Saturday, October 16, 1999 Published at 18:29 GMT
Nine-man Chelsea crash at Anfield
Ed De Goey is sent the wrong way but Owen's penalty went wide
Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
David Thompson's opportunistic goal early in the second half handed Liverpool a deserved victory in a full-blooded contest.
They were reduced to 10 men after 75 minutes after French defender Desailly was sent off for two bookable offences.
And two minutes from time Wise followed his colleague off the pitch when he floored Vladimir Smicer with an elbow.
Liverpool's margin of victory should have been even greater, but Michael Owen missed a penalty immediately after Desailly had been ordered off.
The second 45 minutes may have been packed with incident - but the first half was dire, as both teams adopted defensive tactics.
Predictably enough for such a negative opening, Liverpool's first genuine threat on the Chelsea goal came from a set-piece, after Desailly was booked for deliberate handball on 35 minutes.
And it was a free-kick that brought the winning goal at the start of the second half - after Frank Leboeuf had hacked down Owen on the right-hand side of the area.
Steve Staunton swung over a cross, Gustavo Poyet made a mess of the clearance and - with the Uruguayan flat on his back in the six-yard box - Thompson pounced to score.
It was an uncharacteristic example of lax defending from a team that had conceded just three goals before this game.
Suddenly a drab game burst into life as Chelsea, clearly stung by going behind, adopted a more frantic pace and the tackles began to fly in from both sides.
Leboeuf, who caused a stir last week when he criticised English football for being too combative, was forced off midway through the second half, after suffering a hamstring injury in another clash with Owen.
Liverpool had a golden chance to put the match out of sight 15 minutes from time.
Desailly up-ended Murphy just inside the box and after the Frenchman had been sent off, Owen stepped up to take the penalty.
But the England frontman tried to be too cute. Rather than smacking his spot kick he tried to place it and sent a tame effort wide of De Goey's left-hand post.
But if Gerard Houllier's men thought the win was a formality, they were shaken out of their slumbers by Chelsea's best chance of the match.
Substitute Tore Andre Flo bore down on the Liverpool goal, but Brad Friedel pulled off a fine save to keep out his low shot.
It proved the Londoners' last chance and when Wise was ordered off for the type of tempestuous act that has almost become his trademark, Liverpool's victory was assured.
Liverpool: Friedel, Henchoz, Song, Hyypia, Staunton, Carragher, Smicer, Redknapp, Murphy, Thompson, Owen. Subs: Heggem, Meijer, Matteo, Camara, Nielsen.
Chelsea: De Goey, Petrescu, Babayaro, Leboeuf, Desailly, Deschamps, Poyet, Wise, Ferrer, Sutton, Zola. Subs: Le Saux, Flo, Morris, Lambourde, Cudicini.
Referee: M Reed (Birmingham)