Hibee history: Harper downs Reds for Hibs

Hibs 1 -0 Liverpool 17 Sept 1975

"IT TAKES two to beat us now and I think we're capable of scoring again at Anfield, so Liverpool have plenty to do."

That was the summing-up of Hibs manager Eddie Turnbull after his team's 1-0 win against the English side in the UEFA Cup first round at Easter Road.

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And their slender lead might have been doubled ten minutes from the end when Arthur Duncan was tripped in the box and the first-rate Dutch referee unhesitatingly gave a penalty.

John Brownlie, with four spot kicks successfully sunk, intended to smash it, changed his mind and sidefooted a shot that Ray Clemence knocked out and quickly gathered. Another goal might have made a considerable difference to the return leg on 30 September where, as it turned out, Liverpool won 3-1 to go through and the rest is history.

The Reds beat Club Brugge in the final to land the UEFA Cup and embark upon a period of domination on the European stage. But at Easter Road Hibs delivered Liverpool's only defeat in their UEFA Cup campaign that season.

Duncan demonstrated how to take on and beat right-back Neal, and Jones on the other side looked equally ineffective under pressure.

Liverpool claimed that their second-half equaliser should have stood but the TV film proved the referee was correct to accept the linesman's offside decision.

The introduction of Toshack, left, and, later, Boersma was a sign of Liverpool's desperation and when their patient possession football led nowhere, they resorted to the big kick up the middle in the hope that the lofty Welshman would click with a header.

Manager Bob Paisley paid tribute to Hibs. "They played well and the goal gave them confidence that they've lacked recently," he said. That sounded an odd remark until the Anfield boss revealed he'd had Hibs watched three times lately. This was Hibs' first win over an English team in European competition – and richly deserved. The fans played their part too and a gate of 19,219 was remarkable on a dreadful night of non-stop rain.

Hibs' defence was sound and Brownlie contributed a lot to the attack with some stylish football. His after-match depression was soon to pass since almost everyone in the side had missed a penalty at one time. The midfield players practically cancelled each other out, though Cormack didn't waste a ball and Keegan's liveliness made him a threat.

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Joe Harper was much sharper up front and Duncan's running caused many problems for Liverpool while the winning goal in 20 minutes was an absolute gem.

Iain Munro whipped a long ball down the wing for Duncan to chase. He swept it over hard and low as the Liverpool defenders raced back, and there was Harper to crack it first time, hard and low, past Clemence. A Stanton header and a deflected Smith shot both went past before half-time.