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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 April, 2003, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Liverpool edge past Everton
Liverpool's Michael Owen
Owen scored his 24th goal of the season
Everton 1-2 Liverpool

Michael Owen and Danny Murphy boosted Liverpool's Champions League qualification hopes with fine goals in a Merseyside derby victory over nine-man Everton.

Owen's first ever goal from open play against Everton - the England striker had only previously scored from the spot in nine derbies - was cancelled out by a David Unsworth penalty just before the hour.

But six minutes later a typical Murphy long-range effort restored the visitors' lead and ultimately give Liverpool a fifth Premiership win in six games.

In the final 10 minutes Everton were reduced to nine men after David Weir and Gary Naysmith were sent off.

The win ensured Gerard Houllier's side leapfrogged Everton in the Premiership table to leave them two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who play David Moyes' side on Easter Monday.

Liverpool had started the game with a makeshift defence of Djimi Traore and Igor Biscan, a central defensive partnership that was further reshuffled when the Croatian took a knock in the back from Wayne Rooney after only eight minutes.

31 mins: Owen scores his sixth goal in six league games
58 mins: Unsworth pulls Everton level with a penalty
64 mins: Murphy restores Liverpool's lead
82 mins:Weir is red-carded
90 mins: Naysmith is the second Everton player to go

The Croatian was replaced by Salif Diao, who went to right-back, while Jamie Carragher moved across into the centre of defence.

Carragher conceded the penalty, but his performance at the heart of the Liverpool defence was crucial to Liverpool's success.

Early on goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek also required treatment, but he was able to continue in the face of sustained Everton pressure.

During that period, he did drop the ball under pressure from Kevin Campbell, but Carragher cleared Campbell's shot off the line.

Seconds later, Hamann felled Gravesen, an incident that prompted the already fired-up Liverpool players to surround referee Paul Durkin.

Liverpool's Igor Biscan challenges Everton's Wayne Rooney
Liverpool kept Wayne Rooney quiet

Steven Gerrard was booked for dissent, Hamann for the tackle and Durkin took the ball 10 yards nearer the goal - but Dudek kept out Gary Naysmith's drive.

Amid the flurry of bookings, Owen took centre stage to give Liverpool the lead.

He cut inside a hesitant Yobo and from the corner of the box smashed a stunning drive past Richard Wright.

Everton drew level in the 57th minute when Carragher brought down Naysmith in the box, allowing Unsworth to convert the penalty.

But having worked so hard to draw level, Everton soon found themselves behind again.

Hamann's shot was blocked and deflected into Murphy's stride 25 yards out, and he unleashed a drive that crashed into the net off Wright's left-hand post.

Everton: Wright, Yobo, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson (Ferguson 69), Carsley, Gravesen (Gemmill 76), Naysmith, Campbell, Rooney. Subs Not Used: Alexandersson, Li Tie, Simonsen.

Sent Off: Weir (82), Naysmith (90).

Booked: Gravesen, Naysmith, Weir, Stubbs.

Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Biscan (Diao 8), Traore, Riise, Heskey, Gerrard, Hamann, Murphy, Owen, Baros (Diouf 66).
Subs Not Used: Smicer, Arphexad, Cheyrou.

Booked: Gerrard, Hamann, Baros.

Attendance: 40,162

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

Liverpool boss Gerard Houlier
"This win comes at the right time"

Everton boss David Moyes
"I don't think we deserved to lose"



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