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BBC Sport's John Murray reports
"Liverpool were flat in the first half"
 real 14k

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
"I was disappointed with the first half but very pleased at the players' reaction in the second"
 real 14k

Derby manager Jim Smith
"We had to defend for long periods in the second half"
 real 14k

Sunday, 18 March, 2001, 18:14 GMT
Derby frustrate red-hot Owen
Deon Burton celebrates Derby opener
Burton (second left) celebrates his opener for Derby
Liverpool 1-1 Derby

Michael Owen's second-half strike and superb overall performance were ultimately dampened by a resolute Rams defence at Anfield.

Owen, a livewire in attack for Liverpool, slid in the equaliser on 52 minutes to cancel out Deon Burton's ninth minute opener.

Sven Goran Eriksson was looking on as Owen repeatedly ran rings around the Derby defenders.

It wasn't a disaster, it's not the end of the world - we just got one point instead of three and that's because of the amount of games we have played
  Gerard Houllier

But the visitors managed to hold on for a precious point that steers them further clear of the relegation zone.

Liverpool had started with three of their strikers, as Emile Heskey and Jari Litmanen joined Owen in attack with Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard relegated to the bench.

But it was Derby who made the spectacular start.

Craig Burley tackles Michael Owen
Michael Owen (r) was a constant threat in attack

The Rams had failed to score on five of their last six visits to Anfield, but Jim Smith's side went ahead when Deon Burton netted at the Kop end.

Chris Riggott got the slightest of touches to Seth Johnson's inswinging corner and Burton diverted the ball home off his knee.

Liverpool produced more periods of long possession in response to the goal, but initially without any end product.

Derby defence defiant

Dietmar Hamann and Igor Biscan saw trademark drives blocked, but Derby continued to cause the hosts problems, Johnson shining in midfield and especially from corners.

Rory Delap's long throws were also troubling the Liverpool defence, and Burton came close to a second with a header and then a shot.

Sami Hyypia was then lucky to escape with nothing more than a warning for bringing down Christie after the young striker had got away from Stephane Henchoz.

We gave them plenty of problems even if this was a good time to play them
  Derby assistant manager Colin Todd

However, the tide turned after the interval, with Owen and Litmanen Derby's chief tormentors.

There were several moments of super link-up play between the pair, and one such move saw Litmanen wriggle free down the right.

He crossed low for Owen to stab home at the second attempt despite a valiant first save from Andy Oakes.

Litmanen and Owen combined again minutes later, but the England man could only head straight at Oakes.

Gerrard came on for Biscan as Liverpool upped the tempo, and immediately tore into the visitors, firing over a teasing centre from the right which Owen glanced just wide.

Emile Heskey is tackled by Taribo West
Emile Heskey is outfoxed by the Derby defenders

Derby's threat was all but nullified, although breakway efforts from Burton and substitute Thordur Gudjonsson forced smart saves from Sander Westerveld.

But the force remained with Houllier's side, and especially with Owen, who came agonisingly close with an angled drive which whizzed across goal.

Fowler and Vladimir Smicer came on with 15 minutes left as Liverpool poured forward again.

But despite territorial dominance and a succession of promising moves, there was no winner and Derby's battle-weary defence celebrated a hard-earned point.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, McAllister, Hamann, Biscan, Litmanen, Heskey, Owen. Subs: Smicer, Fowler, Murphy, Gerrard, Arphexad.

Derby: Oakes, Riggott, Carbonari, West, Powell, Burley, Johnson, Higginbotham, Delap, Burton, Christie. Subs: Kinkladze, Gudjonsson, Mawene, Eranio, Grant.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)

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18 Mar 01 |  Eng Prem
Clockwatch: Liverpool 1-1 Derby
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