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BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"Ipswich were strangled for much of the game"
 real 14k

Ipswich boss George Burley
"It was never going to be a free-flowing game"
 real 14k

Reds boss Gerard Houllier
"The players did a very good job"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 01:45 GMT 02:45 UK
Ipswich and Liverpool share the spoils
Emile Heskey
Emile Heskey caught Ipswich cold in the second half
Ipswich 1-1 Liverpool

Ipswich and Liverpool shared the points at Portman Road on a night when David O'Leary's Leeds were the real winners in the race for third place.

With both sides contesting a Champions League place the match was a tense encounter with Gerard Houllier's side seemingly content with a point from very early on.

But for a while they looked likely to take all three points as Emile Heskey's opener just 14 seconds into the second period looked set to give the Anfield club a smash-and-grab victory.

Ipswich drew level 14 minutes from time as Alun Armstrong ghosted in behind Greg Vignal and Patrik Berger to turn home Chris Makin's cross.

And it was a point that the home side fully deserved.

The first half was an even and tense affair with both sides showing each other plenty of respect.

Patrik Berger fired an early free-kick into the Ipswich wall, before Greg Vignal whipped a left wing cross across the face of the Ipswich goal, just ahead of Heskey.

The hosts replied with an Armstrong drive from 30 yards that at least forced Westerveld into a save.

But generally both goalkeepers were rarely tested in the opening period.

The best chance of the half fell to Christian Ziege after a high ball contested by John McGreal and Heskey broke into his path.

But with just Wright to beat, the German drove the ball wide of the left post.

Ipswich's best threat came through Jermaine Wright, who saw a 25-yard volley well pushed away by Westerveld.

But the second half burst into action with Heskey's goal.

There seemed to be little danger as Liverpool pumped the ball forward, but as Makin hesitated Heskey took advantage and held off the former Sunderland man's challenge to poke the ball between the legs of Wright.

That forced the home side into a change with James Scowcroft replacing Jermaine Wright but for all their possession Ipswich were still struggling to unlock the Liverpool defence.

Heskey went close again for the visitors after an error by Bramble allowed Murphy to set the England striker away.

This time his effort flew wide and despite Heskey's protests he did not even gain the consolation of a corner.

Ipswich reshuffled their defence with Wilnis replacing Bramble and Hreidarsson switching into the centre of the back four, with Makin moving across to the left.

It was a change that gave George Burley's side an extra impetus and Scowcroft should have brought them level on 66 minutes when he headed across the face of goal when he should surely have gone for the target himself.

But the equaliser did finally arrive on 76 minutes and it was Armstrong that netted it.

Makin supplied the cross from the left and Armstrong side-footed the ball past Westerveld.

Liverpool were stirred back into action having been on the defensive for much of the second half, but neither side could force a winner.

Ipswich: Richard Wright, Makin, McGreal, Bramble, Hreidarsson, Reuser, Jermaine Wright, Holland, Stewart, Armstrong, Magilton. Subs: Branagan, Scowcroft, Clapham, Burchill, Wilnis.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Hyypia, Carragher, Ziege, Biscan, Vignal, Gerrard, Berger, Heskey, Murphy. Subs: Fowler, Owen, Hamann, Arphexad, McAllister.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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