Date: Saturday, 5th December 1970.
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.
Score: Liverpool 1 Leeds
Scorers: Liverpool: Toshack. Leeds United: Madeley.
Lawler, Lindsay; Smith, Lloyd, Hughes; Hall, McLaughlin, Heighway,
Leeds United: Sprake;
Reaney, Cooper; Bremner,
Charlton, Hunter; Lorimer, Madeley,
Clarke, Giles, E. Gray.
Liverpool had come through a rebuilding process
and one injury crisis after another, to mould together a new team with young
exciting players like Steve Heighway, Ray Clemence, Larry Lloyd, John McLaughlin, Brian Hall, and
Alec Lindsay and topped off the ‘homegrown’ talent by paying £110,000 for Welsh
striker John Toshack.
It was a
game that attracted more than 51,000, and it was cut and thrust from the start
as attackers of both teams tried in turn to prise
open defences which appeared to have been padlocked.
As ever in clashes between Liverpool and Leeds, it seemed certain that only one
goal would separate the contestants at the finish, if, indeed, either side
could manage even that.
Paul Madeley scored the goal that brought United a point and it
was the first goal that Liverpool had conceded at Anfield against Leeds since December 1965. The Leeds scorer recalled the goal, “It was a
tremendously hard tussle and play had swung from end to end, without either
side being able to stick the ball in the net. Then we broke, with Terry Cooper
belting down the wing in one of his characteristic dashes. I was upfield, and waiting for the cross which I knew was sure to
come. As the ball came over I took off, and as soon as I made contact, I felt
certain that the header would bring a goal for I connected perfectly. The ball
went in like a rocket.”
after fifty minutes, gave Leeds
the lead, but it was short-lived. Liverpool, ever dangerous when they had been stung,
especially in front of their own roaring fans, rapped back swiftly. Only two
minutes after Paul Madeley had headed past Ray Clemence, it was the turn of the Liverpool players to raise their arms in
triumph. They were awarded a free-kick, well in the Leeds half and it was taken by their
skipper Tommy Smith, who cunningly floated the ball to the far post. There,
alert and poised to soar into the air was the lean figure of the lofty John Toshack. Up went the inside-left, timing his leap
perfectly, to head the ball past Gary Sprake
for the equalizer.
thirty-five minutes to go both teams had to restart their endeavours
all over again. The deadlock which appeared to have been broken by Paul Madeley’s effort had been restored by the nod of the head
by John Toshack. Liverpool were urged on by
their vocal fans, who formed the vast majority of the capacity crowd as they
attacked with enthusiasm. Leeds
were less adventurous, and started to play possession football, but it wasn’t
always possible to keep possession and Liverpool countered strongly, when they did get their
attack moving. Steve Heighway was an ever-present
menace, with runs that cut deep into the United defence, while John Toshack was
always looking for the opening to nod the game out of United’s
reach, but as the minutes ticked away United were closer to retaining the
Leeds, while containing the Liverpool attacks, did not scorn the
opportunity to try for a second goal but they pulled Billy Bremner
back from attack, to bolster the midfield after John Toshack’s
equalizer. United held on for the draw, and they finished the first half of the
fixtures with thirty-four points from twenty-one games, a feat, which if
matched in the second half of the season, would mean a new record haul for
points in the first division.
Paul Madeley’s opening goal was soon equalized by John Toshack
Tommy Smith Larry Lloyd
John McLaughlin Steve Heighway
Paul Madeley Allan
Mick Jones missed the game injured