Video of the Day: West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool, February 1981
Neither West Bromwich Albion nor Liverpool have a great deal to play for when they take the pitch at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon. West Browwich Albion have been just about safe from relegation all season and are settled comfortably into a non-threatening mid-table position, whilst Liverpool might well be forgiven for being primarily focused on their upcoming Europa League final against Sevilla, a match which offers the club the chance of a piece of silverware as well as a place in the Champions League for next season.
This morning, then, we rewind three and a half decades to a season that, somewhat unusually, saw the great Liverpool team of the era singularly failing to challenge for the First Division title. Ipswich Town and Aston Villa were starting to open up a gap at the top of the table, and Liverpool, who could normally be relied upon to kick into gear in the second half of a season even if they’d had a slow start, were labouring away down in fourth place as they travelled to the Black Country to take on a West Bromwich Albion team that was pushing for a place in European competition.
Normal service, of course, would be resumed the following season when Liverpool resumed their normal position of winning the league, but they finished the 1980/81 season in a somewhat underwhelming fifth place in the table, although they did so with the consolations of ending it all having won both the League Cup and the European Cup. This time around, there were no trophies for the Albion, but they did get the consolation of finishing one place above Liverpool in the league, a reflection of the strength of what might just be the greatest team that the club has ever had. Commentary at The Hawthorns comes from Hugh Johns.