When I was a kid I used to read a comic called the Victor and in between stories about Alf Tupper and Matt Braddock, I remember a story about a Roman warrior called Horatius who defended a bridge into Rome against an invading army and overwhelming odds. The nearest equivalent to that I’ve seen on a football pitch was when Pat Jennings kept Liverpool at bay more or less single-handedly in this game.
At that time Spurs were a walking win for Liverpool at Anfield, having not won there since before the First World War. On this occasion we were going for our first league title in seven years and Tottenham were their usual mid-table mediocrity so to say we were confident would be an understatement.
From the start the Reds were in command but it was clear that Pat Jennings was also in top form. The Reds created chance after chance but could not beat the inspired Tottenham keeper.
Spurs broke away on 20 minutes to score through Alan Gilzean. Cue incessant Liverpool attacks. On 39 minutes we got a penalty, Kevin Keegan stepped up and Jennings made one of his more comfortable saves of the afternoon. The second half was more of the same; continuous Liverpool attacks and save after save by Jennings.
Eventually, the equaliser came but it took a miscue from Keegan to finally beat Jennings. Surely, Liverpool would now press on for the winner, but still Jennings was impossible to beat. Finally on 86 minutes, the Reds were awarded a second penalty. This time Tommy Smith took charge......and Jennings saved again.
In truth, both penalty saves were straightforward in comparison to some of the other stunning saves Jennings pulled off. To this day, that remains the greatest individual performance I’ve seen at Anfield by an opposing player. Fortunately, the dropped point didn’t affect us and we clinched our first title since 1966 less than a month later.
Liverpool: Clemence; Lawler, Lindsay, Smith, Lloyd; Hughes, Cormack, Callaghan; Hall, Heighway, Keegan.