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Monday, August 23, 1999 Published at 21:52 GMT 22:52 UK


Cool Camara clinches victory

Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld looks on as Rigobert Song scores an own goal

Leeds 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool's multi-million pound team gave their faltering Premiership campaign a kickstart, with an impressive victory at Leeds.


The BBC's Ian Brown: "Liverpool, at last, produced"
Gerard Houllier's side came from a goal down to see off United, Lucas Radebe's second-half own goal clinching the three points.

But the victory was masterminded by one of Houllier's summer signings, Titi Camara, who scored Liverpool's first goal and was at the heart of all the best moments.

Houllier's reaction at the final whistle, when the normally composed manager repeatedly punched the air in delight, showed how much the result meant to the visitors.


[ image: Titi Camara races past Lee Bowyer's despairing lunge]
Titi Camara races past Lee Bowyer's despairing lunge
Liverpool had lost their last two games to Watford and Middlesbrough - but victory takes them from the lower reaches to the top half of the table.

For Leeds, however, the home reverse came as a major setback.

Victory would have taken David O'Leary's highly-rated young team alongside Manchester United at the top of the Premiership.

But instead they were outplayed for most of the match and barely managed to test Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld.

Defensive lapse

Leeds went ahead against the run of play in fortunate circumstances - through yet another own goal, the 10th in the Premiership already this season.

Poor defending - believed by many to be the long-term reason for Liverpool's decline in recent years - was again exposed for Leeds' 20th-minute opener.


[ image: Darren Huckerby celebrates Leeds' opener with Danny Mills and Michael Bridges]
Darren Huckerby celebrates Leeds' opener with Danny Mills and Michael Bridges
Harry Kewell's corner should have been comfortably cleared - but instead it caused havoc among the Reds ranks, keeper Sander Westerveld missed the ball completely and it ricocheted off Song's legs and into the net.

The goal was a cruel blow for Liverpool, who had looked much more incisive going forward than their hosts,

England midfielder Jamie Redknapp thought he had put them ahead in the 13th minute.

His arrowing long-range drive beat Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn and was heading for the back of the net - until Lee Bowyer flung himself across the line and somehow headed it clear.

Radebe ricket

But the goal the Merseysiders deserved eventually arrived in first-half injury time - and it was a superb improvised effort from man of the match Camara.


[ image: Robbie Fowler shurgs off the attentions of Jonathan Woodgate and Danny Mills]
Robbie Fowler shurgs off the attentions of Jonathan Woodgate and Danny Mills
When Patrick Berger was tackled on the edge of the area, the ball broke to Camara, who hit an instant shot swerving past Martyn and in off the bar.

The knockout blow came 10 minutes after the break.

The impressive Berger curled a pacy cross from the left into the danger area and Radebe, under pressure from Robbie Fowler could only divert the ball past the helpless Martyn.

Leeds desperately tried to force their way back into the contest, but they were unable to wrestle the initiative back from Houllier's men.

And Camara almost claimed a sensational second in the last minute of the match - but his thunderous strike just cleared the Leeds bar.

Teams:

Leeds: Martyn, Mills, Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Hopkin, Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Bridges, Huckerby. Subs: Kelly, Smith, Bakke, Duberry, Robinson.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Song, Carragher, Hyypia, Matteo, Thompson, Gerrard, Redknapp, Camara, Berger, Fowler. Subs: Staunton, Meijer, Murphy, Traore, Friedel.

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)



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