No. 70 – The magical night in the Nou Camp
On 30 March 1976, the Nou Camp was the setting for one of Liverpools finest European performances, Liverpool faced Barcelona in the UEFA Cup Semi-final 1st leg. Liverpool faced a tough challenge against Barcelona’s galaxy of stars including Brazilian Miguel Mir, Dutchman Johan Cruyff and Neeskens.
However, the Spaniards were beaten by a superb John Toshack goal. The Nou camp was silenced just thirteen minutes into the game when Kevin Keegan chested the ball to strike-partner John Toshack, who tucked the ball past keeper Pedro Mora to register his 21st goal of the season.
Liverpool hung on obstinately and with growing confidence nsured they became the very first English club to beat Barcelona in the Nou Camp! The Barcelona fans were stunned and a barrage of cushions were thrown towards the Barca players at the final whistle. Bob Paisley commenting after the game “Every cushion on the pitch was a tribute to our play”
In the TIA ‘œReds in Europe‘ feature, Chris Wood recalled the magical night in Barcelona….
‘œThe wonderful setting of the Nou Camp in Barcelona was the scene for one of the club’s best-ever European performances. Playing in an all-white kit, the team’s defensive performance was immense and they snuffed out the threat of the brilliant Cruyff and the creativity of Neeskens. There was a bonus too with John Toshack driving home the only goal of the tie after just 13 minutes to keep the home supporters quiet.
A noisy Anfield awaited the Catalans but this tie was still in the balance and the first half was very even. Five minutes after the interval, Phil Thompson prodded the ball over the line from six inches out and it looked to be over but within a minute Rexach had equalised. Just as against Dresden in the previous round, this led to a very tense finish but Liverpool held out and then heard that their final opponents would be Bruges, who had beaten Hamburg 1-0 at home after a 1-1 draw in Germany.’
Ray Clemence, Phil Neal, Tommy Smith, Phil Thompson, Ray Kennedy, Emlyn Hughes, Kevin Keegan, Jimmy Case, Steve Heighway, John Toshack, Ian Callaghan