McManaman’s skills, Barnes’ beauty & 8 more standouts from Liverpool’s 1994/95 goals

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The 1994/95 campaign saw Liverpool claw their way back up the table and secure their first piece of silverware since the formation of the Premier League.

In his first full season at the helm, Roy Evans led Liverpool to a fourth-place Premier League finish and a League Cup triumph, the fifth in the club’s history.

The top-flight campaign saw Robbie Fowler usurp Ian Rush as the Reds’ top goalscorer, scoring 25 in just his second season in professional football.

His tally would account for 38 percent of Liverpool’s goals in the Premier League that season, with just nine other players contributing to the total tally of 65.

Here are 10 things we noticed when casting an eye back to the 1994/95 season.

 

A touch of Hoffenheim…

The Reds’ third goal against Hoffenheim at Anfield in 2017 is one of Liverpool’s greatest under Jurgen Klopp, and on the same ground against Sheffield Wednesday in 1994, a similar move came up trumps.

Instead of Alberto Moreno, Roberto Firmino, Gini Wijanldum, Sadio Mane and Emre Can combining on the left-wing, it was Razor Ruddock, Ian Rush, Phil Babb and Steve McManaman.

While missing a few of the genius touches of the most recent Reds, the goal, the fourth in a 4-1 win over Wednesday, was impressive to say the least.

 

Mighty McManaman…

Liverpool, England - Wednesday, November 27th, 1996: Liverpool's Steve McManaman celebrates scoring the opening goal with team-mate Robbie Fowler during the 4-2 victory over Arsenal during the 4th Round of the League Cup at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The abovementioned goal was scored by Steve McManaman and while it was one which was born out of teamwork, his standout in the 1994/95 season was based on his own supreme skill.

On the opening day 6-1 win at Crystal Palace, the Bootle-born midfielder picked the ball up in his own half, ran with pace into the opposition’s box, drew two defenders before cutting back on his right rifle a shot goalbound in what his first of two goals that afternoon.

It’s easy to forget how easy Macca made it look – and he was only 22 years of age at this point in time.

 

Ruddock…

Neil Ruddock was a tough character and his lack of fitness and discipline would make it hard for him to retain his plays in the years which followed, but 1994/95 returned Razor’s most appearances across all competitions during his five-year career at Anfield.

And in the league, two goals came his way that season: a thunderous free-kick inside the box against Aston Villa and a header against Chelsea.

Both led to an unusual celebration of needing to quickly sit on the ground before swiftly getting back up. Your guess is as good as mine on this one.

 

Beautiful from Barnes….

Emre Can scored the most recent bicycle goal which took your breath away at Watford, but John Barnes rolled back the years with one against Blackburn.

It was as clean as you like: a left-foot finish into the bottom corner to see the travelling Kop rise to their feet in awe, with teammates quick to pile on in celebration.

Only 14 more league goals would follow for Barnes at Liverpool.

 

James became a regular…

JOHANNESBURG, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA - Sunday, May 29, 1994: Liverpool's goalkeeper David James in action against the Iwisa Kaizer Chiefs during the United Bank Soccer Festival friendly match at Ellis Park Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The legendary Bruce Grobbelaar had departed for Southampton in the summer, leaving David James to step into the No. 1 role with greater permanency.

From when he took the mantle to when he was displaced in 1998, James had made 213 consecutive appearances for the club.

He was not exempt from making a plethora of mistakes and the Reds would have to wait a number of years to add the quality needed in between the sticks.

 

The condition of the pitches…

Muddy goalmouths, bobbly and water-logged pitches and what looked like hundreds of molehills were a regular sight each matchday.

They are a far cry from the lavish intricate designs Leicester City‘s groundkeepers would dish out a few years back, but you have to say, there’s something to love about the almost unkept 90s version which throws you straight back to childhood memories.

I don’t think Klopp would be a fan of it today, however.

 

Three in 4 minutes and 33 seconds…

Robbie Fowler scoring his second goal against Arsenal at Anfield.

Arsenal were the opposition and the lethal Fowler was the man who catapulted his name into the headlines and the record books with, what was then, the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history.

God had arrived and he stamped his mark on English football in emphatic fashion.

Remarkably, the record would stand for almost 21 years, only surpassed when future Red Sadio Mane scored three in two minutes and 56 seconds for Southampton in 2015.

For Fowler, they were three of 25 memorable goals he would score in the league that season.

 

The size of those jackets though…

It would not be a season review, especially in the 1990s, without a look at some of the questionable design choices.

While the supplied example is from Manchester United, these were universal, and the absolute size of them is off the charts – it was definitely a one fits all kind of situation here.

 

Norwich’s Red misery…

The 1994/95 season marked the start of a soul-crushing run of results for Norwich against Liverpool in the topflight, with a 4-0 and 2-1 win preceding a further 12 games whereby the Canaries have failed to emerge victorious.

A series of relegations have restricted the damage but in that run, just two have been draws as the Reds piled on the misery, with a certain Luis Suarez very fond of making the improbable very much possible during that time.

 

The return of the King and a mix of emotions…

Shearer, Sutton, Anfield, Blackburn, title win 1995 (John Giles/PA Archive/PA Images)

It was a weird Anfield afternoon on the final day of the season, with Dalglish’s Blackburn Rovers on the brink of the title.

A win for Liverpool could deny the Liverpool legend, however, and instead see Man United crowned league-winners – talk about being pulled in two directions!

Barnes and Jamie Redknapp would both score to see the Reds win 2-1, leaving the crowd suspended in a strange state of limbo.

That was until news filtered through that United had drawn 1-1 and all parties at Anfield could breathe a sigh of relief.

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