Manchester City v Liverpool League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg 1980/81

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League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg

14th January 1981

attendance 48,045

Scorer Kennedy(81)

Ref Alf Grey

City Corrigan, Ranson, Henry, Reid, Power, Caton, Boyer, Bennett, MacKenzie, Tueart, Reeves – sub Buckley(unused)

Liverpool Clemence, Neal, A Kennedy, Thompson, R Kennedy, Irwin, Dalglish, Lee, Fairclough, McDermott, Souness – sub Case(unused)

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 ln the opening minutes referee Alf Grey disallowed a Kevin Reeves goal for what was described by the official as ‘illegal jumping‘. City were furious. John Bond, in typical fashion, remembers the incident well; “lt was scandalous. lt was Alf Grey [referee] who punished us. Ray Clemence came out and never got anywhere near the ball, and Kevin Reeves got up and headed the ball into the net He never fouled him or anybody else. You bet your life there wasn’t a foul in it. lt was as simple as that.”

Liverpool home 1980 to 81 home league cup action

Kevin Reeves was equally bemused at the time: “lt was a legitimate jump for a cross from the left. l never climbed on anybody’s shoulders. Alan Kennedy, the Liverpool left back, was in there with me and l suspect he thought Clemence  was coming to punch the cross clear and just dropped his shoulder to make the way clear for his ‘keeper. I had felt Kennedy’s shoulder as I went up but I never went to make contact with him, nor did I feel anything unusual. If I had thought there was any doubt about the header after it went in the net l would have been looking at the referee and certainly hesitating with my actions. It’s just not the way I would behave to go dashing over to the Kippax to celebrate the goal with them. Like them, I was stunned to see it disalIowed.”
Supporter Simon Clarke remembers: “l sat in the Platt Lane Stand for the League Cup match, so didn’t have a clear view of the Reeves header that hit the net at the North Stand end after only a few minutes. The stadium erupted, and i was too busy celebrating a dream start to notice that the game had resumed with a free kick. The North Stand scoreboard went blank, so it was some while before the truth dawned that we were not, after all, one- nil up, Reeves strike having been disallowed. Eventually Liverpool scored from a free kick that should never have been given, and the feeling of hurt and injustice that followed is just beyond description, my worst night in over 35 years as a Blue.” Ray Kennedy scored in the 81st minute to give Liverpool victory.


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Liverpool home 1980 to 81 home league cup action2

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