Widzew Amazing Success– Liverpool Eliminated from the UEFA European Champion Clubs’ Cup

In 1983 the Lodz team outplayed Liverpool FC, at that time one of the strongest football teams in the world, in the quarterfinals of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, the predecessor of the UEFA Champions League.

In previous rounds of the UEFA European Cup tournament in 1982/83 season Widzew first eliminated Hibernians FC from Malta, then they sent home another very strong team Rapid Vienna. In the quarterfinals they were faced with one of the then strongest football teams in the world, Liverpool FC, filled with the greatest stars of football including Kenny Dalglish or Ian Rush.

On 3 March in Lodz in front of the eyes of almost 45K spectators the players coached by Władysław Żmuda successfully managed to downplay almost all advantages of their opponents and earned a statement victory 2:0 after goals scored by Mirosław Tłokiński and Wiesław Wraga. Such a first-leg-advantage gave a lot of mental comfort before the second leg in Anfield Road. Of course, advancing to the next round was far from being secured.

After the first fifteen minutes of the second leg, Liverpool was winning 1:0. Widzew equalized after a goal scored by Tłokiński and in the second half they took the lead after a goal scored by Włodzimierz Smolarek. At that moment Liverpool needed four goals to advance to the semifinals. In fact, they managed to score only two. This defeat had the sweet taste of victory since for the first time in history Widzew found itself in the top four football teams in Europe.

Despite losing the match, Liverpool fans gave the visitors a standing ovation. They showed their respect for the determination and the fighting spirit of Widzew.

 

2 March 1983

Widzew - Liverpool 2:0

Goals: Tłokiński (49.), Wraga (80.)

Widzew: Młynarczyk - Wójcicki, Surlit, Kamiński, Grębosz - Tłokiński, Świątek, Rozborski, Romke - Filipczak (70. Wraga), Smolarek.

Liverpool: Grobbelaar - Neal, Lawrenson, Kennedy, Hansen, Whelan - Souness, Lee, Johnston (62. Hodgson) - Rush, Dalglish.

16 March 1983

Liverpool FC - Widzew Łódź 3:2 (1:1)

Goals: Neal (15.), Rush (80.), Hodgson (90.) - Tłokiński (33.) , Smolarek (53.)

Liverpool: Grobbelaar - Neal, Hansen, Lawrenson, Kennedy (65. Fairclough) - Whelan (39. Thompson), Lee, Johnston - Hodgson, Souness, Rush.

Widzew: Młynarczyk - Świątek, Wójcicki, Tłokiński, Kamiński - Romke, Rozborski (70. Woźniak), Wraga (82. Myśliński), Surlit - Filipczak, Smolarek.