Liverpool – League Champions 1980

Liverpool carried on pretty much where they had left off in winning the 1979-80 League Championship.

It was perhaps surprising that it was Manchester United, Dave Sexton’s Manchester United at that, who ran them closest.  Ipswich Town finished a not so distant third, therefore qualifying for their tilt at next season’s UEFA Cup.

In the event, before the penultimate full set of games on 26 April, Liverpool lead United by a point, having played a game less.  Points were level on 58 each after Crystal Palace had held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park as United beat Coventry City 2-0 at Old Trafford.  Things may have been moving towards the eastern end of the East Lancs, but the balance was still in Liverpool’s favour.  With a home game against Aston Villa followed by their game in hand against Middlesbro it was theirs to throw away, especially as United had their least favourite place of all still to visit – Elland Road.

So it proved.  Leeds were too strong for Sexton’s men, winning 2-0 whilst Villa were brushed aside by a margin of 4-1.  David Johnson had given Liverpool an early lead before Avi Cohen’s unfortunate slice looped the ball over Ray Clemence into the Liverpool goal for an equaliser.  He then strode to the other end of the pitch to cancel out his own goal and make it 2-1.  Johnson scored his second to make it 3-1 before Noel Blake replicated half of Cohen’s trick to score an own goal to give Liverpool their fourth goal of the match and 12th League Championship in total.

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