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  Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 21:35 GMT
Liverpool fall short
Sami Hyypia (right), and Steven Gerrard (centre) walk away after keeper Dudek picks the ball from his net
Liverpool keeper Dudek picks the ball from his net
Basle 3-3 Liverpool

Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League by Swiss side Basle despite a brave second half fightback.

The Reds found themselves 3-0 down within 30 minutes and despite battling back for a draw, must now settle for a Uefa Cup spot.

  Key incidents
2 mins: Rossi puts Basle ahead
22: Giminez adds Basle's second
29: Atoube stuns Liverpool with a third
60: Murphy pulls one back
63: Smicer adds a Liverpool second
83: Owen scores from the spot

Hakan Yakin was Liverpool's chief tormentor as he had a hand in all Basle's three goals, which came from Julio Hernan Rossi, Christian Giminez and Timothee Atouba.

Danny Murphy started a Liverpool resurgence and Vladimir Smicer scored a second before Michael Owen dramatically levelled matters from the spot after 83 minutes.

But Liverpool could not stop their exit coming on manager Gerard Houllier's four year anniversary in sole charge of the Anfield club.

Liverpool got off to the worst possible start when Antonio Esposito's through ball opened up the their defence and Hakan Yakin crossed for Rossi to slot in from six yards.

The visitors tried to respond and Smicer's outstretched leg could not quite reach Emile Heskey's low right-wing cross after eight minutes.

Two minutes later, Heskey's shot almost caught out home keeper Pascal Zuberbuehler, who was expecting a cross but managed to palm the ball away off his crossbar.

Basle continued to be the more inventive and incisive team in the first half even though they knew a draw would put them through.

Christian Giminez (left) and Sebastien Rossi both scored
Basle had plenty to celebrate

Hakan Yakin was the orchestrater for his side and, after seeing Liverpool keeper Dudek palm a 25-yard free-kick around the post, he set up Basle's second.

He chipped a ball into the path of Argentine striker Giminez, who shot past the on-rushing Dudek.

Hakan Yakin's 25-yard free-kick was then saved by Dudek but the ball fell into the path of Atouba and he slotted in.

Owen shot over early in the second half before Murphy gave Liverpool a glimmer of hope when he shot in from the edge of the Basle area.

Milan Baros had replaced Heskey in attack and his touch into the visitors box saw Smicer score with a shot to increase the nerves of the home team.

Dudek kept Liverpool in the game with two key saves before Murat Yakin's handball gave Liverpool a penalty.

Owen scored at the second attempt and Liverpool exerted plenty of pressure for the winner which proved elusive.


Basle: Zuberbuhler, Murat Yakin, Zwyssig, Esposito, Haas, Cantaluppi, Ergic, Atouba, Hakan Yakin (Koumantarakis 90), Juilio Rossi (Tum 76), Gimenez (Barberis 66). Subs Not Used: Rapo, Quennoz, Varela, Duruz.

Booked: Esposito.

Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher (Diouf 79), Traore, Hyypia, Riise, Smicer, Gerrard (Diao 46), Hamann, Murphy, Heskey (Baros 62), Owen. Subs Not Used: Kirkland, Babbel, Biscan, Cheyrou.

Booked: Smicer, Murphy.

Attendance: 35,000

Referee: C Colombo (France).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
"An unbelievably inept first-half performance"
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"I'm pleased with the character we showed"
Liverpool's Sami Hyypia
"I don't have words to describe how I'm feeling"

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12 Nov 02 | Champions League
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