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The BBC's Alan Green
"They're celerbrating as if they've won the Premiership"
 real 28k

Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Bradford celebrate great escape
Bradford's David Wetherall is mobbed after scoring
Bradford's David Wetherall is mobbed after scoring
Bradford 1-0 Liverpool

Paul Jewell's men pulled off an amazing escape from relegation with a win against Liverpool achieved through sheer determination and dogged defensive spirit.

A goal in the 12th minute from David Wetherall, who also put in a tremendous performance at the back, clinched the win for Bradford - and denied Liverpool a prestigious Champions League spot.

After the match, Wetherall said: "That's something I will remember for the rest of my life.



Instead, we showed what you can do with a bit of heart and desire

Bradford manager Paul Jewell

"They have been writing us off all season and it gives us such satisfaction to prove them wrong."

Manager Paul Jewell praised the whole squad. He said: "Everyone has played their part and the team spirit has been fantastic."

He added: "On endeavour and work-rate we restricted them to not to many chances. I said before the game if we lose we deserve to go down.

"Instead, we showed what you can do with a bit of heart and desire."



I have to admit I disgraced myself because when we scored I was up on my feet with arms in the air

Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond
Bradford set their stall out with a confident run from the kick-off but it was Liverpool who were quickest to settle, with both strikers, Michael Owen, and Emile Heskey making promising runs.

It was a frenetic start and Bradford struggled to put forward any attacking play.

But on 12 minutes Paul Jewell's battling Bradford took a shock lead when defender David Wetherall rose high above the Liverpool defence to head home a beautifully weighted free kick from Gunnar Halle.

At the other end, it was Liverpool striker Michael Owen whose pace was causing the Bradford defence problems.


Paul Jewell and Gerard Houllier
Bradford manager Paul Jewell with Liverpool's Gerard Houllier

After shrugging off the attentions of several players, his shot from the acutest of angles forced Clarke to pull off a fantastic save.

The onus then switched back to Bradford when after a fine run by Windass, Lee Sharpe was brought down on the edge of the box by Stephane Henchoz who found himself booked.

The resulting free-kick from Windass bounced awkwardly in front of Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld but he managed to gather the ball.

With just seconds left on the clock at the end of the first half, Bradford rode their luck to a tremendous degree when Owen found himself clean through, was able to round the keeper, but had to watch as his shot was cleared off the line by a backtracking Halle.

The second half started as frantically as the first with the first chance falling to Liverpool who won a free-kick on the edge of the box after Sharpe brought Steven Gerrard down.



I have definitely not scored a more important goal than that

David Wetherall
Patrik Berger's shot forced Clarke to tip it over the bar but Gerard Houllier's men were unable to take advantage of the resulting corner.

Desperation

On 53 minutes, Liverpool's desperation became increasingly apparent but Bradford were able to emerge unscathed with some solid goal-mouth defending.

Liverpool began pressing forward with more success and Clarke saved to deny both Owen and Heskey.

With just 30 minutes left, Gerard Houllier gambled on a double change, putting Vladimir Smicer and Titi Camara on for Gerrard and Berger respectively.

The substitution provided more options for the visitors and Bradford found it increasingly difficult to push out of their own half.



I'm happy for Paul Jewell - at least there's one Liverpudlian who will be celebrating tonight

Gerard Houllier
Liverpool relentlessly bombarded the Bradford goal with another Owen shot again missing by inches.

Isiah Rankin, who had come on for a tired Dean Saunders almost doubled Bradford's advantage with just five minutes to go, but having found himself one-on-one with Westerveld, was unable to find the target with his chip shot.

With seconds left, Dean Windass unleashed a shot from two yards inside the Liverpool half which Westerveld felt the need to save - but there was no need for dream goals, Bradford had reached the promised land.

Teams:

Bradford: Clarke, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Sharpe, Lawrence, McCall, Dreyer, Beagrie, Saunders, Windass. Subs: Westwood, Blake, Rankin, Jacobs, Davison.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Carragher, Hyypia, Henchoz, Matteo, Redknapp, Berger, Hamann, Gerrard, Heskey, Owen. Subs: Song, Smicer, Meijer, Camara, Nielsen.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)

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