Football Round Up – Ronald Atkin – Observer 5 April 1970 p. 24
The football steeple chase, with its promises of golden oats for the winners and a slow horse box to ignominy for the defeated, took its toll of a few famous names yesterday.
Sheffield Wednesday, who sportingly lined up to applaud League Champions Everton onto the Hillsborough pitch, got a cuff round the ears by way of reply and fell at the last fence. Now Wednesday are bottom of the First Division again.
If Everton win at Sunderland in midweek they will equal Leed’s championship record of 67 points, set last season. They could also condemn Sunderland to the Second Division.
Ipswich cantered to safety by beating fellow selling platers Southampton so the two team drop is now between four clubs – Wednesday, Sunderland, Palace and Southampton.
Chelsea 1 Tottenham 0 – Robert Chesshyre – Observer 5 April 1970 p. 24
Saturday’s Cup finalists, Chelsea, can consider themselves desperately fortunate to have taken both points from a dull end of season derby match of infuriating tedium and mediocrity.
Chelsea… started in a lively enough fashion and attacked persistently and purposefully. But gradually the mood changed. Where there had been snap and bite there was frustration, inept muddle and defensive panic. Spurs, with little to play for except the promise of better seasons ahead, began to drag the finalists to their own dismal and defeated level.
If the Chelsea attack lacked thrust and penetrative power, it was their defence that must have caused their Cup happy supporters anxieties that will plague them throughout the week.
Leeds 2 Burnley 1 – Leslie Duxbury – Observer 5 April 1970 p. 24
Yet another emaciated Leeds side was pressed into service, though in the event they proved more than a match for a youthful and diffident Burnley.
One can hardly level the charge of cynicism at the Leeds management either for perhaps making wounds out of bruisers and denying the customer at least a higher proportion of senior players. The crowd obviously enjoyed every emotional minute of the game applauding each attack and rhapsodising at the two Leeds goals.
But beneath the surface excitement and emotive identification with the underdog the pressure of an impossible ambition ere all too visible.
Leed’s predicament this last traumatic week has been variously attributed to many of the seven deadly sins – greed, pride, lust for power – but it is also an inevitable consequence of the super league or its current equivalent. Too few teams are chasing too many prizes. If it were industry the Monopolies Commission might be asked to investigate.
And the real victim of it all is the game itself. The sight of talented and marvelous footballers like Bremner and Giles playing themselves to the point of nervous exhaustion disposes of the myth for all timethat soccer is still a sport. It is not. It is as much a reflection of our materialistic professional age as the battery hen is.
The performance of this makeshift Leeds team was in the best Review tradition of effort, grit and no little skill.
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Everton 1 – James Holland – Guardian 6 April 1970 p. 17
Everton, newly crowned kings of the First Division, gave a display that was more common place than regal in defeating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Hillsborough on Saturday.
In spite of the skillfully edited televised version of the game seen in the evening, the first half was a nondescript affair. After the interval, Wednesday, showing greater resolution and enterprise, made nearly all the running, but found that when you are down nothing goes right for you.
Manchester City 0 Sunderland 1 – Special Correspondent – Guardian 6 April 1970 p. 17
Manchester City’s enigmatic tendencies were never more pronounced than in the strangely muddled match from which a troubled and, one felt, embarrassed Sunderland finally emerged with two anti-relegation points as the result of their victory 1-0 at Maine Road.
Clearly Sunderland did not feel they had done enough to earn such a handsome reward, but ere grateful, no doubt, for the generous consideration shown by their hosts in a pitifully one side first half. City given complete freedom in midfield, couldn’t believe their luck. But they could not make any worthwhile impression on a courageous defence, which was bolstered on two occasions by the stoutness of the crossbar and an upright, shaken but unyielding.
There was feeble finishing too, by an attack lacking the guile and power of that accomplished trio – Lee, Bell and Summerbee, all nursing injuries.
Stronger running and greater ambition [in the second half] too the place of hit it and hope tactics [for Sunderland], and with City continuing to disappoint when in range of a now more open target it was not surprising that a swift counter punch should produce the inevitable goal from Tueart, Sunderland’s liveliest raider.
Football Round Up – Bob Houston – Observer 29 March 1970 p.20
Leeds United’s hopes of the gran slam – the League, FA Cup and European Cup – were shattered by struggling Southampton yesterday.
A 38,000 crowd at Elland Road watched, stunned, as the Champions = without six of the men ho defeated Manchester United in the midweek FA Cup semi-final marathon – conceded two own goals and a penalty in a disastrous second half after Peter Lorimer had put them ahead in the sixty third minute.
Meanwhile Everton were handing out a 5-2 thrashing to Chelsea at Goodison Park. Kendall had the ball in the net after 16 seconds and Ball – captain for the day – scored a second in the fourth minute.
Everton 5 Chelsea 2 – Arthur Hopcraft – Observer 29 March 1970 p.20
With this ebullient win Everton seem to have claimed the Championship. In any case the game will be cherished in recollection for a long time by Everton supporters as the one in which the team made all their promises blossom.
The self conviction of the side has been growing steadily for weeks; and here, massively encouraged early on by the astounding fraility of Chelsea’s deputy goalkeeper, Everton let their talents flow with a generosity of real wealth.
Young Hughes’ mistakes in goal were a demoralising influence on his defenders that they were unable to set aside until well into the second half. By then Everton had all their five goals and had developed such an impetus in their attacking adventurousness that Chelsea’s recovery was merely a bonus in the games entertainment and offered no kind of threat to Everton’s assurance.
Leeds 1 Southampton 3 – Paul Wilcox – Guardian Monday 30 March 1970 p. 12
Admitting defeat is not easy for Don Revie; he says that Leeds United still have a chance of retaining their League title. They have. But by accepting a rearranged fixture against West Ham on Thursday – one day after the first leg of the European Cup semi final with Celtic; three days after meeting Derby County; and two days before playing Burnley – the only conclusion to be drawn is that Leeds are willing to forego the championship in order to strengthen their attempts for the FA and European Cups.
Leeds, without six internationals because of injuries, dropped to five points behind the leaders on Saturday.
Southampton were fortunate to beat Leeds by a margin of two goals. the manner of the scores, own goals by Charlton and Yorath, and a penalty by Davies for what seemed to be accidental handling by Hibbitt, is not the mark of a superior side when Lorimer put Leeds ahead after 63 minutes, it was all they deserved.
Man Utd 1 Man City 2 – Eric Todd – Guardian Monday 30 March 1970 p. 12
Manchester City, who had dispenced with an attack against Derby County the previous day, found and used four forwards when they met Manchester United on Saturday at Old Trafford.
This defiant move paid off ad a thoroughly deserved victory 2-1 enabled City to complete their first League double over their neighbours in 15 years.
In appalling conditions and with domestic prestige the only incentive, the game never really got off the ground. United’s reactions after the protracted battle with Leeds United were very obvious, and for all I know they may also have seen enough of City whom they have met five times this season. City in their turn are going through one of their traumatic phases themselves in the right mood for their safari into Europe this week.
Link to the Manchester derby highlights: