Liverpool FC 3-1 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
(McDermott 28, Smith 65, Neal 83p; Simonsen 51)
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Spain, Portugal, Italy, Holland and Germany. All had dominated the European Champion Clubs' Cup. But now it was the turn of English football, starting with Liverpool FC in 1976/77. In a repeat of the 1973 UEFA Cup final, the Anfield club defeated VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 with goals from Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal.
How Mönchengladbach, who had revived briefly with Allan Simonsen's equaliser, must have hated the sight of Bob Paisley's men. For everything had been in place for them to succeed holders FC Bayern München as the 1. Bundesliga's chief flag-bearer, Udo Lattek's team had restored German pride by knocking out Bayern's quarter-final nemesis, FC Dynamo Kyiv, 2-1 on aggregate in the semis. That was their last stop on the road to Rome after earlier wins over FK Austria Wien, Torino Calcio and Club Brugge KV.
Liverpool, meanwhile, had been going places all season, chasing an English first division/FA Cup double (though they would eventually have to settle for the former). Their claim to the main prize, however, materialised only in the round of eight, when after routine wins against Crusaders FC and Trabzonspor they ousted the previous year's runner-up, AS Saint-Etienne. Liverpool's 3-1 home success made up for a 1-0 loss on French soil, and set up a 6-1 semi-final thumping of FC Zürich. The final itself belonged to the inspirational Kevin Keegan, the English international outshining European footballer of the year Simonsen on his farewell appearance for the Reds.
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