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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Owen sinks Chelsea
Liverpool's Bruno Cheyrou and Gianfranco Zola compete for the ball
Chelsea have never won at Anfield in the Premiership
Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea

A last-minute goal from Michael Owen gave Liverpool a narrow win over Chesea to keep Gerard Houllier's side in touch with leaders Arsenal.

The Chelsea defence had muzzled Owen throughout the game but the England international pounced to score after Carlo Cudicini had pawed Emile Heskey's shot onto the post.


We contained them and controlled the game
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier

Having lost to bottom club West Ham last weekend and then humiliated by Viking Stavanger, at least Chelsea restored some pride with a more purposeful performance.

The commitment of Claudio Ranieri's players had been questioned after the Viking defeat but Chelsea showed enough vim to suggest they still have much to play for this season.

  Top six
Arsenal 23pts
Liverpool 21pts
Middlesbrough 17pts
Spurs 16pts
Fulham 14pts
Man Utd 14pts

Chelsea's defence - reinforced by the fit-again Marcel Desailly - looked more assured, while Jesper Gronkjaer and Graeme Le Saux provided plenty of width in attack.

The shame for Chelsea was that Gronkjaer's final delivery from good positions continually let him down.

In the opening exchanges William Gallas flashed a shot over Jerzy Dudek's bar and Frank Lampard should have done better with a header from an accurate Gronkjaer cross.

Driven on by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool began to impose themselves more on the game.

It was Gerrard, after turning Desailly, who swung in a dangerous cross that Gallas did well to turn away for a corner.

And it was Gerrard who hit a vicious shot that Cudicini did wonderfully well to touch onto the bar early in the second half.

Chelsea's William Gallas protects the ball from Liverpool's Michael Owen
Michael Owen rarely glimpsed goal - until the very end

Earlier the Chelsea goalkeeper had done well to tip over a Sami Hyypia howitzer.

On 70 minutes Houllier introduced Milan Baros, who immediately sprayed the ball wide to Owen, whose cross troubled Cudicini.

The Czech Republic star then slipped Desailly, only to blast his final shot over the bar.


I think my team deserved a draw
Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri

With the game heading for a draw, the ball broke to Heskey, whose shot Cudicini managed to block, but Owen was on hand to seal the three points for Liverpool.

It was Owen's fourth goal in two games and condemned Chelsea to a third successive defeat.



Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz (Traore 40), Hyypia, Riise, Murphy (Diao 75), Hamann, Gerrard, Cheyrou (Baros 71), Owen, Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Diouf, Kirkland.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Gallas, Le Saux, Stanic (Morris 45), Petit, Lampard, Gronkjaer, Hasselbaink (Gudjohnsen 45), Zola.
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Zenden, Terry.

Booked: Stanic, Gronkjaer.

Attendance: 43,856.

Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ron Jones
"Chelsea just couldn't believe it"
Liverpool boss Gerard Houiller
"Our team spirit made the difference"
Liverpool scorer Michael Owen
"You always try and follow rebounds in"
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