Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, May 19, 1999 Published at 21:54 GMT 22:54 UK

When England conquered Europe

Bob Paisley (left) and Ian Callaghan celebrate victory in Rome

While Manchester United's achievement in reaching the 1999 European Cup final is undoubtedly worthy, it is easy to forget those English clubs who enjoyed success in Europe in other days.

1977 European Cup final

Liverpool 3 Borussia Monchengladbach 1 (Rome)

30,000 Liverpool fans converged in Rome to see whether their side could lay claim to the prize that had eluded them during their illustrious history.

United's Euro Showdown
Coached by the late, great Bob Paisley, the most successful manager in British football history, the Reds had four days earlier missed out on the FA Cup, losing 2-1 at Wembley to rivals Manchester United.

Ironically, victory in that game would have given Paisley's men the opportunity to win the treble that United are now seeking.

The German side could and should have taken an early lead, Rainer Bonhof hitting the post with Ray Clemence beaten.

But Liverpool were already showing why they were so feared on the continent, taking the game to their opponents and reaping the dividends on 27 minutes.

Steve Heighway weaved his way to the edge of the Borussia penalty area before threading a delicately weighted pass to the feet of the onrushing Terry McDermott who shot first time into the bottom corner.

A lacklustre start to the second half by Liverpool was punished on 51 minutes when Alan Simonsen seized on Jimmy Case's mistimed back pass and slammed the ball into the top corner of the net with Clemence again stranded.

That goal inspired the German side, and for the next quarter of an hour it was the Liverpool defence who had to defend against a wave of attacks. But they survived, and hit back with a memorable goal of their own on 67 minutes.

A Steve Heighway corner was floated over the Borussia box and powered in by the head of Tommy Smith, the defender who had begun his career with the Merseyside club in the 1960s. Though slightly against the run of play, the goal signalled the end of the German challenge.

With just eight minutes remaining, Kevin Keegan playing the last game of his Liverpool career before moving to another German side, Hamburg, teased and tormented Berti Vogts before committing the German defender into a mistimed tackle which gave the Reds a penalty.

Phil Neal stepped up to put the seal on a magnificent victory, and minutes later captain Emlyn Hughes held aloft the trophy that his side would win a further three times during the next seven years.

Clemence, Neal, Jones, Smith, Kennedy, Hughes, Keegan, Case, Heighway, Callaghan, McDermott

1979 European Cup final

Nottingham Forest 1 Malmo 0 (Munich)

Having defeated the holders, Liverpool, in the first round Forest underlined their improvement under Brian Clough by reaching their first European Cup final against Swedish side Malmo.

[ image: Brian Clough (right) and Peter Taylor plotted Forest's victory]
Brian Clough (right) and Peter Taylor plotted Forest's victory
Although their spell of dominance in the domestic game meant that Forest players were household names in England, few of those wearing red that evening were familiar on the World scene.

It was that quality which ultimately paid dividends for Forest in what was a drab final.

Scottish international John Robertson found a little space on the left wing a minute before half-time before driving at the Malmo defence and crossing a superb ball which Trevor Francis nodded in at the far post.

The England international had only that season become the most expensive man in English football, after signing from Birmingham City for 1m. His goal made sure that many Forest fans considered the fee a bargain.

Nottingham Forest
Shilton, Anderson, Clark, McGovern (Captain), Lloyd, Burns, Francis, Bowyer, Birtles, Woodcock, Robertson, Clough (Coach)

1984 UEFA Cup final

First leg: Anderlecht 1 Spurs 1
Second leg: Spurs 1 Anderlecht 1
(Spurs won 4-3 on penalties)

After beating Yugoslavian side Hajduk Split to reach the Final, Spurs travelled to Belgium to face the legendary Anderlecht, who were also the reigning holders.

The first leg was a strange affair, with the visitors standing firm against a side unbeaten at home in European competitions for ten years, much to the surprise of many who thought Tottenham's defensive frailties would surface from the beginning.

On the hour, the English side took the lead, Paul Miller rising above the defence to thunder a header home from Micky Hazard's corner.

[ image: Tony Parks (left) was the hero of Tottenham's 1984 UEFA Cup success]
Tony Parks (left) was the hero of Tottenham's 1984 UEFA Cup success
A Morton Olsen goal five minutes from time gave Anderlecht parity, although Spurs had grabbed the crucial away goal.

A booking for Steve Perryman meant that the Spurs skipper missed the second leg, and manager Keith Burkinshaw was without the services of Glenn Hoddle and Ray Clemence while Argentine Ossie Ardilles was on the bench.

Clemence's replacement between the posts was an unknown by the name of Tony Parks. Neither he nor the Spurs faithful could imagine the fate that awaited him.

The Belgians took the lead after sixty minutes through Alex Czerniatinski. For the next fifteen minutes it looked as if Spurs were to lose, but things changed when Ardilles replaced Miller.

He instigated the move which led to Hazard crossing the ball to the centre and Graham Roberts emerging from nowhere to score the equaliser.

A goaless extra-time followed, and so it went to penalties. <> Parks saved from Olsen to give Spurs a lead in the shootout and after six straight successes, it was left to Danny Thomas to win Spurs the Cup, but he saw his kick saved.

The last of the ten penalties was taken by the Icelandic international, Gudjohnsen and Parks flung himself to the right to push the ball away and etch his name permanently in Spurs' history.

1985 Cup Winners Cup final

Everton 3 Rapid Vienna 1 (Rotterdam)

After over a decade in the shadow of their neighbours Liverpool, the blue half of Merseyside began to establish a period of dominance in England by winning the League Championship and making the FA Cup final before losing to an extra-time goal from Manchester United's Norman Whiteside.

A long season came to an end in Rotterdam, where the tough tackling Austrians, controversial conquerors of Celtic in a previous round, awaited them.

Everton's battle plan was not subtle - pump in high crosses for the likes of Andy Gray and Graeme Sharp to thrive on.

[ image: Andy Gray does a dance of victory]
Andy Gray does a dance of victory
Gray had a goal disallowed for offside on the 39th minute after a clever move involving Kevin Sheedy and Derek Mountfield.

It was not until the 57th minute that Everton broke the deadlock. Sharp easily beat the keeper to an under-hit backpass before deftly chipping across goal where Gray raced in to force the ball home from eight yards.

Trevor Steven added a second on 72 minutes, thumping the ball home at the far post after Sheedy's corner.

Rapid veteran Hans Krankl pulled one back for the Austrian side, but fittingly it was Sheedy, instrumental in most of Everton's promising moves, who hammered home a third goal from 25 yards.

"Everton were just to good for us. It's been a long time since we played against anyone of their class. They are possibly the best side in the whole of Europe," said Krankl after the game finished.

Southall, Stevens, Van Den Hauwe, Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid, Steven, Sharp, Gray, Bracewell, Sheedy.

1994 Cup Winners Cup final

Arsenal 1 Parma 0 (Copenhagen)

One of the final instalments of George's Graham reign as Arsenal manager saw his side take an unlikely victory over Italian giants Parma.

Deprived of the services of top scorer Ian Wright through suspension, few people gave the Gunners a hope of victory, especially after what had been a disappointing league campaign.

Also missing were John Jensen, David Hillier and Martin Keown.

Parma, also the holders, had Swede Thomas Brolin, the Colombian Faustino Asprilla and Italian Gianfranco Zola in attack - all players later to play in the Premier League.

[ image: Alan Smith is hugged by Kevin Campbell and Ian Selley]
Alan Smith is hugged by Kevin Campbell and Ian Selley
But that trio could not compete with the work of veteran campaigner Alan Smith whose stunning left-foot volley gave the Gunners the lead in the 21st minute.

From there, it was a case of whether the English side could hold out. And they did, with a bit of luck.

David Seaman saved brilliantly from Brolin in what was Parma's best chance, while Ian Selley and Steve Morrow held the midfield secure for Arsenal.

Tony Adams and Steve Bould were excellent and both were called up to the England squad a week later.

"Once we went a goal in front I knew we had a chance because our strength is keeping clean sheets. We had a team of heroes tonight and none more so than Alan Smith, who worked tirelessly up front," said Graham later.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Davis, Bould, Adams, Campbell, Morrow, Smith, Merson (McGoldrick), Selley

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |