Another entry in our A Game Of Great Goals series celebrating matches from the past which were all about the quality of the goals scored rather than simply the number of them. When Liverpool and Red Star Belgrade clashed in the Second Round of the European Cup in 1973, the two legs were among the very best games played in the competition during that entire decade. The manifestation of the excellent standard of football on show was six fantastic goals scored over the two legs.
We’ve already covered the first leg in Belgrade and today we feature the return at Anfield in which Liverpool kicked off confident they could turn round the one goal first leg deficit. Bill Shankly’s team was to be disappointed.
There had been plenty of excitement and plenty of chances before Red Star striker Vojin Lazarević put the visitors ahead on the hour mark with a ferocious long-distance shot that crashed into the top corner of the net. The technique is breathtaking, but what elevates this goal above most strikes from distance is the way that he hits his shot almost injudiciously early so as to catch the Liverpool keeper Ray Clemence unaware. Whether Clemence would have saved it even if he had more time to react is moot of course.
In their typical irrepressible way, Liverpool drove forward in an effort of get back into the tie and were given hope with 6 minutes remaining when their unlikely goalscoring hero from the first leg, Chris Lawler, rifled home the equaliser. It’s a well-taken goal by any standards and especially so for a defender. A cross is headed on by John Toshack and Lawler, under pressure, has the presence of mind to take the ball down on his chest and fire a controlled volley into the roof of the net. Many a player would have blazed such an opportunity over the bar.
The game edges into its final moments with Liverpool still furiously chasing the goal that would take the tie into extra-time and Red Star win a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Up steps Slobodan Janković to sweep a majestic shot past Clemence into the right hand side of the net. Having scored a fine goal in the first leg and provided the assist for Red Star’s opener at Anfield, this was a fitting winner by the player who illuminated this great tie more than any other.