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This was the day John Barnes scored a magical goal, one that convinced Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, to take him to Anfield.

Watford produced a vintage display to defeat the league and cup holders fair and square. Dalglish had retired and everyone knew Ian Rush was on his way to Juventus at the end of the season, so Liverpool needed new forwards.

There had already been speculation that Barnes, having turned down several new contract offers from Watford, might also move to Italy.

But after a sensational 35-yard run through the Liverpool defence and stinging shot past Bruce Grobbelaar, Barnes went straight to the top of Dalglish’s wish list.

John McClelland scored the first with a fine header from a corner. Watford dominated Liverpool in midfield, with Gary Porter and Kevin Richardson in superb form.

The direct edge had been taken off Watford’s play a little bit in what was to turn out to be both Barnes and Graham Taylor’s final season at the club.

Barnes’ form had been patchy as speculation of his imminent departure grew. But he was back to his blistering best against the champions. That season Watford beat all of the eventual top four at home but this was the most scintillating performance of them all.

Watford Coton, Bardsley, Rostron, Richardson, Terry, McClelland, Callaghan, Barnes, Falco, Jackett, Porter
Manager Graham Taylor
Scorers McClelland 25, Barnes 63
Attendance 23,934

Why was this match chosen? Watford beat the defending league champions comprehensively. And John Barnes's goal was one of the best individual efforts he scored, running from just inside his own half.

How do I feel about this game's inclusion now? These were the days when beating the top sides at Vicarage Road was not especially unusual.

   This list has changed a little since the Pozzo era began and the club reached the Premier League again.

This list has changed a little since the Pozzo era began and the club reached the Premier League again.

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