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  Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 00:01 GMT
Liverpool reach last eight
Jari Litmanen made no mistake from the penalty spot
Jari Litmanen put Liverpool ahead in the sixth minute
Liverpool 2-0 Roma
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was back at Anfield to see his side qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals with a magnificent performance.

An early Jari Litmanen penalty and a second-half header from Emile Heskey were enough to give the English side victory over Roma.

And with Barcelona taking all three points in a 1-0 win at Galatasaray, it is the clubs from England and Spain who qualify from Group B.

  Match details
6mins: Litmanen scores from the penalty spot
63mins: Heskey heads home Murphy's cross
Houllier was given a rapturous welcome on his first appearance at an Anfield game for five months following heart surgery.

And Liverpool got the perfect start as Litmanen - in for the injured Michael Owen - scored from the penalty spot in the sixth minute.

The first corner of the night caused panic in the Roma defence and Marcos Assuncao impeded Danny Murphy as the Liverpool midfielder was poised to shoot.

Litmanen calmly stroked the penalty into the bottom left-hand corner, and Liverpool immediately set about doubling the advantage.

Moments later Steven Gerrard struck a fierce free-kick from 25 yards that Franceso Antonioli did well to parry.

Gerard Houllier received a rapturous welcome on his return
Houllier returned to Anfield after five months
Liverpool flooded forward, with John Arne Riise and Heskey going close as Roma could only manage brief raids out of their own half.

Gabriel Batistuta went closest for the visitors in the 35th minute but he failed to connect from inside the six yard box from a corner.

Liverpool's dominance was embodied by the energetic Gerrard, who went in at half time needing attention after a challenge with Aldair sent him crashing into the hoardings.

Roma boss Fabio Capello brought Marco Delvecchio and Vicenzo Montella on for Batistuta and Lima after the break, and the Italians soon picked up their game.

Francesco Totti and Steven Gerrard were the stars for Roma and Liverpool
Totti and Gerrard battled in midfield
A smart move inside the Liverpool box ended with Francesco Totti going desperately close - his shot from six yards deflecting wide of the post.

The match remained in the balance with chances at either end, Candela heading over in the 58th minute and a Riise shot seconds later stretching Antonioli at the other end.

The decisive moment came in the 63rd minute when Damiano Tommasi was booked for pulling back Litmanen.

The yellow card proved less significant than the free kick, as Heskey climbed highest to power Murphy's flighted ball into the bottom corner.

Roma pushed forward in search of a lifeline, but despite the efforts of Totti they could only create half chances and failed to trouble Dudek in the closing stages.

Liverpool continued to look dangerous at the other end through Heskey and the impressive Riise.

And with a two-goal cushion the home crowd did not need to wait for news from Turkey to begin celebrating on the final whistle.


Liverpool: Dudek, Xavier, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Smicer, Gerrard, Murphy, Riise, Litmanen, Heskey. Subs: Arphexad, Baros, Barmby, McAllister, Diomede, Biscan, Wright.

Roma: Antonioli, Panucci, Samuel, Aldair, Tommasi, Emerson, Assuncao, Lima, Candela, Totti, Batistuta. Subs: Pelizzoli, Zago, Montella, Zebina, Cassano, Delvecchio, Guigou.

Referee: R Pedersen (Norway).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Alan Green
"Liverpool were rampant"
Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson
"It was special"
Liverpool goalscorer Emile Heskey
"The lads really wanted to perform well for Gerard Houllier"
 VOTE RESULTS
Who will go further in Europe?

Arsenal
 15.64% 

Liverpool
 29.60% 

Man Utd
 54.76% 

43542 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


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