BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
    You are in: Football  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 22:59 GMT
Liverpool win Villa thriller
Djimi Traore and Stephane Henchoz help goalscorer Danny Murphy celebrate
Murphy celebrates his first-half free-kick at Villa Park
Aston Villa 3-4 Liverpool

Liverpool endured a late night rollercoaster ride at Villa Park to secure a remarkable Worthington Cup triumph.

Danny Murphy's injury-time strike, his second goal of the night, destroyed Villa's brave fightback and saw Liverpool go some way to repairing a season that had looked to be coming apart at the seams.

Liverpool looked to be cruising when goals from Murphy, Milan Baros and Steven Gerrard had cancelled out Darius Vassell's penalty.

But Tomas Hitzlsperger's fourth goal in five games and a late Dion Dublin strike appeared to have rescued Villa before Murphy's late goal.

Villa Park goals
23 mins: Vassell fires Villa ahead from the spot
27 mins: Murphy's free-kick hauls Liverpool level
54 mins: Baros drives home an angled shot
67 mins: Gerrard pounces to put Liverpool 3-1 up
72 mins: Hitzlsperger's shot gives Villa hope
83 mins: Deflected Dublin shot levels scores
90 mins: Murphy snatches dramatic late win

The Villa Park quarter final was delayed by 80 minutes because of crowd congestion, with the hosts overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to cram in for the game.

That delay meant the fourth semi-finalist in this year's competition was not known until just before 2300 GMT.

After the unsettling build-up to the game, Villa settled better and deserved their 22nd-minute lead.

Liverpool defender Djimi Traore had already survived two penalty appeals before he finally fell foul of referee Paul Barber following a trip on Lee Hendrie.

Vassell kept his cool from the spot, drilling his penalty straight down the middle to rightly put the home side in front.

But the lead lasted only four minutes as the setback stirred Liverpool into life.

Liverpool's Djimi Traore pulls down Lee Hendrie to concede a penalty
Traore fells Hendrie to concede a penalty
Oyvind Leonhardsen tripped Baros on the edge of the penalty area and Murphy's punishment was as clinical as Vassell's as he curled a free-kick beyond the reaches of Peter Enckelman.

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was quick to address his side's early deficiencies as he replaced the hapless Marcus Babbel with Jamie Carragher before half-time.

Liverpool looked more balanced as a result and they were in front within 10 minutes of the restart.

John Arne Riise survived appeals for handball as he controlled a long ball and fed Baros, who beat Enckelman with an angled low drive as the Villa defence stood off him.

Steven Gerrard epitomised the spirit in the team - he was brilliant

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
With Gerrard emerging as the game's dominant force, Liverpool began to turn the screw.

And it was fitting that Gerrard hit their third goal.

Michael Owen took on the Villa defence and, though he was crowded out, the ball popped free for Gerrard to run into space and lash a low drive beyond Enckelman.

That appeared to have sent Liverpool through, but Villa hit back defiantly.

Hitzlsperger gave them hope with 18 minutes left with a superb low drive from just outside the area.

Football can be a cruel game and it has been very cruel to us today

Graham Taylor

Mustafa Hadji nearly levelled when he followed a mazy run with a dipping shot that dropped just wide.

However, it was Dublin who restored parity with an 83rd-minute volley that deflected off Stephane Henchoz to give Kirkland no chance.

But with extra-time and the possibility of a midnight penalty shootout looming, Liverpool snatched back their lead.

Gerrard's hard work ended in a low cross that fell invitingly to Murphy and the England midfielder made no mistake to book Liverpool's semi-final place.


Aston Villa: Enckelman, De la Cruz (Angel 79), Mellberg, Samuel, Barry, Hendrie (Kinsella 83), Hitzlsperger, Leonhardsen, Hadji, Vassell, Dublin.
Subs Not Used: Postma, Allback, Edwards.

Liverpool: Kirkland, Babbel (Carragher 39), Henchoz, Hyypia, Traore, Murphy, Gerrard, Diao, Riise, Owen (Heskey 76), Baros.
Subs Not Used: Dudek, Smicer, Diouf.
Booked: Murphy, Hyypia, Henchoz.

Att: 38,530

Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's David Oates
"This match was well worth the wait"
 Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"We were heroic out there"
 Aston Villa boss Graham Taylor
"I now have 24 hours to sulk"

Semi-final ties

Wednesday's game

Have your say

Tuesday's games
Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Match coverage

Daily club news
Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Match coverage

Daily club news
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Football stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales