OTD: Liverpool secure third straight League Cup win with victory over Manchester United
A look back at Liverpool’s 1983 triumph over Manchester United in the League Cup.
In 1981 and 1982, Liverpool lifted their first League Cup titles with final victories over West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively and they were presented with the opportunity to lift the English trophy for a third consecutive time on March 26, 1983.
Ron Atkinson’s Manchester United enjoyed a pretty simple run to the final themselves, with AFC Bournemouth, Bradford City, Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Arsenal defeated in a tremendous cup run that saw them beat the Gunners 6-3 on aggregate.
With approximately 100,000 spectators at the old Wembley Stadium, the two rivals arrived in contrasting form ahead of the final.
The Reds had gone 15 league fixtures without defeat, but United had struggled for wins themselves with only two in their previous six.
In his 11th, and last, visit to Wembley as Liverpool boss, Paisley’s Reds started brightly with Ian Rush firing just over, but they fell behind after 12 minutes.
Teenager Norman Whiteside produced a piece of cup final magic with a superb turn and finish after Gordon McQueen had played the ball forward. Whiteside showed his quality in a split second by turning Alan Hansen and firing past Bruce Grobbelaar.
Rush and Ronnie Whelan were denied the chance to level the scoring by goalkeeper Gary Bailey, but their equaliser came in the 75th minute through Alan Kennedy’s strike from outside the area.
Kennedy, who had scored in the final two years prior, unleashed a low drive with his left foot that left Bailey with no chance. Now for a tasty final 15 minutes in the capital.
Whiteside should have won the cup for the Red Devils when Grobbelaar misread a cross from the right, but the 17-year-old couldn’t direct his header into the back of the net.
The winner came with another piece of magic. Kennedy and Whelan’s partnership on the left caused United trouble all afternoon and it was Whelan who sealed the victory when his right-footed effort curled past Bailey and into the net.
The trophy was Paisley’s 19th major triumph with Liverpool and his final as manager of Liverpool.