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  Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Basle hold Liverpool
Baros is congratulated by Owen after Liverpool's goal
Baros is congratulated by Owen after Liverpool's goal
Liverpool 1-1 Basle
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Liverpool's hopes of Champions League progress suffered another body blow as they were held by Basle at Anfield.

Gerard Houllier's side - beaten comprehensively by Valencia in their opening game - needed victory against Christian Gross's Swiss champions to get their campaign on course.

And they looked to be on their way when Milan Baros continued his hot streak by putting Liverpool ahead in the first half.

But Basle then delivered a stunning sucker punch to equalise through Julio Hernan Rossi in almost their first attack just before half time.

Liverpool were denied by a combination of the woodwork and brilliant goalkeeping from Pascal Zuberbuhler in a rousing opening period - but ultimately ran out of ideas.


I feel proud of the way we played - there was some wonderful football
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier

The Merseysiders now face an uphill struggle to ensure qualification for the second phase after a disappointing opening to their Champions League quest.

Zuberbuhler set the tone for his heroics in the opening seconds by turning John Arne Riise's drive on to the bar.

And he delivered a carbon copy to deny the Norwegian again after nine minutes as Liverpool went in search of glory on Anfield's 100th night of European football.

Houllier is all smiles after Baros strikes
Houllier is all smiles after Baros strikes

Basle were penned in their own penalty are, but survived on good fortune alone until Liverpool deservedly broke the deadlock after 33 minutes.

Baros has been a revelation this season, and it was no surprise that he was the scorer with an instinctive right-foot finish from Emile Heskey's pass.

The Czech youngster almost added a second six minutes before the interval, only for Zuberbuhler to produce another flying save.

Basle, who had barely been seen in Liverpool's half, then cashed in on their luck to strike with a deadly counter-punch after 41 minutes.

Jamie Carragher's misjudgement let in Rossi, who scored from close range through Jerzy Dudek's legs.

There was still time for the woodwork to come to Basle's rescue again before half-time as Baros' shot on the turn rebounded to safety.

Hyypia is frustrated for Liverpool
Hyypia is frustrated for Liverpool

Basle settled after the break and won more possession, but Liverpool still looked the more likely side to add to the goals tally.

Cameroon defender Timothee Atouba blocked bravely to deny Baros when a goal looked certain.

And Zuberbuhler was tormenting Liverpool again with 19 minutes left when El Hadji Diouf - on as substitute for Emile Heskey - tried his luck from 20 yards.

It had been another blank night for Owen, and he was eventually withdrawn by boss Houllier after 78 minutes when he was replaced by Patrik Berger.


Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz, Hyypia, Riise, Murphy, Gerrard, Cheyrou, Heskey (Diouf 70), Owen (Berger 79), Baros.
Subs Not Used: Kirkland, Babbel, Diao, Biscan, Traore.

Booked: Diouf.

Basle: Zuberbuhler, Haas, Murat Yakin, Quennoz, Atouba, Barberis, Cantaluppi, Hakan Yakin (Duruz 68), Esposito, Juilio Rossi (Tum 74), Gimenez.
Subs Not Used: Rapo, Zwyssig, Varela, Koumantarakis, Degn.

Booked: Haas.

Attendance: 37,634

Referee: Dick Van Egmond (Holland).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
"Defensive sloppiness cost Liverpool"
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"We were very unlucky"
Basle boss Christian Gross
"This point keeps us in a good position"

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25 Sep 02 | Champions League
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