Video of the Day: Southampton vs Liverpool, September 1980
Over the last two or three seasons, Southampton and Liverpool may just have become the first two English clubs to build up a rivalry based entirely upon events that have taken place in the transfer market. Liverpool have consistently pilfered the best players from St Mary’s since the Saints’ return to the Premier League in 2012, and this state of affairs reached what many would probably believe to be its logical conclusion this summer with the highly disputed attempt to wrest Virjil Van Dyke to Anfield, a state of affairs that seems to have changed roughly every twenty minutes or so throughout the course of the transfer window, with the twist in the story being a change in ownership at Southampton and the apparent reluctance on the part of the club to sell Van Dijk to Liverpool specifically.
There was a time, of course, when we talked more about football than about the sale of livestock, so let’s put all of that nonsense behind us and go back in time to September 1980 and a period during which Southampton and Liverpool played a succession of highly entertaining games during which the Saints frequently seemed capable of giving one of the strongest teams in Europe a headache. Liverpool had been the champions of England for the previous two seasons as they made the lengthy trip south for this match and would end the season in a somewhat disappointing fifth place in the First Division table, although they would end up with the consolation prizes of the League Cup and the European Cup. Southampton, meanwhile, were on the up following promotion back to the First Division in 1978, and their steady improvement would culminate in the club sealing second place in the table behind Liverpool in 1984. Of particular interest to architecture buffs will be the presence of the “chocolate boxes” at the Milton Road end of The Dell, three peculiar, small, elevated stands built above the terrace. These were finally demolished at the end of the 1980/81 season.
You can support independent football writing on Twohundredpercent by clicking here.