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BBC Sport's Alan Green
"A vital win for Liverpool"
 real 14k

Reds boss Gerard Houllier
It's a massive win"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Bradford slip to hungry Liverpool
Michael Owen of Liverpool scores the first goal
Michael Owen puts Liverpool 1-0 ahead at Bradford
Bradford City 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool boosted their hopes of a Champions League spot next season with a vital win at Valley Parade.

Michael Owen and free-kick specialist Gary McAllister scored the goals in the second half after a stubborn performance from already relegated Bradford City.

The Bantams could not live with Gerard Houllier's FA Cup and Uefa Cup finalists who are desperate to secure a top-three finish.

Liverpool are now third - ahead of both Leeds and Ipswich on goal difference - with three matches still to play.


Full credit to Bradford, I knew they'd play with freedom and would give their all
  Gerard Houllier, Liverpool manager

The Merseysiders have now won four successive matches in the Premiership and are in top form at a vital time.

Bradford's fans greeted their team like heroes despite their relegation from the Premiership.

Liverpool included Steven Gerrard, back after suspension, and Michael Owen, who swapped places with Robbie Fowler.

The Reds went close in the first minute when Gary McAllister's free-kick was nodded on by Sami Hyypia and Owen for Markus Babbel who forced a fine low save from Gary Walsh.

  Key incidents
47 mins: Owen puts Liverpool 1-0 up
67 mins: McAllister makes it 2-0 from a free-kick
Bradford were keen to put on a good show and Benito Carbone, in space on the left, fired a low volley wide of the far post.

Carbone had another chance when Sander Westerveld only half cleared a Robbie Blake corner, and the Italian lifted the ball over.

Liverpool went close just before the break when Emile Heskey turned sharply to set up McAllister whose shot was saved by Walsh.

Breakthrough


I certainly can't complain about the performance
  Jim Jefferies, Bradford manager

Bradford may have had few real problems in keeping Liverpool at bay in the first half, but it only took two minutes for them to take the lead in the second.

McAllister's long ball was chased by Owen - who outpaced Gunnar Halle - before firing an angled shot just inside the far post.

Westerveld was booked for collecting a back-pass and from the resulting free-kick, taken on the six-yard line, Bradford should have been awarded a penalty.

Carbone's chipped the ball at goal and Jamie Carragher blatantly handled but the referee's view was impeded and he ignored the Bantams' appeals.
Gary McAllister scored Liverpool's second
Gary McAllister scored Liverpool's second

There was no way back for Bradford when McAllister continued his amazing run of scoring with another sublime free-kick.

The veteran Scot superbly struck his 20-yard free-kick into the net off the underside of the crossbar, making it five goals from set pieces in as many games.

Carbone twice went close in the final stages but Liverpool were always in control and now know their Champions League destiny is in their own hands.


Bradford: Walsh, Myers, Molenaar, Halle, Jacobs, Whalley, McCall, Blake, Carbone, Jess, Ward. Subs: Davison, Nolan, Lawrence, Grant, McKinlay.

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

Referee: Jeff Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).

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