Video of the Day: Leicester City vs Liverpool, April 1974
Leicester City take on Liverpool this evening in a match which makes up the first of a triumvirate of games that many believe will determine whether Claudio Ranieri’s team can really last the course near the top of the Premier League table. When the two sides met on Boxing Day, Liverpool won by a single goal at Anfield, so it promises to be a difficult match, though Leicester may well consider themselves better rested than their opponents, having skipped a match last weekend on account of their elimination from the FA Cup in the Third Round of the competition.
Forty-two years ago, Leicester and Liverpool were facing off against each other in the FA Cup, at the semi-final stage. This was the Liverpool manager Bill Shankly’s last season in charge of the Anfield club, and the team that were the defending league champions had only won the trophy once before in their history. Leicester had their own issues with the competition, holding a record of having reached its final on four occasions – including three times in eight years during the 1960s – without ever having won it. Indeed, in 1963 Leicester had beaten Liverpool in the semi-finals of the competition before losing to Manchester United in the final.
In the league, Liverpool were clinging onto Leeds United’s coat-tails, but by the time this match was played it was becoming clear that Don Revie’s team were heading towards their first league championship of the decade. Leicester, meanwhile, were in the middle of an extraordinarily congested middle of the table – by the end of the season, only ten points would separate Southampton, in twentieth place in the table, from Stoke City, who finished the season in fifth place, a remarkable figure, even considering that teams were only playing for two points for a win – with one eye on a place in Europe and another on ending their FA Cup jinx. The first semi-final was played at Old Trafford and ended in a goalless draw. The replay was played at Villa Park, and the BBC were there to witness it. Commentary comes from David Coleman.
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