MIKE NEVIN recalls just how good the Liverpool playing days of Graeme Souness really were
“WE’VE seen a fiesta of goals tonight, but that was the gem;that was the Daddy of them all.”
Words exhorted by the late BBC Radio Two commentator, Peter Jones describing the last of three Graeme Souness missiles for an Anfield hat-trick that propelled Liverpool to the semi-finals of the 1981 European Cup. Earlier that March night, a driving run and finish low to the keeper’s right and another piledriver from 25 yards preceded the oral portrayal above of a stunning coup de grace to the hopes of CSKA Sofia.
Legitimate arguments rage as to Liverpool’s greatest-ever player. Old stagers will argue for Billy Liddell, the majority – backed by the claims of Bob Paisley – proffer Kenny Dalglish, the aesthetes herald John Barnes, and those newer to the game trumpet the great Steven Gerrard.
Souness’s blast, the final goal in a 5-1 rout of a Bulgarian side typical of “crack” European outfits that were regular visitors to Anfield during the 70s and 80s, was eerily similar to Gerrard’s signature strike against Olympiakos at the same end of the ground. For the Carragher cross, read Steve Heighway; for the Neil Mellor header cushioned backwards see Ray Kennedy; and for Gerrard’s blast, imagine Souness, on the half-volley larruping a shot into the Kop net, half-way up to the keeper’s left.
* This article first appeared in issue 4 of The Anfield Wrap’s monthly interactive magazine app. Read the rest of the piece here: app.theanfieldwrap.com/issue/04/Page5-souness.html.