1990 MEM­O­RIES

Soccer 360 - - Premier League -

LIVER­POOL SAT ATOP THEIR PERCH FOR MUCH OF THE 20 YEARS PRIOR TO 1990 AND THE DECADE BE­GAN WITH A FA­MIL­IAR SIGHT. BUT THAT WAS AS GOOD AS IT GOT FOR A SOON-TO-BE FOR­MER SU­PER POWER…

Who would have thought when Alan Hansen lifted the First Di­vi­sion tro­phy in 1990, 28 years later Liver­pool would still be wait­ing for their next League ti­tle? For a club that dom­i­nated the 1970s and 80s, it seemed like busi­ness as usual. Lit­tle did the cel­e­brat­ing sup­port­ers know that it was re­ally the end of an era.

Hav­ing lost the 1988-89 ti­tle race in dra­matic fash­ion as Ar­se­nal won at An­field to steal the tro­phy from the

Reds’ grasp, the cam­paign that fol­lowed as much more straight­for­ward. Kenny Dal­glish was still of­fi­cially the Liver­pool player-man­ager, but made only one sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ance. He left the goalscor­ing to the likes of John Barnes, and re­turn­ing prodi­gal son Ian Rush, back from an un­happy spell at Ju­ven­tus. They scored 22 and 18 goals re­spec­tively as Liver­pool out­gunned the op­po­si­tion, rack­ing up 78 goals in their 38 games. Southamp­ton, who fin­ished sev­enth, were clos­est with 71, while run­ners-up As­ton Villa could muster only 57. Liver­pool were also the League’s best de­fen­sive side, con­ced­ing only 37 times, as cap­tain Hansen re­cov­ered from the in­juries that dogged him the pre­vi­ous sea­son. He would re­tire as a player in 1991, as in­juries struck again and forced him to sit out the en­tire 1990-91 sea­son. Dal­glish’s side ended the sea­son nine points clear of Villa and came sec­ond to Ar­se­nal a year later, but dropped to sixth in 1991-92 as age of the Pre­mier­ship — now the Pre­mier League — dawned and Manch­ester United pre­pared to take over as the coun­try’s dom­i­nant force.

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