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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Liverpool ripped into Coventry from the start."
 real 14k

Liverpool boss, Gerard Houllier
"Today we created a lot of chances."
 real 14k

Liverpool's Gary McAllister
"It's nice to get on the scoresheet."
 real 14k

Sunday, 12 November, 2000, 18:02 GMT
Heskey double kills off Coventry
Emile Heskey and Nick Barmby
Emile Heskey celebrates with Nick Barmby
Liverpool 4-1 Coventry

Emile Heskey's late double sent Liverpool back up to third in the Premiership and killed off a spirited second-half fightback from Gordon Strachan's Coventry.

Heskey struck on 82 and 87 minutes just as it seemed that Liverpool might be made to pay for some earlier wasteful finishing.

The goals also put Heskey in good spirits ahead of England's friendly in Italy on Wednesday but fellow striker Michael Owen, his expected England partner in Turin, suffered a miserable afternoon in front of goal.

Owen was the chief culprit as Liverpool wasted a hatful of chances, though Coventry keeper Chris Kirkland also played a major part in the Anfield frustration.

Kirkland denied Owen with a point-blank save inside five minutes and the lively striker was also denied by two defensive blocks as he displayed an insatiable early appetite on his return from injury.

Chris Kirkland
Coventry keeper Chris Kirkland denied Liverpool an Anfield avalanche

Instead, Coventry were undone by a former Highfield Road favourite in Gary McAllister.

His 15th-minute striker, a lethal finish from just inside the area after he had cut inside Richard Shaw, should have opened the Anfield floodgates, but Owen's finishing and Kirkland's defiance ensured they stayed firmly shut.

The striker sliced wide after Gary McAllister had set him up, then saw another effort pushed away by Kirkland as Liverpool could only manage a modest one-goal lead at the break.

Again, it was a midfield player who eased the Anfield frustrations as Steven Gerrard headed home the second six minutes after half-time.

Again, McAllister was heavily involved as his free kick from wide on the right was powerfully headed home by Gerrard, despite a valiant attempt by Kirkland to claw the effort away.

Michael Owen
Michael Owen was left to rue some poor finishing

Finally, Coventry responded, though it took a stunning goal from David Thompson to grab them a lifeline.

Thompson, making his Anfield return after joining the Sky Blues in August, brought even his former fans to their feet when he launched an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that flew into the top right-hand corner of Sander Westerveld's net.

Liverpool continued to dominate, but struggled to find the goal that would kill Coventry off.

Nick Barmby fired wide with just Kirkland to beat and Owen wasted his best chance of the game when he lifted the ball over Kirkland but saw his effort bounce inches wide.

Heskey, who had earlier been denied by two outstanding Kirkland stops, finally found a way through eight minutes from time.

McAllister was the provider again, as his corner was flicked on for Heskey to repeat Gerrard's earlier trick and crash a header home.

Stephane Henchoz and Craig Bellamy
Stephane Henchoz holds off the challenge of Craig Bellamy

After 82 minutes of frustration, it took only five more for Heskey to grab a second.

This time, it was a sublime lobbed finish which beat Kirkland after Thompson's stray header had fallen ominously at the England striker's feet on the edge of the box.

Incredibly, Heskey could have doubled his haul in the dying minutes.

First, he saw a close range effort scrambled to safety and then, in the final minute, was denied by an outstanding fingertip save from Kirkland.

That capped a superb display by the Coventry keeper, though in reality it was only enough to ward off an Anfield avalanche.


Liverpool: Westerveld, Henchoz, Babbel, Smicer, Heskey, Owen, Hyypia, Gerrard, Barmby, McAllister, Traore.
Subs: Ziege, Fowler, Murphy, Arphexad, Carragher.

Coventry City: Kirkland, Williams, Shaw, Thompson, Chippo, Hadji, Palmer, Breen, Bellamy, Guerrero, Strachan.
Subs: Edworthy, Hendry, Roussel, Eustace, Miller.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds).

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