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BBC Five Live's Alan Green
"Liverpool totally deserved to win"
 real 14k

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"It was an outstanding performance"
 real 14k

Liverpool's Michael Owen
"We were pleased with the way we defended"
 real 14k

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
"We're happy with our performance"
 real 14k

Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson
"The flow of our game wasn't normal"
 real 14k

Sunday, 17 December, 2000, 14:01 GMT
Liverpool break United home rule
Danny Murphy curls home his free-kick
Danny Murphy scores Liverpool's winner
Manchester United 0-1 Liverpool

A brilliant Danny Murphy free-kick in the first-half proved enough for Liverpool to inflict Manchester United's first Premiership home defeat for two years.

Liverpool withstood fierce pressure throughout the match and defended stoically.

Their back four and the central midfield partnership of Steven Gerrard and Igor Biscan were particularly impressive.

United failed to carve out chances and their frustration was complete near the end when substitute Luke Chadwick was sent-off for a professional foul on Vladimir Smicer.

It then became clear that United were going to lose a Premiership match at Old Trafford for the first time since Middlesbrough's 3-2 victory on 19 December 1998.

Liverpool soon made it clear that they had not come to Old Trafford to play open and attacking football.

They sat deep and allowed United lots of possession but little space. This made for a scrappy opening period when there were few shots on goal.

Brilliant goal

After half-an-hour Sir Alex Ferguson reacted by switching his United team around. He swapped the positions of Giggs and Scholes, putting the Welshman into attack and the England international on to the left wing.

But it was Liverpool who moved into the ascendancy near the end of the half.

Not many Liverpool teams have won here, so I'm really proud of the players
  Gerard Houllier
First Murphy hit a 30-yard snap-shot that Barthez palmed past his post. From the resulting corner Heskey headed powerfully at goal from close range and Scholes cleared off the line.

Then the visitors got the goal that the Old Trafford faithful feared on 41 minutes. They were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal after Gary Neville blatantly hand-balled a long punt.

At the set-piece Barmby stepped over the ball and Murphy curled a delicious shot just inside Barthez's left-hand post.

Liverpool had an excellent chance to extend their lead shortly after the re-start.

Markus Babbel broke inside from the right-flank and squared the ball into the area to Owen, who hit a first-time shot that beat Barthez but clattered against United's crossbar.


United almost immediately responded. Scholes moved to the edge of the area and slipped a clever pass to Solskjaer, who struck a first-time shot that Westerveld did well to save.

United piled forward as the second-half progressed, but failed to create clear-cut chances.

In fact Liverpool still looked dangerous on the break, capitalising on the space that marauding United left at the back.

The players weren't good enough and it was a disappointing performance from us
  Sir Alex Ferguson
Barmby had a couple of good chances, hitting one shot over the crossbar from the edge of the area and another into the side-netting from a very acute angle.

After 88 minutes Liverpool cleared another attack and the ball fell to Vladimir Smicer, who broke forward from his own half beyond United's last line of defence.

Luke Chadwick clung on to the Czech international and eventually brought him down on the edge of the area.

Referee Mike Riley saw no option but to send the young United midfielder off.

Man Utd: Barthez, Irwin, Gary Neville, Brown, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Solskjaer.
Subs: Van Der Gouw, O'Shea, Greening, Chadwick, Phil Neville.

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

Referee: M Riley (Leeds).

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See also:

17 Dec 00 |  Eng Prem
Houllier proud to end 10-year wait
17 Dec 00 |  Eng Prem
FT: Man Utd 0-1 Liverpool
17 Dec 00 |  Photo Galleries
Man Utd v Liverpool - in pictures
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