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14th April 1966: Celtic v Liverpool ECWC SF – Part Two

liverpool progThe Odds

On the day of the match, the odds being offered at the bookies were 4-6 Celtic, 5-2 Liverpool.

 

The Teams

What the papers had said was probably correct. Celtic had no injury worries but the Boss had decided to leave out John Hughes; while for Liverpool Roger Hunt was out, having failed to recover from an ankle injury. The teams on the night were ;-

CelticSimpson, Young Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, McBride, Chalmers, Lennox, Auld.

LiverpoolLawrence, Lawler, Byrne, Milne, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Chisnall, St John, Smith, Thompson.

The Play

For me, sitting up in the stand, the match was a disappointment, both as a contest and as a result for Celtic.

Celtic were always on the front foot but Liverpool defended well. Having said that, we missed three good chances in the first half which could have wrapped up the match, far less the tie.

After only 4 minutes, Bertie Auld’s pass was beautifully dummied by Bobby Lennox and unfortunately, Joe McBride’s shot was straight at Tommy Lawrence.

Then, on the half-hour mark, a cross into the middle by Bobby Murdoch, headed on by Billy McNeill then again by Bobby Lennox to Stevie Chalmers, who blasted it high over the bar!

Three minutes later, good work by Stevie gave Bobby L a great opportunity but after tempting Lawrence out of his goal, Bobby shot past the post.

 

Our only goal came five minutes after the interval, Bobby Murdoch back-heeling a Stevie cross on the bye-line and Bobby Lennox poking home a low shot. That tempted the Reds out a bit but to be honest, we did not have much to deal with at the back and just could not make any strong chances up front.

At the final whistle, that single goal gave Celtic victory but I, for one, was a worried man.

You never really discussed these kind of feelings with fellow-players, of course, but deep down, I was not sure that a one-goal lead would be enough to take down to Anfield for the second-leg. While Liverpool were disappointing on the night, they had shown enough to make the watching Celtic fans think that they could play the game at a much more efficient level than they demonstrated at Parkhead. It would be a tough night at Anfield!

 

Press Comment

The papers the following day were not exactly enthusiastic about either the match or Celtic’s chances down at Anfield. One reported ;-

Lennox Gives Celts Slender Lead  over Liverpool

Thanks to a goal by inside-left Bobby Lennox in the 52nd minute, Celtic go to Liverpool on Tuesday with a one-goal lead in their European Cup-Winners’ tie.
The big question though after this grueling first leg tie is – WILL IT BE ENOUGH!

And another of the dailies came up with this rather fanciful contribution ;-

 League Leaders in Match of Knockabout Ennui

‘The leaders of the first division in England and Scotland performed like two relegation-threatened teams, trying to bully their way to safety at Parkhead last night. The crowd of 80,000 who watched this first leg of their semi-final tie in the European Cup-Winners’ Cup must have been disappointed by the scarcity of skilled football.

A deficit of only one goal away from home probably represents a fair night’s work for Liverpool, but it was less than gracious work, rather of the destructive nature of the nightshift at the average refuse depot; everything was of the spoiling variety’.

 

Managers’ Reaction

Bill Shankly

“We will beat Celtic at Liverpool all right. One goal is not enough for any team to take to the Kop.

I thought Celtic played right into our barrow tonight by playing through the middle. There was an element of luck about the goal that they did get but it won’t be enough”

 

Jock Stein

“I think our goal lead will take us through. I am disappointed that we missed so many chances tonight but I am still confident that we can win the tie and we will have John Hughes back for the tie on Tuesday”.


 

A Game from the Past…and a Moment to Remember

 

Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC

 

A Game from the Past…full-back Walter Arnott was an excellent footballer who played – in those far-off days – for whoever he liked and whenever he wanted. Essentially he was a Queen’s Park player, with whom he had won Scottish Cups and Scottish Caps (10 between 1884 and 1893). From his stint at Linfield, in 1891, he had brought home an Irish Cup medal.

 

And a Moment to Remember…..Walter’s one Celtic appearance came when he was drafted in to replace Jerry Reynolds in a league match at Celtic Park on 23rd February 1895 against Third Lanark. It was a tough day for the green-and-white Stripes, who had to battle back from 1-4 to draw the game 4-4.


 

  

Jumbos

Pan-American Airways announced that they had bought 25 of the giant Boeing ‘Jumbo’ 747 jet aircrafts at a cost of more than £187 million. The aircraft will carry 490 passengers in economy class or 378 passengers in mixed economy and first class.

 

Kidnap

A South African millionaire paid £70,000 ransom for the return of his wife and baby in a case which police likened to the Lindbergh baby snatch which rocked America in the 30s. The difference this time is that the wife and 20-month-old child were returned safely.

 

Injured

Six people were injured when a crash barrier at Parkhead football ground, Glasgow, collapsed during the Celtic v Liverpool European Cup Winners’ tie.

Three of the six were taken to hospital but none of the injuries is serious.