As we await this evening's eagerly anticipated FA Cup clash with Newcastle Steve Horton recall the last meeting between the two sides in this competition
As we await this evening's eagerly anticipated FA Cup clash with Newcastle Steve Horton recall the last meeting between the two sides in this competition...
6th January 1984 Liverpool 4 Newcastle 0 (FA Cup 3rd round)
Saturday is only the third time that Liverpool have met Newcastle in the FA Cup at Anfield. The last meeting took place 20 years this month and after we romped to a 4-0 third round win, ex-Reds star Kevin Keegan announced his retirement.
The tie captured the imagination of the Tyneside public, who were riding high at the top of Division 2 and looked set for a return to the top flight after a six-year absence. Despite the game being played on a Friday night, 13,000 members of the Toon Army made their way to Merseyside on 70 coaches and two trains. The first series of Auf Wiedersehen Pet was on television screens at the time and a number of their fans had banners saying 'Auf Wiedersehen Liverpool'
In addition to Keegan another ex Red, Terry McDermott, was in the Newcastle line up. Their experience was complemented by a young Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley, who was proving a revelation at St James Park after being discarded by Manchester United. Reds fans were reeling from the loss of Kenny Dalglish, who had a fractured cheekbone and was facing ten weeks on the sidelines. His place was taken by Michael Robinson.
Newcastle may have been gunning for promotion, but the gulf between the top of the first and second divisions was brutally exposed by the Reds. We cut through Newcastle at will, Robinson giving us the lead in the eighth minute and Rush scoring on the half hour to put us 2-0 up at the break. In the second half, Newcastle were left chasing shadows as the Reds refused to let up and Craig Johnston scored a tap in on 63 minutes to end any faint hopes they had of a comeback.
As Liverpool toyed with theopposition, the Kop made Keegan aware who their hero was now, singing 'We all agree that Dalglish is better than Keegan?. On one occasion a shot from a Newcastle player went high and wide and their fans kept hold of the ball for a minute before giving it back, just to let their players gain some respite. With four minutes remaining Rush scored a fourth to give the scoreline the emphatic look our performance deserved.
After the game, Newcastle boss Arthur Cox had no complaints about the result, saying "We have been given a first hand education of all that is good in football. This is what we have been talking about and preaching for a long time-. However Keegan was so gutted by the result that he told reporters he would stop playing at the end of the season.
Keegan enjoyed a glorious end to his career, leading his team to promotion and being whisked away from the pitch by helicopter after his final game. The Reds ended the season with three trophies but this FA cup win had been in vain, as we were surprisingly beaten 2-0 by Brighton in the next round.