THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

February 16, 1977, Division One

United-v-Liverpool-7713 February ~ Manchester United had won seven on the trot, but Liverpool dominated this re-arranged fixture to maintain a title challenge that eventually saw them pip Manchester City to the championship by a single point. Astute enough to see who was best, United boss Tommy Docherty admitted in his programme notes: "I am impressed by City, but when I turn back to Liverpool I am even more impressed!" His own team finished sixth and won the FA Cup – at that time a decent finish and not the apparent global calamity it represents now.

Old Trafford was already courting a worldwide fan base. A reader from Sweden wrote in to praise the "smashing" ground and "super" atmosphere, and to say that, "I don't care about the obscene language". Hack Joe Lancaster had his own way with language in spicing up a report on the reserves' 1-0 away win at Blackpool. "An early shot by [Blackpool's] Hockaday rocked them and set their dynamos whirling," he wrote mysteriously. The United defence was "kept buzzing", McGrath "pinched a mix up" in the goal mouth to score, while Blackpool midfielder David Tong "screwed up his face like Emlyn Hughes when his shot went inches wide". Possibly like Lancaster's editor upon reading the submitted prose.

Commercialisation 1970s style "A great gift for the Wife or ‘Mum', a PVC apron in full colour showing Club Crest and all honours, £2.20." Or a Tommy Doc T-shirt saying "Que Sera Sera", surely likely to be on his gravestone too.

Result Manchester United 0 Liverpool 0
Crowd 57,487
Man Utd Stepney, Nicholl, Houston, McIlroy, B. Greenhoff , Buchan, Coppell, J. Greenhoff, Pearson, Macari, Hill.
Liverpool Clemence, Neal, Jones, Thompson, Kennedy, Hughes, Keegan, Case, Heighway, Toshack, Callaghan.
Ian Plenderleith

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