1977 UEFA Champions League Final

Liverpool (England) vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Rome

Road to the Final

Although Celtic’s win in the 1967 UEFA Champion’s League final heralded a period of dominance for the top clubs in Northern Europe, it took another decade for British teams to assume supremacy in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.

Liverpool entered the 1976/1977 UEFA Champions League during a period of ascendancy that had seen them win the FA Cup and two league titles. Their previous appearance in the UEFA Champions League had seen them eliminated in the second round, and the Reds were determined to bring their domestic form onto the European stage.

The Liverpool campaign began with a thumping of Crusaders FC in the first round, followed by a series of tight games in the run up to the semi-final that saw the Reds lose each of their first games before bouncing back in the second leg. It was only in the semi-finals that Liverpool broke their fetters, handing Swiss champions FC Zurich a 6-1 aggregate thrashing.

German team Borussia Mönchengladbach enjoyed a steady, if unremarkable journey to the 1977 Champions League final, putting away a series of minor teams before unseating Belgian champions FC Brugge, who had knocked out Real Madrid.

The semi-final against Burgge proved to be a stern test for the Germans and they squeaked through to the final by the narrowest of margins, after drawing the first semi-final 2-2 before scoring a 1-0 victory in the second leg.

The Final

Borussia Mönchengladbach had the best of the running in the early part of the 1977 UEFA Champions League final, coming close to scoring on the 22nd minute when a strike was narrowly deflected off the Liverpool goal post. Liverpool delivered an emphatic reply through Terry McDermott who capitalised on a perfect pass to score the game’s opening goal in the 28th minute.

The Liverpool goal seemed to galvanise the Germans and they pushed forward in search of an equaliser, finally scoring just after half-time when Danish midfielder Allen Simonsen scored off a Liverpool mistake. With the scores level, the intensity of the game rocketed, with the Reds coping with the pressure best and scoring again in the 62nd minute.

The second Liverpool goal seemed to put the game out of reach of Borussia Mönchengladbach, and their increasingly desperate play eventually resulted in a penalty going to Liverpool. The penalty was coolly put away by Phil Neal, handing the Reds the 1977 UEFA Champions League final trophy.