Liverpool 5 – 2 Manchester City (Anfield) – 27th December 1982
In just one week’s time, these two sides will face off in an encounter that will undoubtedly have huge ramifications on the Premier League title race.
And, on this day 36 years ago, Liverpool and Manchester City would go head to head at Anfield with the Reds a couple of points clear of Nottingham Forest at the top of the table and City just hanging on to a place in the top half. A win for Bob Paisley’s side would put them five points clear approaching the new year.
In the opening stretch of the game, Kenny Dalglish would serve warning of what was to come, as he drove a powerful shot towards City No.1 Joe Corrigan who parried it away to safety.
Just 16 minutes in, Dalglish would find his target. Steady link-up play from David Hodgson and Ronnie Whelan led to the ball reaching the Scot just outside the area. Sir Kenny had the technique to swerve the ball with the outside of his right foot high into the corner of the net. Truly sensational technique.
City weren’t given much time to re-group as just four minutes later they were breached again. A diagonal run from Phil Neal was capped off with an audacious 30-yard rocket that crashed into the net off the post.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for City, Dalglish would continue to terrorize the defence and just two minutes later, fellow Scot Dennis Tueart brought him down just outside the area and from the resulting free kick, Dalglish would drive a powerful low shot past Corrigan for his second of the game.
However, City were given hope of a Christmas miracle late in the first half when Liverpool skipper Graeme Souness played a square ball into the path of David Cross who struck a delicate chip over Grobbelaar from the edge of the area to make it 3-1 (and no, it isn’t too late to make Christmas references).
Liverpool were determined to put the game to bed in the second half and once again, Dalglish would be at the heart of the attack. He showed great determination in winning the ball in midfield and setting Rush free on goal. A finisher of Rush’s quality was never going to miss and so the Reds were 4-1 up.
The goals would not end there as Kenny Dalglish decided he wanted to inflict more misery upon City three minutes from the final whistle, completing his hat-trick with a low right-foot shot from close range.
City would grab a late consolation in the dying seconds through Tommy Caton, leaving the final score 5-2 to Liverpool.
Humble in defeat, Joe Corrigan said: “They are a very difficult side to play against. I don’t think anyone could catch them in the championship race.”
A similar result next Thursday would ensure we start 2019 just as strongly as we end 2018. Fingers crossed, Reds.
Liverpool: Dalglish (16, 21, 87), Rush (64), Neal (19)
City: Cross (40), Caton (89)