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Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
"This game had an emotional element about it"
 real 28k

Sunday, 16 April, 2000, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Heskey double denies Dons
Heskey did damage to the Dons - and later to himself
Wimbledon 1-2 Liverpool

An Emile Heskey brace was enough to give Liverpool all three points against relegation threatened Wimbledon.

The England striker opened his account just before half-time, slotting the ball past Neil Sullivan in the Wimbledon goal.

He added his second 20 minutes after the restart, heading in from a Patrick Berger corner.

Wimbledon replied minutes later when Martin Andersen headed in, but despite pressure towards the end, Gerard Houllier's men came away, deserved winners.

The Liverpool boss was pleased with the contribution from his 11 million pound striker.

"There were a lot of sceptical attitudes but we know what he contributes and what he brings to us," said Houllier.

"There is no pressure from me for Emile to score goals. The most important thing is winning. I expect strikers to get into the box."

There is no pressure from me for Emile to score goals. The most important thing is winning. I expect strikers to get into the box.

Gerard Houllier

Wimbledon manager Egil Olsen remained upbeat despite the poor run of form.

"Taking into account we've now lost six in a row, the spirit and optimism is quite high."

Although the neutral fan wopuld suggest that the Crazy Gang are now in dangerous territory.

The Dons knew they were facing a tough task, against a Reds team who were looking to strengthen their hold on second-spot in the Premiership.

With just seven minutes played, Liverpool's German star Dietmar Hamann sent a brilliant through-ball for striker Heskey, but the big forward struck his effort straight into the body of 'keeper Sullivan.

Coolly slotted

Slick passing in midfield involving Hamann, England international Steven Gerrard and Berger underlined a team who were playing with confidence.

But for all their invention, Wimbledon were countering the wave of attacks with some biting tackles particularly from defenders Dean Blackwell and Kenny Cunningham.

Taking into account we've now lost six in a row, the spirit and optimism is quite high

Egil Olsen

Liverpool were limited to just a handful of half-chances until Heskey came up with the goods nine minutes before the interval.

This time, it was strike partner Michael Owen who played the killer ball through to the former Leicester star, after a neat jinking run in midfield.
Wimbledon's Lund did not get much change out of Hyppia

Heskey outran the Wimbledon defence and coolly slotted the ball past the reach of Sullivan.

The Dons are five points the relegation zone and with Sheffield Wednesday winning against Chelsea on Saturday, Olsen knew his team had to salvage something from the home match.

Wimbledon midfielder Michael Hughes tried to turn fortunes around, 10 minutes into the second-half.

The Northern Ireland international, who scored a spectacular goal against West Ham, tried his luck again from distance.

But his 20-yard curling shot was comfortably palmed away by Sander Westerveld in the Liverpool goal.

Struck back

Gerard Houllier's team seized the initiative again when the marauding Heskey rose above the Dons defence to head in from Berger's right-sided corner.

It seemed like plain sailing for the Merseysiders, but six minutes later Wimbledon struck back.

Hughes swung in a corner from the left, which was met by Carl Cort on the far post.

The England striker's shot looked to be going wide of the goal, but was met by Andersen, who flicked the ball past Westerveld.

Liverpool's hero, Heskey, came off the pitch moments later, suffering from a back injury - much to the Wimbledon fans' relief.

A scrappy game had come to life and the Dons started to threaten the away team.

But as the Londoners poured forward, they left big gaps at the back, and Liverpool always looked potent on the break.

Despite substitute Titi Camara missing two great late chances, the Reds ultimately did enough to record their first victory away to Wimbledon in the Premiership.

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Jupp, Blackwell, Hreidarsson, Cunningham, Cort, Roberts, Andersen, Hughes, Gayle, Lund. Subs: Heald, Leaburn, Badir, Andresen, Francis.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Matteo, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Berger, Hamann, Gerrard, Thompson, Heskey, Owen. Subs: Smicer, Heggem, Camara, Murphy, Nielsen.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds)

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