By the latter part of February 1981, it was becoming increasingly apparent that Liverpool were not going to be finishing the season as the champions of England this time around. Too many drawn matches were costing Bob Paisley’s team, and by the time they travelled to the south coast to play struggling Brighton & Hove Albion they were five points behind second placed Aston Villa, with the number of matches left to try and bridge that gap starting to evaporate. Brighton, meanwhile, were seperated from the bottom three on goal difference only and desperately needed points themselves if they were to avoid relegation back to the Second Division.

The second match featured this weekend was another relegation battle, this time between Birmingham City and the team who were tied with Brighton at the foot of the table, Norwich City. The home side were comfortably placed in mid-table, but Norwich had been at or near the foot of the table all season. This report, from ITV’s On The Ball, follows the Canaries to St Andrews for a rare Friday night match. Our final match is a match from the battle for UEFA Cup places for the following season, between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion.

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