Bill Shankly’s final season: Liverpool turn up the heat with an unbeaten February


The Reds’ next engagement was also at Anfield, a fifth-round FA Cup tie against Bobby Robson’s up-and-coming Ipswich Town.

They won that, too, prevailing 2-0 thanks to Brian Hall’s first-half effort and another from Keegan after the break. ‘The Invincible Look’ read the headline in The Guardian, where Paul Fitzpatrick wrote that ‘Liverpool will number this among their most positive performances of the season’ and that Shankly’s side ‘held control in every department’.

Next up came a trip to St. James’ Park, where Liverpool were left to rue their profligacy in front of goal as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Newcastle United.

Teenager Alan Waddle, in particular, was guilty of wastefulness, and though Shankly declared afterwards that ‘no-one dare suggest we have given away our title yet’, Leeds’ imperious form meant there remained an eight-point gap at the top of the table, with Derby County a further six back in third place.

The Reds finished the month as they had started it, with another narrow Anfield success. Southampton were the victims on this occasion, and again the hosts left it late to secure the two points, with Phil Boersma forcing the ball home from Lindsay’s cross to settle a scrappy contest.

With Leeds drawing surprisingly at home to Leicester City, the gap at the top of the First Division was cut to seven points, with Liverpool also boasting a game in hand, and with Don Revie’s side due to visit Anfield in the middle of March.

Game on? Never say never.


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