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The forgotten Semi Final Vs Mönchengladbach

Borussia Mönchengladbach match report, daily mirror, anfieldreview.com, liverpool european cup

Daily Mirror match report.

It’s 34 years since Liverpool beat Borussia Mönchengladbach to reach their second successive European Cup final – but who’s ever seen the second-leg goals since?

By The Liverpolitan


I can remember it as if it were yesterday. Rainer Bonhof, stood hands-on-hips at the intersection of halfway line and touchline, preparing to take a free-kick. The glare of the Anfield floodlights refracted through a big bulb of snot about to fall from his nose like the drip of a faulty tap. And my owlfella suddenly leaping up from the front row of the Kemlyn Road Stand, brandishing a bar of chocolate and shouting, “Ere are Bonhof lad – wanna piece of me Mars Bar?” To this day I have no idea why my late father did this, but at the time it felt so right.

I’ll never know, either, why we were in Row 1 of the Kremlin that night, but that’s by the bye. Wednesday 12 April 1978. European Cup semi-final, second leg. Liverpool 3 Borussia Mönchengladbach 0. Aggregate 4-2. I’ve never ever seen the goals on the box since.

We all remember the narrow first leg defeat in Dusseldorf when Bonhof’s vicious 88th minute free-kick swerved away from Ray Clemence’s gloves (I blame those uniquely continental black-and-white panelled balls, but I loved that white Borussia jersey with the dark collar and the big ‘B’ and leaping Puma logo, and you just had to dig that exotic umlaut). But that second leg? For some reason (which was probably clear at the time but long forgotten now) there were no TV highlights and there never have been.

For me, as holy LFC grails go, it’s up there with the recently-discovered Jan Molby wonder strike vs Manchester United in the Milk Cup, and a 2-0 midweek win over Nottingham Forest in February 1980 when Terry McDermott and Ray Kennedy scored in the last 10 minutes to well and truly bury the old Forest hoodoo. Never seen it since.

What got me thinking about that Borussia game was our recent win over Newcastle on the Friday-night eve of New Year’s Eve, and particularly its aftermath. After a couple in the old Salisbury, we headed into town and found ourselves in Flanaghan’s Apple on Mathew Street, not a usual haunt and packed upstairs with German Reds – all over for the match. The enduring ties between Liverpool and Mönchengladbach fans are well documented, and here they were with their own mad flags, songs and, er, Irish jig band. Of course, it never occurred to me to ask if they’d ever seen the 1978 second leg on TV themselves.

Which is why I’m putting the call out now: anyone got or ever seen footage of the three goals by Ray Kennedy, Kenny Dalglish and Jimmy Case, in front of 51,500 and a Mars Bar, that put us through to the final against Bruges at Wembley? There was a lap of honour at the end that I still recall, but I hadn’t remembered that this was also Graeme Souness’ first full European appearance for the club. Quite good in the next one too, wasn’t he?

I kept the match programme and Daily Mirror from the next morning, and a few years ago I half-inched a cracking black-and-white print taken by some German snapper of Terry Mac standing next to a Borussia wall for a Liverpool free-kick, with a wall of faces behind them in the Anfield Road end. That night, in a proper old European atmosphere, Mönchengladbach were pretty much beaten before kick-off.

Borussia Mönchengladbach match report, daily mirror, anfieldreview.com, liverpool european cup, liverpool european cup semi final programme
Front and back of the match day programme.

So, anyone out there who can help? I’ll sign off with the full match report from Mirror reporter Frank McGhee. Enjoy…

‘Liverpool must now be the hottest favourites for years to keep their proudest possession – the European Cup – and so create history by becoming the first British club to defend that coveted trophy successfully. I don’t say so simply because next month’s Final against the Belgians of Bruges affords them the enormous advantage of a Wembley setting.

‘The mood and confidence of the Merseysiders last night – and the impressive football they produced – could all have been designed for winning the big one. It was essentially a team performance by Liverpool but individual heroics played an important part. ‘Steve Heighway, the galloping Irish winger, was always a thorn digging deep into both flanks of Borussia’s defence. He made the match a terrible nightmare for his “sentry”, great German international full-back Berti Vogts. Heighway revelled in the support he got – support which stemmed directly from midfield where control was wrested by the splendid Ray Kennedy and the artistry of Graeme Souness.

‘But perhaps above all, it was Liverpool’s attitude which won them their chance. They started off fully realising that if they scored one they were in the driving seat as a result of their away goal in the 2-1 defeat in Dusseldorf. They achieved that situation as early as the sixth minute with a memorable goal from Kennedy. He met a cross from Kenny Dalglish with the bone of his brow and steered the ball past keeper Wolfgang Kleff.

‘The temptation to sit on that lead and hope for the best might have been irresistible for less experienced teams. But Liverpool, wise with their many years in European contests, knew that might be fatal against a side with the attacking capabilities of Borussia. So they carried on hammering away and fully deserved a second goal in the 34th minute as Dalglish squeezed a left-foot shot between Kleff’s dive and the far post.

‘It could have been well and truly settled by half-time. For Kennedy had one shot scrambled to safety by Kleff and put another header just over. Souness had a shot charged down and, when Terry McDermott chipped a cheeky free-kick forward, Kleff had to make a hell of a save as Tommy Smith, a tower of strength in defence, hurtled forward to bomb in a shot. ‘In all this time Ray Clemence in the Liverpool goal was threatened twice. He saved a Jupp Heynckes header in the 10th minute and in the 36th made a difficult save look easy after spotting a deflected Rainer Bonhoff shot.

‘Liverpool did yield briefly in the second half to the temptation of sitting back. It invited a cavalry charge of attacks from the increasingly desperate Germans, but fortunately Liverpool realised their folly in time. They pushed forward again – and once they did the tie was settled. A 55th minute Heighway cross from the left was helped on by Kennedy and Jimmy Case summoned up all his awesome power to blur the third goal in off the underside of the bar.

‘Kennedy then had a header saved right in the line – with the Kop appealing raucously that Kleff hadn’t reached it in time – and Heighway in the closing minutes curled a great shot just past the far post. The Germans tried to rally belated and Clemence had to tip over a Heynckes header following a Bonhof free-kick. But a goal against the champions of Europe last night would have been almost unthinkable’.

Borussia Mönchengladbach match report, daily mirror, anfieldreview.com, liverpool european cup

Borussia Mönchengladbach match report, daily mirror, anfieldreview.com, liverpool european cup, Terry McDermott

Terry Mac lines up with the Mönchengladbach wall.

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