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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Defeat hurt for Man Utd"
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Match of the Day's Garth Crooks
gets post-match reaction
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Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"I half expected what we saw this afternoon"
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Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"It means we start the season well, but no more than that"
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Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Liverpool edge out Man Utd
Gary McAllister sends Fabien Barthez the wrong way
Gary McAllister sends Fabien Barthez the wrong way
Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United

Liverpool struck a psychological blow on the eve of the new season with victory in the Charity Shield curtain-raiser at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Gerard Houllier's side staged a late show to claim the FA Cup against Arsenal in May with a Michael Owen double.

This time they laid the foundations for triumph with an early burst that was rewarded with Gary McAllister's penalty and a strike from in-form Owen inside the first 15 minutes.

United responded in style and dominated possession for the rest of the game under the Millennium Stadium's retractable roof.

Sir Alex Ferguson's summer signing Ruud van Nistelrooy pulled a goal back after 50 minutes - leaving Liverpool to rely on an inspired display from goalkeeper Sander Westerveld to claim the season's first trophy.

Ferguson - squad strength
Ferguson - squad strength

The game was fiercely contested as two of the Premiership's heavyweights sparred before hostilities begin in earnest next week.

The eagerly-awaited midfield duel between Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and United's 28.1m summer purchase Juan Sebastian Veron must wait after they were ruled out through a combination of injury and international commitments.

But there was still a selection surprise with Robbie Fowler excluded even from the Liverpool substitutes' bench.

Liverpool wasted no time in striking the first blow against the old enemy when they were awared an early penalty.

Danny Murphy was recklessly upended by Roy Keane inside 45 seconds, and the veteran McAllister calmly sent Fabien Barthez the wrong way from the spot.

Liverpool doubled their advantage in the 15th minute when Owen was on target again.

Owen was handed the opportunity when Jaap Stam slipped, but he still showed great composure and expertise to wrong-foot Gary Neville and steer his finish past Barthez.

Owen - on target
Owen - on target

United's frustration surfaced when Paul Scholes was immediately booked for a foul on Dietmar Hamann.

United's false start left them chasing the game, but the champions found their feet and were unlucky not to cut the deficit as they enjoyed large periods of possession.

Liverpool goalkeeper Westerveld made a stunning reflex save from Keane's header when he connected with David Beckham's free kick only eight yards out.

And referee Andy D'Urso waved away claims for a penalty when Mikael Silvestre's drive struck Stephane Henchoz on the arm.

Liverpool, as always, were a dangerous counter-attacking force and Denis Irwin was forced to hack Nick Barmby's lob off the line when Barthez failed to claim McAllister's corner.

Houllier looks on
Houllier looks on

Keane - desperate to make amends for needlessly conceding a penalty - was denied by the bar after 36 minutes with Westerveld well beaten by a 25-yard strike.

United started the second half in explosive fashion - and Van Nistelrooy demonstrated the threat he will pose in the Premiership this season by putting United back in the game after 50 minutes.

He rounded off a quick-fire passage of play by collecting Ryan Giggs' pass to round fellow Dutchman Westerveld to score.

The goal gave United an extra gear, and Beckham was only inches away from a spectacular equaliser with a trademark long-range effort.

And Ferguson attempted to step up the pressure another notch after 65 minutes when he replaced Nicky Butt with Dwight Yorke.

Westerveld came to Liverpool's rescue three minutes later when he plunged at the feet of Scholes.

Liverpool needed to regain a foothold on possession and boss Houllier made a double substitution with 20 minutes remaining, sending on Patrik Berger and Igor Biscan for Murphy and Barmby.

Westerveld saved brilliantly again from Keane as Liverpool clung on, and United were furious when referee D'Urso again ignored penalty claims when Henchoz again used his arm to block Van Nistelrooy's goal-bound effort.

But Liverpool survived to claim their third successive victory against United.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Henchoz, Hyypia, Babbel, Riise, Murphy, Hamann, Barmby, McAllister, Heskey, Owen. Subs: Arphexad, Redknapp, Berger, Carragher, Biscan, Traore, Litmanen.

Manchester United: Barthez, Irwin, G Neville, Stam, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Keane, Giggs, Scholes, van Nistelrooy. Subs: Carroll, Brown, Chadwick, P Neville, Johnsen, Solskjaer, Yorke.

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