FA Cup returns to Anfield

FA Cup returns to Anfield04 May 1974

Kevin Keegan produced a magnificent performance to inspire Liverpool to their second ever FA Cup success as Bill Shankly's side tore Newcastle United to shreds at Wembley.

The diminutive forward hit a superb second-half double to lead the Reds to a thoroughly deserved 3-0 victory and secure the final trophy of the great Scot’s Anfield tenure.

It was as one-sided as a final can get and the Magpies can count themselves lucky that they did not find themselves on the back of an embarrassing scoreline after surviving up until the interval unscathed.

From that moment on Liverpool went up a gear and after full-back Alec Lindsay was denied an opening goal by the offside flag, the Reds deservedly made the breakthrough on 58 minutes.

Tommy Smith sent a cross into the box and after Brian Hall touched the ball on Keegan pounced to fire a superb right foot drive into the net via the fingertips of goalkeeper Ian McFaul.

It was a goal that broke Newcastle’s resistance and on 75 minutes the Reds went some way to ensuring the cup would take pride of place on Merseyside when Steve Heighway drilled the ball home after John Toshack had flicked Ray Clemence’s clearance into his path.

Wembley was awash with an ecstatic sea of red celebration and black and white dejection and Shankly’s men rubbed salt in Newcastle wounds two minutes from time.

An 11 man move culminated in Tommy Smith exchanging a one-two with Heighway before crossing low for Keegan to stab home the third.

It was the perfect end to the season and the perfect way to respond to Newcastle striker Malcolm Macdonald’s pre-match arrogance.

The Toon favourite had claimed that Wembley was his stage and that with such a magnificent crowd behind them, the Magpies were on course to win the cup.

How wrong he was.

As Reds skipper Emlyn Hughes later revealed, it was like taking a red rag to a bull.

“Malcolm was a very good, strong centre forward who had scored a hat-trick against us in his first game for Newcastle,” said Hughes.

"But in the build-up to the final he did nothing but brag, shouting what he was going to do to us and how he’d terrorise our defence. It was the worst thing he could have done because it just made us more determined that he’d eat his words."