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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Morrison denies Liverpool
Clinton Morrison (centre) is mobbed after his late equaliser
Morrison (centre) is mobbed after his late equaliser
Liverpool 2-2 Birmingham

Clinton Morrison struck a dramatic injury-time equaliser to grab a point for Birmingham against Liverpool at Anfield.

Morrison had pulled one back for the visitors after goals from Danny Murphy and Steven Gerrard put Liverpool into a commanding two-goal lead.

But, as with Newcastle in their last Premiership outing when the Reds were also 2-0 up and drew 2-2, Liverpool failed to hold onto their lead despite chances to wrap up the game.

  Key incidents
24 mins: Murphy scores from a free-kick for Liverpool
48: Gerrard converts a Diouf pass for Liverpool's second
61: Morrison pulls one back for Birmingham
94: Morrison's looping header levels at 2-2 for Birmingham

And Morrison struck with a looping header in the fourth minute of injury-time to earn Birmingham a point.

Liverpool retained the attacking intentions shown in the 2-2 draw against Newcastle and again paid the price.

But the fact that they eased up when 2-0 up, in combination with a determined effort from the visitors, saw them squander two points.

Liverpool dominated the first half when Birmingham struggled to keep up with the pace Gerard Houllier's side were setting.

This has given the side belief and that is the hardest thing for a new team in this division to achieve
Blues boss Steve Bruce

And the home team were rewarded for their dominance when El-Hadji Diouf was brought down outside the box.

Murphy stepped up to curl in his third goal of the campaign in his 100th start for the Merseysiders.

Michael Owen should have extended Liverpool's lead when he found himself with only Blues keeper Nico Vaesen to beat.

But the England striker, who has not scored in open play this term, saw his effort well saved by Vaesen who had come out of his goal quickly.

Owen gathered the rebound and crossed for Jon Arne Riise but the Norwegian failed to connect with the ball.

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard scored Liverpool's second

Liverpool had to deal with the loss of injured defender Stephane Henchoz at half-time but extended their lead early in the second period.

Gerrard converted a ball by Senegal striker Diouf after 48 minutes.

Diouf, who returned from Senegal where his step-father has been diagnosed with cancer, created the goal with his pace and vision.

And, if Owen had any doubts that he is going through a rough patch in front, they were confirmed after 55 minutes when he saw an effort roll across the Birmingham goal.

Jerzy Dudek - in the Liverpool side after recovering from a groin injury - then pulled off a superb save from Bryan Hughes as Liverpool eased up and let the visitors into the game.

They paid the price for relaxing their grip on the game just after the hour.

Six points have been squandered in about nine minutes of play
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier

A defensive mix-up allowed Morrison in at the near post to pull one back for Birmingham.

Thoughts returned to Liverpool's previous outing against Newcastle as well as their game at Blackburn when they were pulled back to 2-2 late on.

And any worries were heightened when a Murphy shot hit the post to keep Birmingham in with a chance of snatching point.

Liverpool's faithful were silenced when Morrison equalised with a looping header from a Stan Laziridis cross for Birmingham in the fourth minute of injury-time.

Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz (Heskey 45), Hyypia, Traore, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Riise (Diao 72), Owen, Diouf (Berger 80).
Subs Not Used: Kirkland, Baros.

Birmingham: Vaesen, Kenna, Cunningham, Purse, Grainger, Devlin, Savage, Hughes (Horsfield 74), Damien Johnson (Lazaridis 75), John (Carter 75), Morrison.
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Eaden.

Booked: Savage.

Attendance: 43,113.

Referee: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).

BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara
"A nightmare end for Liverpool"
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce
"We've got tremendous spirit"
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