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Saturday, August 7, 1999 Published at 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK


New-look Reds start with a bang

Liverpool's Robbie Fowler escapes from Niclas Alexandersson

Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Liverpool

Robbie Fowler inspired a new-look Liverpool as they got off to a winning start at Hillsborough.

Fowler, who earlier missed an open goal with a header from eight yards, curled home the opener after 75 minutes and then his power drive set up the second.

Liverpool dominated both territorially and in terms of possession, ultimately deserving the three points.

The visitors set about an intricate passing game, looking to carve their way through Wednesday, and Fowler achieved just that on his own at one point with the first of his chances.

It was a typical surging run, squeezing past three challenges as he carved his way into the area before a narrow angled shot was parried by Owls goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek.

The Czech international was by far the busier of the number ones, with Britain's most expensive goalkeeper Sander Westerveld rarely called upon.

One of the largest cheers of the afternoon from the Owls fans came with Carbone's introduction midway through the second half despite his decision not to sign a club record-breaking 27,000-per-week contract.

The Italian set up Cresswell with a gilt-edged chance shortly after coming on. But the former York striker, whose goal beat Liverpool in the corresponding fixture last season, fired at Westerveld.

Within moments Liverpool were in front with Czech international Smicer feeding Fowler with a delightful through ball, the forward then waiting for his moment to lob a stranded Srnicek.

A stunning Srnicek save at full stretch had also prevented Fowler from opening the scoring shortly afterwards, before he finally carved out a goal of sublime quality.

Teams:

Sheffield Wednesday: Srnicek,Hinchcliffe, Thome, Walker,Sonner
Sibon, Rudi, Alexandersson, Donnelly, Newsome, De Bilde,
Subs: Pressman, Carbone, Cresswell, Briscoe, Haslam.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Heggem, Hyypia, Carragher,Matteo, Smicer, Redknapp, Hamann, Berger,Fowler
Camara
Subs: Song, Staunton, Meijer, Thompson, Nielsen

Referee: G Poll (Tring)



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