Monday, May 28, 2012

28 May 1980 - Forest Climbs To The Top (Again)

On 28 May 1980, Nottingham Forest repeated as European Cup champions, making them the first team to win the tournament more times than their domestic league.

Forest won the previous tournament over Malmö, while Hamburg were making their first appearance in the final. Both had ousted prior champions in the semifinals, with Forest beating three-time winners Ajax 2-1 on aggregate and Hamburg eliminating six-time winners Real Madrid 5-3. The latter was particularly poignant, as the final was played at Madrid's home ground, the Bernabéu.

Forest's Trevor Francis, who scored the winning goal in 1979, was out injured, but they found another hero in winger John Robertson (pictured). In the 20th minute, Robertson played the ball to forward Garry Birtles, who held it up under pressure, then sent it back to a charging Robertson, who fired it low to the keeper's left, just edging it inside the post. It turned out to be the winner as the game ended 1-0.

It was part of a period of English dominance in the tournament, with Liverpool winning it in 1977 and 1978, Forest in 1979 and 1980, then Liverpool again in 1981 and Aston Villa in 1982 for six straight English wins. Hamburg broke the streak in 1983 when they returned to the final and beat Juventus 1-0.

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