Wembley glory as Reds beat Bruges

Wembley glory as Reds beat Bruges10 May 1978

Liverpool became the first English side to retain the European Cup after edging out Belgian side FC Bruges in a one-sided encounter at Wembley.

Bob Paisley's men dominated the proceedings from start to finish but as the curtain fell on yet another huge day in the club's history they were forced to settle for a 1-0 victory with the new King of the Kop, Kenny Dalglish, proving to be the forward with the Midas touch.

Many supporters had worried about the club's prospects post-Rome following the departure of Kevin Keegan to Hamburg, but their fears were to be unfounded as Dalglish went on to prove himself as a more than worthy successor to the number seven shirt.

The road to Wembley had been a somewhat comfortable one, with Dynamo Dresden, Benfica and Borussia Moenchengladbach all swept aside as the Reds overcame the disappointment of finishing second best to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest in both the Division One title race and the League Cup, to claim a second European Cup triumph.

Twelve months earlier the Travelling Kop had embarked upon a Roman invasion, but this time it was far less of an adventure, with the familiar trek to England's capital the road that would ultimately decide Liverpool's destiny.

A sea of red greeted the players as they went about their pre-match preparations, with what seemed like every corner of the ground sporting the Liverpool colours.

The stage was set for a Reds onslaught, but as the match wore on it became increasingly clear that patience would be the key to victory.

Paisley's men probed for an opening throughout a frustrating first period but even when they managed to find a way through the Bruges' rearguard they were thwarted by Danish keeper Birger Jensen, who made smart saves to deny efforts from Jimmy case, David Fairclough and Alan Hansen.

The pattern of play continued after the break and Jensen was again producing heroics, this time diving bravely at the feet of Terry McDermott.

It was a matter of time before Liverpool gained the advantage and with the introduction of substitute Steve Heighway, they began to stretch the Belgian's defence to the limit.

Within 60 seconds of the winger's emergence Dalglish had struck the match-winning goal, although Heighway could not claim any credit in the build-up.

That honour belonged to Graeme Souness who provided an exquisite through ball to Dalglish to race onto and clip the ball over the advancing Jensen to give Liverpool a thoroughly deserved lead and net his 30th goal of a marvellous first campaign with the club.

It was a strike that knocked the wind out of the Belgians' sails and although there was one moment of anxiety when Phil Thompson was forced to clear off the line, the Reds held firm and cantered to yet another famous victory.