fancies. Yet there was wit and purpose in their quick interpassing and a menacing confidence in the poised control of Gilzean and Greaves.
Everton 3 Ipswich 0 (Observer January 11, 1970 p.23)
Everton, taut and worried much of the match, finally discovered a folk hero in the person of Royle and kept their position at the top of the table.
They really ought not to have made heavy weather of the beating of honest Ipswich because they scored as early as the twelfth minute. But a chronic lack of individual flair and a sullen predictability in attack kept the result in doubt until virtually the last 15 minutes.
WBA 3 Crystal Palace 2 – John Lyd (Observer January 11, 1970 p.23)
Five goals, a hattrick by Jeff Astle and a stimulating performance from Bobby Tambling, on loan from Chelsea and playing for the first time for Crystal Palace, enlivened a murky afternoon at The Hawthorns.
A brave fight by Palace, who led twice, ended in disappointment 11 minutes from the end when Astle scored his third goal.
Tambling, organising Palace with the authority of a lord mayor, brought in temporarily to take charge of a parish council, was almost entirely responsible for the first goal, and generally inspired his new associates to better things.