MAGIC IN MUNICH


Brian Clough's first European Cup Final victory was against Malmo, when he led his Nottingham Forest team to a 1-0 victory on 30th May 1979 in Munich.  After feeling he was cheated out of winning the competition when Derby manager, he described it as "a milestone in my career."

Forest had beaten holders Liverpool and later the hot-favourites, Cologne, on their way to the final. On the eve of the match in Munich, Clough admitted that if anyone had suggested two or three years previously that Forest would reach the European Cup Final, they would have been laughed at. 

"It was the sort of funny item you used to read on the bit of paper that came out of Christmas crackers," he said. Only two years before, Forest had narrowly won promotion to Division One, after finishing third in Division Two. 

Clough had visited Sweden prior to the final to watch Malmo in action. He also played squash with their English manager Bobby Houghton while he was there - and took great delight in beating him. Houghton had watched Forest lose 1-0 to Wolves. "Forest will be at their peak for Munich, I have no doubt about that," he said. 

The final itself was an anti-climax, with a defensive Malmo side strangling the Red's usually free-flowing football. The breakthrough came just before half-time when Trevor Francis headed-in John Robertson's cross. 


It was Francis' first appearance in the European Cup - Clough had left Martin O'Neill on the bench so he could play. Years later, Brian still had special memories of that momentous goal. 

"When I sit in my garden and close my eyes I can still see that moment in Munich when Robertson made his move. Peter Taylor grabbed my arm. Robertson is not far from the corner flag. There are half a dozen Malmo players in the box. 

"Trevor Francis is hurtling towards the far post and Robbo sends over the perfect cross. 1-0. Pass me the European Cup. Thank you."