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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 21:57 GMT
Liverpool stun Man Utd
Danny Murphy celebrates his match-winning goal
Murphy added a cool finish to Gerrard's pass
Man Utd 0-1 Liverpool
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A measured pass from Steven Gerrard gave Danny Murphy the perfect chance to hand Liverpool a fifth straight win over Manchester United and revive their flagging Premiership hopes.

United, chasing a ninth consecutive league victory, enjoyed more of the ball and territory, but were unable to unlock a resolute Liverpool rearguard.

Gerrard, a dominant figure throughout, produced the moment of the game in the 85th minute - picking out Murphy's run with a superb throughball.

  Key moments
1 min: Gerrard booked for fouling Giggs
15 mins: Giggs puts game's first chance wide
45 mins: Scholes cross flashes across face of goal
73 mins: Dudek parries fierce Veron shot
77 mins: Anelka's first touch saved by Barthez, Riise volley from corner also blocked
85 mins: Murphy scores from Gerrard assist
86 mins: Dudek tips Giggs header wide

The quality of the pass left Murphy with the relatively simple task of lifting the ball over Fabien Barthez in the United goal.

The home side stormed back, however, and Jerzy Dudek had to produce a fantastic save a minute later to deny Ryan Giggs' firm downward header.

Liverpool began the second half in the same composed manner that they had finished the first.

With England Under-21 defender Stephen Wright growing in confidence down the right flank, and Liverpool's midfield quartet gaining the upper hand, the visitors were looking the more likely winners.

But United, largely through the increased efforts of Juan Sebastian Veron and Roy Keane, climbed back into the contest.

Goal-scoring chances, however, remained at a premium for both sides. That is, until the 77th minute, when Liverpool had two in quick succession.

Liverpool goal-scorer Danny Murphy
Murphy scored after recent criticism

The first fell to Nicolas Anelka, recently on for a disappointed - and disappointing - Michael Owen. The French striker's snap shot from point-blank range was turned around the post by Barthez.

And from the resulting corner, John Arne Riise's fierce drive was parried to safety by the United 'keeper.

As is typical for games between these fierce rivals, the match started at a breakneck pace.

Gerrard, a doubt before the game with a hamstring injury, made the first mini-headline of the evening when he was booked for a foul on Giggs after just 45 seconds.

The Welsh winger was playing alongside the red-hot Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and in front of a Who's Who midfield of Paul Scholes, Veron, Keane and David Beckham.

Liverpool lined up with a more defensive outlook - playing Riise at left midfield, and Wright at right back.

Once the frantic opening exchanges had passed, a clear pattern emerged for the next 30 minutes.

The home side dominated but created few genuine scoring opportunities.

United's Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy: No chance to add to his tally

With Liverpool defending in numbers, United had little more than a Giggs shot dragged wide and an ambitious penalty claim for contact on Van Nistelrooy to show for their neat approach play.

Having resisted United's initial push with relative comfort, Liverpool started to string a few passes of their own together.

Having spent the first third of the game in spoiling mode, the visitor's midfield began to create a few shooting chances, and Gerrard became an increasing influence on the game.

His assist for Murphy's winner simply confirmed what had already been a man-of-the-match performance.


Man Utd: Barthez, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Blanc, Silvestre, Beckham (Solskjaer 87), Keane, Scholes, Veron, van Nistelrooy, Giggs.
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Wallwork, O'Shea, Butt.
Booked: Veron.

Liverpool: Dudek, Wright, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Murphy (Berger 88), Hamann, Gerrard, Riise, Heskey, Owen (Anelka 77).
Subs Not Used: Arphexad, McAllister, Biscan.
Booked: Gerrard, Carragher.

Attendance: 67,599.

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

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BBC Sport's Alan Green
"Liverpool created more chances"

Reds reopen title race

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 VOTE RESULTS
Will Liverpool now win the title?

Yes
 33.07% 

No
 66.93% 

15287 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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