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1980 European Championships

PhotobucketAfter tournaments where just four teams competed the ‘final’ section, UEFA decided to make something more of this competition and in 1980 opened it up to 8 qualifiers.  The other change was that they already decided the hosts in advance.  In previous tournaments they chose the hosts once they knew the four qualifiers.

Italy was chosen to host the 1980 tournament.  They had last hosted a major tournament in 1934, the 2nd World Cup, in which they came out as winners.

31 nations were then split into 7 groups; 3 groups of 5 and 4 groups of 4.  The qualifying campaign kicked off from May 1978.  Back in those days there was no such thing as an international calendar, and so some groups ended before others, as countries just arranged fixtures independently.

England had been drawn in Group 1 along with both Northern and Republic of Ireland.  Bulgaria and Denmark made up the other two.  The Republic started off by giving up a 3-1 lead to be held 3-3 in Copenhagen, before they met their neighbours in Dublin.  The much anticipated clash between North and South, the first time the two nations had met, contained few highlights and the game ended 0-0.

That same night in Copenhagen, Denmark and England played out a completely different match.  Denmark were regarded as one of Europe’s minnows, having never qualified for a major tournament before.  Kevin Keegan put England in front after 17 minutes.  6 minutes later he grabbed his 2nd, just before Allan Simonsen scored from the spot to put the home side back in it.  3 minutes later Frank Arnesen equalised and so the teams were level, 2-2 at half-time.  5 minutes after the break, Bob Latchford restored England’s lead.  With just 5 minutes left on the clock, Phil Neal then gave England their 2-goal advantage back, before Per Rontved ensured a nervy last few minutes for England as Denmark brought it back to 3-4.  England would eventually emerge with the victory, but it had been close.

England then drew in Dublin, as Northern Ireland beat both Denmark and Bulgaria, before they arrived at Wembley full of hope.  Manager Danny Blanchflower chose an Irish side exclusively drawn from the English First Division.  But England proved too strong and ran out 4-0 winners.  England went on to win their remaining group matches, conceding just once.  They won 3-0 in Sofia, beat Denmark, 1-0 at Wembley and went to Belfast and thumped Northern Ireland, 5-1.  When they beat Bulgaria, 2-0 at Wembley in November 1979 one of the goals came from a debutant named Glenn Hoddle.  England’s final group match was another 2-0 win, over the Republic in February 1980 as Kevin Keegan scored twice to take his tally to 7 in the qualifying matches.  His 2nd goal in that game is well worth looking up on youtube.  He picks the ball up just inside the Irish half, runs at the defence who are backing off.  As he reaches the edge of the area, he delicately chips the stranded keeper.

In Group 2, Scotland were disappointing, having been the only Home nation which qualified for the 1978 World Cup.  They won all but one of their home matches, losing 1-3 to Belgium, who ultimately won the group.

Spain won Group 3, and in Group 4 Netherlands were top.  That group looked competitive as it contained Netherlands (runners-up in the World Cup) and Poland (also made the Second Round in Argentina).  Netherlands conceded just 1 goal at home, which was scored by Poland, who also won the return match in Chorzow.  What did for the Poles was defeat in Leipzig against East Germany.  Poland held Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam, leaving the Dutch needing a draw Leipzig to go through.  However, the Germans were 2-0 up in the opening 30 minutes.  Franz Thijssen, Kees Kist and Willy van der Kerkhof eventually gave Netherlands a 3-2 win and they won the group.

A similar situation occurred in Group 5, as France beat Czechoslovakia, the holders, 2-1 in Paris to leave the Czechs needing to beat Luxembourg to go through.  The Czechs didn’t struggle as much as the Dutch did and ran out 4-0 winners, to win the group by a point.

Group 6 was really tight.  Finland began well by beating Greece, 3-0 and Hungary, 2-1.  USSR then also beat Greece, 2-0, but then lost themselves, 0-2 to Hungary.  Greece then got their revenge against Finland in Athens, thumping them 8-1, with Thomas Mavros grabbing a hat-trick.  Greece carried on this goalscoring spree by beating Hungary, 4-1.  Hungary had been in Argentina for the World Cup, but were now under pressure as they were then held at home by Greece.

By the time Greece took on USSR in September 1979, the four countries were separated by just 1 point.  Dimitrious Nikoludis scored the only goal of the game in the opening 10 minutes and Greece had gained the win that would ultimately take them to their first ever major tournament.  The four teams in the group were separated by just 2pts.

Wales began well in Group 7 with a 7-0 win over Malta.  Wrexham’s Ian Edwards scored 4 on his home ground.  Wales then beat Turkey, 1-0, as West Germany were surprisingly held, 0-0 in Malta.  6 weeks later and the Germans were also held, 0-0 in Turkey.  Then they arrived at Wrexham in May 1979.  Goals in each half from Herbert Zimmermann and Klaus Fischer gave the Germans a 2-0 win.  Wales bounced back with a win in Malta, but then in Cologne they were put to the sword by West Germany as they lost, 1-5.  Worse was to follow the next month as Wales lost in Turkey too.  West Germany then finished off the group with a 2-0 win over Turkey and then 8-0 over Malta.

Italy, England, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Greece, West Germany

Rome : Stadio Olimpico
Milan : Giuseppe Meazza
Naples : Stadio San Paolo
Turin : Stadio Comunale

The 8 nations were drawn into 2 groups of 4.  The winners would progress straight to the final with the 2nd placed sides competing in a Third Place Play-off.

West Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Czechoslovakia

Italy, England, Belgium, Spain


The tournament kicked off with a repeat of the 1976 Final as Czechoslovakia met West Germany in Rome.  A disappointing crowd of just over 11, 000 turned up to see the Germans gain revenge for 4 years ago as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge scored the only goal just before the hour.


Later that evening, Netherlands took on Greece.  The Greeks were in their first ever major tournament having won a tight group to qualify.  Barely 4,000 more turned up for this game in Naples, but still only witnessed one goal.  Kees Kist converted a penalty midway through the second half and that was enough to give the Dutch the points.


Three days later saw the big clash between West Germany and Netherlands in Naples.  For two fierce rivals, the Dutch had only once beaten West Germany in 8 previous meetings, back in 1956.  Cologne’s Klaus Allofs, one of the young breed of footballers the Germans were trying out, opening the scoring after 20 minutes.  On the hour, he scored his 2nd, and then completed his hat-trick 5 minutes later.  The Dutch were stunned, but fought back with a Johnny Rep penalty 10 minutes from time.  When Willy van der Kerkhof scored to make it 2-3 with 5 minutes to go, the Germans had a nervous end to a game they were cruising.  They saw it home in the end, and seemed destined for the Final.


In Rome, Greece met Czechoslovakia.  In a stadium which holds 86,500, there were just under 5,000 people to witness this and the game deserved better.  Panenka, the hero in 1976, gave the Czechs an early lead, but Nikos Anastopoulos equalised soon after, only for Ladislav Vizek to put the Czechs back in front and we’d had 3 goals in the opening 25 minutes.  The Greeks couldn’t get back into it, and early in the second half, Zdenek Nehoda completed the win for the Czechs.  If Greece could pull off a shock win over the Germans, then the Czechs or the Dutch would have an outside chance of the Final, but that seemed remote.


UEFA hadn’t found the need to have the final group matches kick off at the same time, so Netherlands and Czechoslovakia were up first in Milan, with the Germans waiting to see what they needed to do.  In front of another poor crowd Nehoda gave the Czechs an early lead, which they held till the hour, before Kees Kist equalised.  The game ended in a draw which suited neither side and the Czechs finished 2nd in the group, ahead of the Dutch on goal difference.


By the time the last game in the group kicked off in Turin, West Germany already knew they’d reached the final.  It showed too as a dull game almost came to life when Ardizoglu hit the post with 20 minutes to go, but that was about it.  Greece had given a good account of themselves, but ultimately went home without a point.  The Germans had simply been clinical in reaching their 3rd successive European Championship Final.


Group A_1982


England had managed to qualify for a major tournament just once since 1962, having made the 1966 and 1970 World Cup as hosts and holders, respectively.  They were hopeful of doing well after an impressive qualification campaign.  They started brightly too, and midway through the first half, Brooking’s cross wasn’t cleared properly and it fell to Ray Wilkins, just outside the box.  He controlled the ball on his chest and then as it bounced, he calmly lobbed the ball over the keeper for probably his finest goal in an England shirt.

But England were unable to keep control of the game and Belgium equalised within 3 minutes through Jan Ceulemans.  England had a goal from Kenny Sansom disallowed in the second half, but the game will be remembered for the violence that erupted on the terraces just before half-time.  Unfortunately, this was becoming an all-too familiar occurrence with England games at that time.  Many England fans would point to the local police being heavy-handed, but unfortunately England fans reputation often preceeded them.  The game was held up as the police used tear-gas to try and quell the trouble, which had broken out because locals had gained access to England’s end and started chanting for Belgium.  England goalkeeper, Ray Clemence, was particularly affected by the gas.


Later that evening in Milan, the hosts made their bow in front of over 46,000.  The game was a cagey affair with both sides cancelling each other out.  Spain had a goal disallowed in the second half, which seemed harsh but the points were shared.

SPAIN   0 – 0   ITALY

After both opening matches were drawn, a win in the second game would give any of the 4 sides a good chance of making the final.  Belgium took the lead through right-back, Eric Gerets after 17 minutes.  With 10 minutes of the first half to go, Quini then equalised for the Spanish.  Both teams had chances in the second period, but it was veteran, Julien Cools, who scored the winner midway through the half.  Belgium now put the pressure on Italy.


England and Italy took the field in Turin, in front of the largest crowd of the tournament.  England manager, Ron Greenwood sprung a surprise by selecting Garry Birtles for only his 2nd cap, and he struggled to make an impact.  England relied so heavily on Keegan, who was busy as usual creating chances.  Ray Kennedy hit the post, just before Marco Tardelli finally broke the deadlock with just over 10 minutes to go.  The Italians were far from dominant but knew how to defend a lead.  They would now need to beat Belgium to get to the Final.  England could only hope for 2nd place in the group.


After two games in Turin, England moved to Naples to meet Spain.  They were desperate to restore something from a tournament they were so confident of doing well in.  Trevor Brooking gave England a first half lead after 19 minutes, but early in the second half, Spain were awarded a penalty.  Their substitute, Dani, took it and scored.  5 minutes later they got another penalty.  Dani took it and again scored.  Only this time the referee ordered it to be re-taken.  Dani stuttered in his run-up and it wasn’t clear whether that was what the referee objected to, or whether other players had encroached.  Either way, Dani took it again and this time Clemence saved it.  Within 10 minutes, England were back in front through Tony Woodcock, and they got the win they finally craved.


Italy and Belgium met in Rome, knowing a draw was enough for the Belgians.  The game followed a similar pattern to previous ones in this group involving these teams.  Belgium were dogged in defence and Italy were blunt in attack.  The game ended goalless and, against all the odds, Belgium had reached a major international Final.  Italy and Italians were distraught, as they expected more.  They were unbeaten but 2nd place to Belgium was almost the end for manager, Enzo Bearzot.  He survived, and Italy went on to lift the World Cup two years later.


Group B_1982


Czechoslovakia had defended their title with distinction, and competed well against the hosts.  Under pressure for most of the game, they took the lead just into the second half through Ladislav Jurkemik.  Italy, who had only scored once in their 3 games so far, finally managed to get a goal from one of their attackers, Francesco Graziani.  The game ended 1-1 and went to penalties.  Remarkably, each side had been successful from their first 8 kicks.  Jozef Barmos, who had played in the Final in ’76, made it 9-8 to the Czechs before Fulvio Collovati had his kick saved and the Czechs had finished 3rd.

Czechoslovakia won 9-8 on penalties


West Germany were the overwhelming favourites.  They had reached tournament Finals in 4 out of the last 5 they competed in, but this was a new German side being put together.  This gave us our first glimpse of players like Bernd Schuster, Hans-Peter Briegel, and Toni Schumacher.  But their success came through an unlikely hero.  Horst Hrubesch was part of the Hamburg side beaten by Nottingham Forest in the European Cup Final a month before.  A striker who was considered good in the air, but nowhere else, Hrubesch opened the scoring after 10 minutes with his first goal in international football.  Belgium came back at the Germans in the second half when Van der Elst was brought down and Rene Vandereycken converted the kick.  As extra time approached, Hrubesch headed his 2nd goal of the game and the Germans had won it.  Their third successive European Championship Final had brought their second success.




Had the new expanded format been a success?  The TV and stadium attendances would suggest not, but UEFA are hardly an organisation to often change their mind, and they continued with this format for the next 3 tournaments.  The format probably allowed an unfancied side like Belgium to go further than they might have done with just a Semi-Final and Final.  Italy, as hosts, were disappointing, as were the World Cup finalists from 1974 & 1978, Netherlands.  England gave us glimpses of their ability, but for a side so dominant in qualification, the finals had been a let-down.


A Moment in Time : Part Nine – 1980, Forest Win European Cup, Again

Nottingham Forest had won the European Cup in 1979 in their first attempt at a European competition. This entitled them to qualify automatically for the following year’s tournament.

After winning the First Division in 1978, they finished 2nd the following season. 1980 would see them finish 5th in the table as Liverpool claimed their 2nd successive title.

As with 1979, both Nottingham Forest and Liverpool were in the draw for the First Round. However, unlike 1979, they wouldn’t meet each other.

English clubs had now won the European Cup in 1977, 1978 and 1979. Nottingham Forest were about to embark on their attempt to keep the trophy in England.

Such was the open nature of European Leagues back then that only 8 of the 32 teams competing in 1980, had qualified for the 1979 trophy.

Here is the list of the qualifiers


As there were 33 qualifiers, a Preliminary Round was played with Republic of Ireland Champions, Dundalk, beating Northern Ireland Champions, Linfield, 3-1 on aggregate.


The draw was made for the First Round. Forest had beaten Swedish side, Malmo, to lift the trophy in 1979, now they were drawn against the next Swedish Champions, Osters IF. This was a golden period for the club as they’d just won the first of three titles in four years. But their first entry into this competition gave them possibly their toughest task. Liverpool were drawn against Dinamo Tblisi. They’d just won only their 2nd Soviet title, beating Dinamo Kiev, the previous season’s winners. Celtic were up against Albanian side, Partizan Tirana.

Defending their title for the first time, Forest were workmanlike in the 1st leg. A goalless first half, but then the deadlock was broken just after the hour as Ian Bowyer gave Forest the lead. Bowyer, then scored his 2nd with 15 minutes remaining and Forest took a useful 2-0 lead to Sweden.

Two weeks later and Forest cruised through to the next round as a 1-1 draw was enough to give them overall victory. Mats Nordgren put the home side in front just into the second half, but Tony Woodcock equalised on the night with just 10 minutes to go, and Forest had successfully negotiated their first hurdle.

1st Leg – 19th September 1979
Bowyer (63, 74)

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray; O’Neill, McGovern, Bowyer, Robertson; Woodcock, Birtles

2nd Leg – 3rd October 1979
Woodcock (79)

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray; O’Neill, McGovern, Mills, Robertson; Woodcock, Birtles

Other Results

Liverpool had been drawn against Soviet champions, Dinamo Tblisi. Tblisi were full of players who would impress on the world stage in Spain in 1982, but were largely unknown in most of Europe. Liverpool won the 1st leg at Anfield, 2-1, but the 2nd leg was a disaster. 3 second half goals for the home side gave them a 3-0 win, and for the 2nd season running, Liverpool were out in the 1st Round of a competition they’d won twice.

Celtic were up against Albanian side Partizan Tirana. Considered one of the real minnows of European football, the Albanians took a shock lead by winning the 1st leg, 1-0. At Parkhead, Celtic defender Alan Sneddon put through his own net, and the Scottish champions were staring down the barrel. Rod McDonald then quickly equalised, with Roy Aitken putting them in front soon after. But Tirana had the away goal. Celtic fans needn’t have worried as goals from Davidson and another from Aitken gave Celtic a 4-1 lead by half-time and the tie was over.

Two of the favourites also cruised through. Real Madrid saw off Bulgarians, Levski Spartak, 3-0 on aggregate. In the 2nd leg, goals from Vincente Del Bosque (future Spanish national manager) and Laurie Cunningham (former West Brom winger and first black player to represent England at any level), were enough to see them progress. Ajax were the most impressive. They travelled to Helsinki to meet HJK. They were 4-0 up by the break, and ended up with a crushing 8-1 win. Goals from players such as Ruud Krol (Dutch captain in 1978 World Cup), Soren Lerby, Simon Tahamata and Frank Arnesen (yes, that Frank Arnesen). For the 2nd leg Ajax were again 4-0 up by half-time. They again won 8-1 with 4 goals from a 19-year old called Ton Blanker.

Irish champions, Dundalk lost 0-1 in Malta against Hibernians, but turned it round with a 2-0 win at home. English fans were also interested in the performance of SV Hamburg, as they included the England captain, Kevin Keegan. Hamburg were up against Valur of Iceland. They won 3-0 in the 1st leg and then 2-1 in the 2nd. 3 of the goals came from Horst Hrubesch who scored twice in the European Championship Final in 1980.

The biggest shock was AC Milan losing to Porto. 0-0 in the 1st leg in Portugal, Milan were then stunned by a 0-1 defeat at home. This was the 2nd successive season the champion club from Italy had gone out at the first hurdle.

Arges Pitesti  3-2 AEK Athens  (3-0,0-2)
Dynamo Berlin 4-1 Ruch Chorzow (4-1, 0-0)
Servette 4-2 Beveren (3-1, 1-1)
Dukla Prague 4-3 Ujpest Dozsa (2-0, 2-3)
Strasbourg 6-1 Start (2-1, 4-0)
Ajax 16-1 HJK (8-1, 8-1)
Omonia 7-3 Red Boys (6-1, 1-2)
Celtic 4-2 Partizan Tirana (0-1, 4-1)
Dundalk 2-1 Hibernians (2-0, 0-1)
Porto 1-0 AC Milan (0-0, 1-0)
Real Madrid 3-0 Levski Spartak (1-0, 2-0)
SV Hamburg 5-1 Valur (3-0, 2-1)
Dinamo Tblisi 4-2 Liverpool (1-2, 3-0)
Vejle 4-3 Austria Vienna (3-2, 1-1)
Hajduk Split 2-0 Trabzonspor (1-0, 1-0)


The draw for the Second Round put Forest up against Romanians, Arges Pitesti. The Romanians had just won only their 2nd national title, and to this day remains their last honour. Celtic would meet Dundalk. Real Madrid were drawn against Milan’s conquerors, Porto, and Tblisi’s prize for knocking out Liverpool was a tie against Hamburg. Ajax were now up against Omonia from Cyrpus

As in the 1st Round, Forest were at home in the 1st leg. 16 minutes in and Woodcock and Birtles had given them a 2-0 lead. The Romanians struggled to make an impact and couldn’t grab an away goal.

This proved crucial as 5 minutes into the 2nd leg and Ian Bowyer scored his 3rd goal of the campaign and Forest were in total control of the tie. John McGovern was a surprise name on the scoresheet (he only scored 6 goals in over 250 games for the club) midway through the first half and Forest were into the Quarter-Finals. Barbulescu got a goal back for the home side, but Forest were never under any real pressure and cruised through to the next round.

1st Leg – 24th October 1979
Woodcock (12), Birtles (16)

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray; Mills, McGovern, Bowyer, Robertson; Woodcock, Birtles

2nd Leg – 7th November 1979
Bowyer (5), Birtles (23)

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray (Gunn); O’Hare (Mills), McGovern, Bowyer, Robertson; Woodcock, Birtles

Other Results

Celtic and Dundalk played out a cracking game at Parkhead. McDonald gave Celtic the lead and then midway through the first half, there were 3 goals in 2 minutes as Celtic were now 3-1 up. Mick Lawlor then got a goal back for the Irish which would mean a tricky away 2nd leg. Celtic managed to see out the away leg with a 0-0 draw.

The big game was Real Madrid against Porto. Porto won the 1st leg, 2-1 as Cunningham scored again for Real. At the Bernabeu the home side had to wait till 20 minutes from time before Benito grabbed the only goal of the game and Real were through on away goals.

Hamburg were up against Dinamo Tblisi, and went one better than Liverpool with a 3-1 victory in the home leg. Keegan was on the scoresheet. In the 2nd leg, Gutsaev scored early for Tblisi, but then Keegan equalised. Hrubesch then put the Germans in control with a 2-1 lead. Hamburg ended up 3-2 winners and went through 6-3 on aggregate.

Ajax had won both legs of the First Round, 8-1 and followed this with a 10-0 win over Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus. Their Danish winger, Soren Lerby scored 5 goals. Ton Blanker grabbed his 2nd hat-trick of the competition. The Dutch fans were then expecting further goals in the 2nd leg. There were, but unbelievably they were all for the Cypriots, who won 4-0.

Strasbourg and Dukla Prague played out a dramatic tie as Prague won the 1st leg, 1-0. Strasbourg had equalised the tie, so they needed to play out extra time. With 4 minutes remaining, the French finally scored the winner.

Dynamo Berlin 4-3 Servette (2-1, 2-2)
Strasbourg 2-1 Dukla Prague (0-1, 2-0)
Ajax 10-4 Omonia (10-0, 0-4)
Celtic 3-2 Dundalk (3-2, 0-0)
Real Madrid 2-2 Porto (1-2, 1-0)
Hamburg 6-3 Dinamo Tblisi (3-1, 3-2)
Hajduk Split 4-2 Vejle (3-0, 1-2)


Into the last eight and the four favourites were kept apart. Nottingham Forest got Dynamo Berlin, Ajax had Strasbourg, Hamburg were drawn against Hajduk and Real Madrid were to meet Celtic.

For the third successive round, Forest were drawn at home in the 1st leg. But it was a changed side Brian Clough had put together and the performance suffered. They had just lost to bottom club, Bolton, in the league, and also seen Tony Woodcock move to Cologne. Trevor Francis appeared in his first European tie since his goal won the Final last season, and in midfield Clough included Stan Bowles. Bowles had been signed in the previous December as he’d fallen out with new QPR manager, Tommy Docherty, who was also credited with George Best’s departure from Manchester United a few years earlier. Neither Francis nor Bowles could inspire Forest as East German international, Hans-Jurgen Riediger scored the only goal of the game. Forest had lost a European tie for the first time.

Two weeks later in Berlin and Forest were a much more settled side, although they’d just lost in the League Cup Final to Wolves, with Andy Gray getting the only goal of the game. 16 minutes into the game and Trevor Francis scored, and Berlin’s away goal had been wiped out. 20 minutes later and a good turn and shot from Francis made it 2-0 on the night. With just 5 minutes of the half remaining, Robertson was brought down in the area and he converted the penalty himself and Forest were cruising. Forest eventually won 3-1 to go through relatively comfortably in the end, to yet another Semi-Final.

1st Leg – 7th March 1979

Shilton; Gunn, Burns, Lloyd, Gray; O’Neill, Bowles, McGovern, Robertson; Francis, Birtles

2nd Leg – 19th March 1980
Francis (15, 36), Robertson (pen, 39)

Shilton; Anderson, Needham, Lloyd, Gray; O’Neill, McGovern, Bowyer, Robertson; Francis, Birtles

Other Results

Celtic entertained Spanish giants, Real Madrid for the 1st leg. This was a game that remains in Celtic folklore at George McCluskey and Johnny Doyle scored the goals that gave them a famous 2-0 win. The return leg saw Real score just before half-time through Santillana. 10 minutes into the second period and West German international, Uli Stielike then levelled things on aggregate. As extra time approached, Juanito won it for Real and Celtic had come so close to putting out the 5 times winners of the trophy.

Ajax turned up at Strasbourg having scored 26 goals in 4 games. The French, who included French manager Raymond Domenech, held them to a 0-0 draw. The return leg saw the Dutch knock the goals in again as they won 4-0.

Hamburg had won their 1st leg, 1-0 at home to Hajduk Split. They doubled their lead overall as Hrubesch scored within 2 minutes of the start of the 2nd leg. Vujovic got a goal back for the home side but Hamburg went back in front, before Hajduk scored twice in the second half leaving Hamburg to go through on away goals.

So the big four were all through to the Semis with many predicting an Ajax v Real final.

Ajax 4-0 Strasbourg (0-0, 4-0)
Real Madrid 3-2 Celtic (0-2, 3-0)
Hamburg 3-3 Hajduk Split (1-0, 2-3)


Forest were drawn against Ajax for the Semi-Finals, and as with every other round this season, were at home first. In fact in 8 rounds over two years, Forest had only been away from home first, once. Real would meet Hamburg in the other tie.

Ajax had already scored 30 goals when they arrived at the City Ground, with Soren Lerby scoring 9 and Ton Blanker, 10. Blanker had only played 3 games and wasn’t in the team for either leg of the Semis. On a typical European night in England, the crowd were enthralled as Forest took the game to their opponents. With 10 minutes of the first half remaining and Francis scored from a corner to give Forest the lead. In the second half, Zamborn handled in the area and Robertson stepped up to score the penalty, just as he’d done in Berlin. Forest took a useful 2-0 lead to Amsterdam.

A capacity crowd in the Amsterdam Arena willed the home side on. Ajax had won the European Cup three times in 1971, 1972 and 1973, but only contained Ruud Krol from that side. The goalless scoreline was finally broken in the 65th minute as Soren Lerby headed in from a corner for his 10th goal in the competition. But Ajax were unable to add to that and so Forest had won to go through to their 2nd successive final in only their 2nd appearance in the competition.

1st Leg – 9th April 1980
Francis (33), Robertson (pen, 61)

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray; O’Neill,Bowles, McGovern, Robertson; Francis, Birtles

2nd Leg – 23rd April 1980

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray; O’Neill, McGovern, Bowyer, Robertson; Francis, Birtles

Other Result

In the other tie, Real Madrid beat Hamburg, 2-0 in the Bernabeu, as Santillana scored twice to give them a useful lead. In the 2nd leg, Manny Kaltz scored from the spot in the 10th minute, and then Hrubesch made it 2-0 to the Germans to level things up on aggregate. On the half hour and Laurie Cunningham gave the Spanish a crucial away goal, but Kaltz scored again, 5 minutes before the break to give the Germans a 3-1 lead on the night. With Real still leading overall, and half-time approaching, Hrubesch popped up to score again and the West Germans went into the break 4-1 up and also leading on aggregate. The next goal would be crucial and it was the Germans who got it as Memering scored in the 90th minute and Hamburg were through to the final. Real were gutted, especially as the Final was to be played at the Bernabeu.

Hamburg 5-3 Real Madrid (0-2, 5-1)



This Final was keenly anticipated. Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, all hard work, tough defence and counter attack. SV Hamburg, the new West German darlings with the European Footballer of the Year, Kevin Keegan, in their ranks. They also contained internationals like Manny Kaltz, Horst Hrubesch and Felix Magath. Keegan had been inspirational when Liverpool lifted their first European Cup in 1977, he was aiming to do the same for Hamburg.

Forest were without Trevor Francis, who’d picked up an Achilles injury. The Germans started brighter, and forced an early save from Shilton as Magath went close in the opening 10 minutes. Before the game, Keegan had predicted that Hamburg would keep attacking, and so it proved. But Forest worked hard and were well drilled in defending. 20 minutes into the game and Robertson exchanged passes with Birtles, beat his marker and as he reached the edge of the box, hit a shot that went in off the right-hand post. It was a goal against the run of play, but set the pattern for the rest of the match as Forest just defended their lead. Within a minute Reiman had the ball in the Forest net, but the flag was up for offside.

Keegan tried to inspire his team mates, as he ran and ran, but each chance they had was either saved by Shilton, or repelled by Burns or Lloyd. Forest were clearly tiring towards the end and may have conceded with 5 minutes to go but Buljan managed to put his shot wide from about 5 yards out.

Forest hung on to retain their trophy. They may not have had as much flair as their German opponents, but they were clinical and efficient. Even Clough had to admit the Germans superior technique, but he added “We beat them for application, determination and pride – all the things that portray our football.

He went onto say, “if you have to defend you have to do it well. It’s as important as attacking. At half-time I wondered how we could last. Mills was one of only three players we could have taken off. In fact, Birtles did not have enough strength to remove his shin pads when he came off at the end.”

28th May 1980
Robertson (20)

Shilton; Anderson, Burns, Lloyd, Gray (Gunn); O’Neill, Mills (O’Hare), McGovern, Bowyer, Robertson; Birtles

This was the pinnacle for Nottingham Forest Football Club. When Clough arrived in 1975 they were a struggling Second Division side, eventually winning promotion in 1977. By 1980, they had lifted the League Championship, 2 European Cups and 2 League Cups, the European Super Cup.

This win also meant they became the first club to have won the European Cup more times than their own domestic League title.

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