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Saturday, March 28, 1998 Published at 19:50 GMT

Sport: Football

Barnsley sees red

Liverpool 3 Barnsley 2

There were astonishing scenes at Barnsley as referee Gary Willard received a police safety escort off the pitch after sending off three of the home side's players in the second half.

BBC Correspondent Ron Jones: 'Pretty it was not.' (1')
Earlier on the match was suspended for five minutes because of crowd trouble.

Despite finishing with only eight men, Premiership stragglers Barnsley managed to equalise twice with their opponents from the other end of the table.

The importance of the result to both clubs led to a tense stalemate early on.

Liverpool gradually took the advantage as Karlheinz Riedle earned a free kick on the edge of the box.

Jamie Redknapp's chipped free kick narrowly floated past the near post after beating David Watson's dive.

Barnsley made the breakthrough in the 37th minute when Martin Bullock cut in from the left and delivered a low cross. Captain Neil Redfearn quickly trapped it and turned to shoot into the far corner past goalkeeper Brad Friedel's dive.

But their lead lasted just eight minutes before Riedle equalised from close range after a surging run down the left from Oyvind Leonhardsen.

First man off

Barnsley were reduced to 10 men just eight minutes after the interval when Darren Barnard was dismissed for tripping Owen as he ran clear of the defence on to a long ball.

This gave Liverpool extra room to manoeuvre and Riedle shot them into the lead on the hour.

Picking the ball up in midfield, the German international moved forward before striking a superb 30 yard drive right into the top corner to give keeper Watson little chance of stopping his effort.

Barnsley's afternoon went downhill further five minutes later when Owen and Morgan ran for a long ball and the Liverpool striker fell down clutching his face.

This earned Morgan a red card, prompting a fan on the other side of the ground to run on the pitch in an attempt to get at the referee.

The fan was brought to the ground by Barnsley striker Jan Aage Fjortoft before being led away as a steward then led Willard off the pitch for his own protection for around five minutes.

Despite being down to nine men, Barnsley drew level with just five minutes remaining after some impressive work from substitute Georgi Hristov.

Hristov was brought down on the edge of the box by Phil Babb only seconds after referee Willard had waved Barnsley's protests away for a handball against the Liverpool defender.

This time Willard pointed to the spot, and captain Redfearn coolly slotted the ball into the far corner, sending goalkeeper Friedel the wrong way.

From bad to worse

With just two minutes remaining Steve McManaman easily slotted the ball past Watson to put Liverpool back into the lead.

This prompted crowd trouble behind the goal and Bullock swapped punches with both Ince and Redknapp.

Bullock protested strongly to Willard as Barnsley prepared to re-start and was also given the red card.

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