Liverpool 9–0 Crystal Palace (1989)
|Event||1989–90 First Division|
|Date||12 September 1989|
|Referee||K.P. Barratt (Coventry)|
On 12 September 1989, Liverpool faced Crystal Palace in a First Division fixture at Anfield, during the 1989–90 season. Crystal Palace were newly promoted to the Division, while Liverpool had been narrowly pipped to the League title by Arsenal in the previous season. Liverpool won the match 9–0, recording their biggest ever top-flight win, and inflicting Palace's heaviest ever defeat. Eight different players scored for Liverpool, the only time this has happened for the same club in English football history.
Liverpool opened the scoring in the 7th minute – John Barnes dribbled towards the Crystal Palace area, but found himself blocked before Ronnie Whelan played a pass out to the right, from where Steve Nicol finished coolly. The second goal came from Steve McMahon, who advanced onto a through-ball, spotted 'keeper Perry Suckling off his line, and chipped the ball into the net from distance. The third goal came from interplay between Barnes, David Burrows and Peter Beardsley. Beardsley began a mazy dribble into the penalty area, and no sooner was he tackled then Ian Rush was on hand to convert from close range.
Liverpool went in at half–time 3–0 up, but there was more to come. In the 56th minute, a Beardsley corner was flicked on by Barnes, and headed home by Gary Gillespie. Beardsley himself made it 5, running onto a layoff from Rush, and slamming the ball past Suckling from the edge of the area. Liverpool won a penalty in the 66th minute, and by this time they could afford to make a sentimental decision. The crowd called for the introduction of John Aldridge, who was about to leave the club to join Real Sociedad; manager Kenny Dalglish obliged, and replaced Beardsley with Aldridge. Aldridge converted the penalty with his first touch, to loud cheers. Palace were awarded a penalty of their own, but Geoff Thomas missed his chance to score a consolation, and not long afterwards it was 7–0, with Barnes scoring a curling, chipped free-kick from the edge of the area. Barnes set up the eighth goal too, his corner being headed home by defender Glenn Hysén, scoring his first goal for the club. The scoring was rounded off in the last minute, Burrows cross from the left went behind Aldridge, only for Steve Nicol to side-foot it into the net, finishing the scoring just as he had started it.
Liverpool ended the season as Champions, their 18th and to date last title. Palace survived relegation, finishing 15th, and were able to inflict revenge on Liverpool later in the season, beating them 4–3 in an FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. They went on to lose the Final against Manchester United after a replay. Their goalkeeper Perry Suckling's career never quite recovered from conceding nine – he soon lost his place to new signing Nigel Martyn, and left the club in 1992, joining Watford (where he replaced a Liverpool-bound David James), before drifting into lower- and non-league football.
12 September 1989
|Nicol 7', 90'
Aldridge 67' (pen.)
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