D1-190272RESULTS19 February ~ Manchester City led the table for two months from the end of January but hit a poor run after signing QPR striker Rodney Marsh in early March. With a midfielder left out to accommodate Marsh, the team won only three of their last eight games. City striker Francis Lee was the division's top scorer with 33 goals including a record 13 penalties.

City were briefly top again after their last match of the season, a 2-0 defeat of Derby. Their title rivals still had games in hand, however. Derby won their final match but could still be overtaken by Leeds and Liverpool who each had one game left to play, on a Monday night two days after the FA Cup final in which Leeds had beaten Arsenal 1-0.

Leeds would be champions if they won at Wolves, or if they drew and Liverpool failed to win at Arsenal. Liverpool drew 0-0 with John Toshack having a goal disallowed two minutes from time. Leeds lost 2-1 at Wolves whose full-back Bernard Shaw got away with a clear handball in the penalty area (unfortunately not shown on this TV clip). Several years later, former Wolves midfielder Danny Hegan was successfully sued by Leeds captain Billy Bremner for claiming in an interview that Wolves players had been offered a bribe to lose by their opponents.

Man Utd had been top for most of the season until early January. But their 5-1 thrashing at Leeds, a match that was goalless at half time, was part of an 11-game winless run and they finished eighth. George Best missed only two League games for Man Utd in 1971-72 but he appeared intermittently over the next two seasons as his career nosedived.

Nottingham Forest were in the bottom two for almost the entire season and eventually finished 21st, one place above Huddersfield. The Forest squad included two players, winger John Robertson and midfielder Martin O'Neill, who were in their League-winning side of 1977-78. So too were three members of the Derby team that beat Forest 4-0 this week – John O'Hare, John McGovern and Archie Gemmill.


Results & table from

Related articles

There To Be Shot At by Tony Coton
De Coubertin Books, £20Reviewed by Chris Stride From WSC 377, July/August 2018Buy the book Throughout this lively autobiography, former...
Any Given Saturday by Shay Given
Sport Media, £20Reviewed by Jonathan O’BrienFrom WSC 376, June 2018Buy the book To most Ireland fans, Shay Given will be remembered...
Alan Ball: The man in the white boots by David Tossell
Hodder & Stoughton, £20Reviewed by Mark O’BrienFrom WSC 374, March 2018Buy the book Early on in this detailed and warm biography...