Thursday, March 31, 2011

European Cup 1983 1984 Liverpool As Roma

Stadio Olimpico, Roma
30 May 1984

Attendance 70000
Referee Mr Fredrickson

So, it was back to Rome, venue of Liverpool's first Europeen Cup triumph back in 1977. Liverpool fans joked that Rome, like Wembley, was almost becoming Liverpool's second home. But this time there was a difference. Liverpool were not facing a German side, who were having to travel hundreds of miles from their home. Instead, they were lining up against the Italian champions in their own country in their home ground. If ever a team had an advantage, it was AS Roma. They had won 28 out of 36 Europeen lies at their Olympic Stadium. On any other ground, Liverpool would have been made the favourites. It was a different proposition in Rome, and many observers doubted Liverpool's chances of winning. At least Liverpool felt at home as they arrived to see the roads, houses and piazzas decked in red, even though it was the red of Roma. The city of Rome had set its heart on seeing their favourites crowned Kings of Europe in their own backyard. Liverpool had already clinched their third successive league title, equalling the long held records of Huddersfield Town and Arsenal. They had also just won their fourth successive League Cup, another record, and now faced up to winning a third trophy that season, and one that would make them the second most successful club in the history of European club football, behind the great Spanish champions, Real Madrid.

The Olympic Stadium was a cauldron of passion and colour, a sea of red from one end to the other. From the start, Liverpool set out to calm the atmosphere and reduce the tempo to a walking pace. They played the bail around their back four, slowly worked it forward and then sidefooted it back. It may not have been exciting but it was effective. In the 14th minute, the Reds scored. A Craig Johnston centre was pumped high into the area and the Italian goalkeeper, Tancredi, under pressure from Ronnie Whelan, leapt up to catch the bail only to lose it as he fell to the ground. It fell perfectly into the path of Phil Neal, the only survivorfrom 1977. 1-0. Liverpool could hardly have dared hope for a better start. But now it was suddenly about-turn as the traffic poured towards the Liverpool goal. For 20 minutes, Liverpool withstood sustained pressure, and then, just as it seemed they had survived the worst, Roberto Pruzzo sneaked in behind the Liverpool defence to level the score with a glancing header. Nils Liedholm's Roma side began the second half where they had left off, with a passionate crowd urging them on. But with Mark Lawrenson in majestic form, the zest of the Italians cooled after a 15-minute burst of attacking, which had produced nothing. Liverpool now asserted themselves once more and Nicol, who had corne on as a substitute, might easily have scored a winner but for a good save by Franco Tancredi.

Extra time beckoned, and with Liverpool looking weary after a season of 66 matches, it seemed the pendulum was about to swing away from them. Souness in the midfield remained inexhaustible, driving his men on by example, charging into the front line one moment, the next tearing back into defence. Roma's Brazilian pair of Falcao and Cerezo were blotted out of the game by the Scottish maestro. Extra time came and went without any further scoring. The European Cup would be decided on penalties for the first time in the history of the competition. Up stepped Steve Nicol confident, and almost grabbing the bail in his eagerness, before thumping it over the bar. It seemed the European Cup was lost. Liverpool's record with penalties had not been impressive that season. Not so Roma. Agostini Di Bartolomei put them one up. Next, Phil Neal coolly converted his kick. Then Bruno Conti, reckoned by Pele to be the best player in the 1982 World Cup, watched in horror as his casual shot soared over the bar. Liverpool were back on level terms.

Graeme Souness scored Liverpool's third, then Ubaldo Righetti equalised. By now, Bruce Grobbelaar was up to his antics: his knees knocking, arms flailing, pretending to be nervous, appearing to treat the match as though it were a practice game. Next in line was lan Rush. No mistake. Then Francesco Graziani's turn. Grobbelaar was now psyching the man out with his play-acting. It worked. Graziani's shot sailed way over the bar towards the terraces. The Italian players and their manager were extremely unhappy with the behaviour of the Liverpool goalkeeper, but whatever their complaints, it did not aller the fact that Grobbelaar had helped Liverpool win the shoot out.
Graziani's miss meant that it was ail down to the next kick. Up stepped veteran full-back Alan Kennedy. He had only to score and the European Cup would be Liverpool's. He placed the bail carefully, turned, never once glancing at Tancredi, and sent the bail into the back of the net. Kennedy turned and raced towards his jubilant team-mates. The man who had scored the vital goal in Paris had done it again, but Bruce Grobbelaar's shakes and shimmies had unnerved the Italians. Souness, appropriately, stepped up to receive the European Cup. The credit had to go to Liverpool's defence. Lawrenson, Hansen, Kennedy and Phil Neal had rarely been ruffled. In attack, Rush had been superbly contained by Righetti, while Dalglish had never found the spark that had made him so effective in earlier rounds. At the centre of it ail was Graeme Souness. It was an extraordinary achievement both for the player and for the club.

Codec H264, Mkv
Bitrate 1300
Sound 128 kbps
English Comments
Pass :

1rst Half

2nd Half (20mnts missing)

Extra Time

Penalties and Celebrations

Half Time Comments