Liverpool meet Chelsea in Istanbul tonight to decide which team will become the eighth English side to win the UEFA Super Cup.
The previous seven have been largely forgotten, which is a shame. Because Villa’s win over Barcelona in 1982 was absolutely enthralling, while Man Utd’s triumph in 1991 saw one visiting player light up Old Trafford – perhaps like no-one since…
1977: Liverpool 7 Hamburg 1 (agg)
Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach in the 1977 European Cup final to begin a six-year reign for English clubs on the continent. The Reds then beat German opposition – and Kevin Keegan – again to bring the Super Cup back to England for the first time.
David Fairclough’s equaliser in Hamburg allowed Bob Paisley’s men to return to Anfield all-square. Phil Thompson opened the scoring for Liverpool before Terry McDermott’s hat-trick in 17 minutes either side of half-time blew away the UEFA Cup holders.
Fairclough added a fifth on the night before Kenny Dalglish completed a 6-0 rout and a 7-1 aggregate victory. They were unable to defend their Super Cup crown, losing 4-3 on aggregate to Anderlecht the following year.
1979: Nottingham Forest 2-1 Barcelona (agg)
Brian Clough’s European champions took a one-goal lead to the Nou Camp after on-loan Charlie George gave Forest a slender victory over Barca in the first leg at the City Ground.
There were 80,000 in the Nou Camp for the return affair – no Super Cup final crowd since has been higher – at a time when the Catalan press were touting Clough for the Barca job. The Forest boss masterminded a textbook away performance, claiming a 1-1 draw and aggregate win when Kenny Burns nodded in a leveller after Barca had notched a first-half penalty.
Like Liverpool, Forest retained the European Cup but not the Super Cup, with Valencia winning on away goals in 1980.
1982: Aston Villa 3-1 Barcelona (agg)
Barca’s player were said to be on a £1,000-a-man bonus to win the Super Cup and the world’s richest club had half the job done by the they arrived at Villa Park with a 1-0 lead from the first leg.
Diego Maradona was laid low with hepatitis but Bernd Schuster was available to provide the silk edge to his team-mates’ steel. Or bastardry, depending on how you view the 1982 UEFA Cup winners.
Villa Park witnessed an enthralling 120-minute encounter featuring 10 yellow cards and three reds. It was a meeting which deserves its own dedicated feature piece, not just a few lines here. So go and read Paul Doyle’s piece for The Guardian.
Watch this first, though. And come back, won’t you…
1991 Manchester United 1 Red Star Belgrade 0
As European Cup Winners’ Cup winners, United hosted Red Star in November 1991 in a one-off game owing to the political unrest in Yugoslavia. Old Trafford wasn’t even half full with only 22,110 in attendance. The Reds who turned up, though, were treated to one of the finest individual performances ever offered by a visiting player courtesy of Dejan Savicevic.
“We were absolutely annihilated that night,” Ferguson recalled to United’s official website. “They could have been 5-0 up at half-time. The entire Red Star side was terrific. Savicevic, Darko Pancev, Robert Prosinecki, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Vladimir Jugovic… all brilliant players. We were lucky to get that result.”
A few weeks before being voted runner-up in the 1991 Ballon d'Or, Savicevic came to Old Trafford for the European Super Cup and made Paul Ince's life a misery for approximately 82 minutes. pic.twitter.com/vC2BVklQLC
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 9, 2018
United missed an early penalty but completed a smash-and-grab triumph when Brian McClair tapped in the rebound after Neil Webb hit the post. Not that anyone in attendance that night remembers anything other than the brilliance of Savicevic.
1998: Chelsea 1-0 Real Madrid
Chelsea hadn’t ever appeared in the European Cup when they met seven-time champions Real in the first of 15 finals to be played in a car park in Monaco.
Gianluca Vialli’s side had to weather a Real storm in the first half with Raul going close twice and Fernando Hierro hitting the post.
Frank Lebeouf did likewise in the second period as Chelsea grew in confidence and they claimed a winner nine minutes from time courtesy of Gus Poyet. The substitute’s strike added the Super Cup to the Blues’ trophy cabinet alongside the League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
2001: Liverpool 3-2 Bayern Munich
Gerard Houllier’s Reds made history in front of 13,824 in Monaco by winning a fifth trophy of the calendar year.
Liverpool were 3-0 up within 13 seconds of the second half thanks to strikes from John Arne Riise, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen. But in keeping with their previous cup triumphs, the drama came when Hasan Salihamidzic and Carsten Jancker gave Bayern nine minutes to find an equaliser.
The Germans came up short, and Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld pinned the blame for defeat on one person: “Michael Owen is a world-class player and we simply could not counter his threat.”
2005: Liverpool 3-1 CSKA Moscow
Liverpool were in the habit of coming from behind in Europe when they went to Monaco to meet UEFA Cup winners CSKA.
Daniel Carvalho slotted in after taking Pepe Reina out of the equation to give CSKA a lead they retained until eight minutes from time. Djibril Cisse had been introduced as a late substitute and the Lord of the Manor of Frodsham tapped in a leveller which took the game to extra-time.
Cisse put the Reds ahead in the 103rd minute before turning provider to tee up Luis Garcia to seal a third Super Cup triumph for Liverpool. Does a fourth await on Wednesday evening?