1981 UEFA Cup Final
|Event||1980–81 UEFA Cup|
|Date||6 May 1981|
|Venue||Portman Road, Ipswich|
|Referee||Adolf Prokop (East Germany)|
|Date||20 May 1981|
|Venue||Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam|
|Referee||Walter Eschweiler (West Germany)|
The 1981 UEFA Cup Final was the two-legged final of the 1980–81 UEFA Cup, the tenth season of the UEFA Cup, UEFA's second-tier club football tournament. The matches were contested between Ipswich Town of England and AZ '67 of the Netherlands; despite losing the second leg of the final 4–2, Ipswich won 5–4 on aggregate. The legs were played on 6 May 1981 at Ipswich's Portman Road stadium and on 20 May 1981 at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.
Route to the final
Ipswich Town qualified for the UEFA Cup as a result of finishing third the previous season behind Liverpool and Manchester United. AZ '67 finished the 1979–80 Eredivisie season in second place, three points behind champions AFC Ajax.
Ipswich Town played Greek side Aris Saloniki in the first round of the competition, winning 5–1 at Portman Road and going through 6–4 on aggregate having lost the return leg in Greece 3–1. A narrow aggregate victory over Czechoslovakian club Bohemians in the second round, was followed by a 5–1 aggregate win against Polish team Widzew Łódź. The quarter-finals saw Ipswich face French team Saint-Étienne, who, with Michel Platini, would go on to win the French league that season. An "marvellous" 4–1 victory for the English club in France, followed by a 3–1 home win, knocked out the French team with a 7–2 aggregate victory. Two 1–0 wins over West German club 1. FC Köln saw Ipswich progress to their first European cup final.
AZ started their European campaign with a 10–0 aggregate victory over Luxembourgeois team Red Boys Differdange, which was followed by a 6–1 overall win against Bulgarian club Levski Spartak. The third round ended with a 7–2 aggregate win for the Dutch club over Yugoslav team Radnički Niš; this was followed with a 2–1 overall victory against Belgian club Lokeren. An away 1–1 draw followed by a 3–2 home victory against French club Sochaux, secured AZ '67's passage in the UEFA Cup final.
6 May 1981
|Ipswich Town||3–0||AZ '67|
| Wark 30' (pen.)
20 May 1981
|AZ '67||4–2||Ipswich Town|
| Welzl 7'
|Report|| Thijssen 4'|
Bobby Robson left the club a year later to become the England national football team manager, leading England to the semi-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the best result for the nation since another former Ipswich manager, Alf Ramsey, led the country to World Cup victory in 1966.
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