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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 August, 2003, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Hasselbaink sinks Liverpool
Chelsea's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hasselbaink celebrates with Geremi

Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's dramatic late winner gave Claudio Ranieri's expensively-assembled Chelsea a winning Premiership start at Liverpool.

Liverpool looked to have snatched a point thanks to a controversial twice-taken late penalty from Michael Owen.

But Hasselbaink - on as a half-time substitute and playing for his Chelsea future - struck with three minutes left to give the Londoners a rare Anfield win.

It left billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, watching from the Anfield directors' box, celebrating at the final whistle.

And it fired a warning to Chelsea's potential title rivals that Abramovich's cheque book will make them a force to be reckoned with this term.

Chelsea gave five of their summer signings a debut - with Joe Cole left on the substitute's bench.

KEY MOMENTS
24 mins: Juan Sebastian Veron puts Chelsea ahead
76 mins: Michael Owen levels for Liverpool with a twice-taken penalty
87 mins: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink grabs Chelsea's winner

But it was one of the Stamford Bridge old guard, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who made a crucial contribution in the opening seconds.

Emile Heskey set up Danny Murphy, who forced Cudicini into a brilliant diving save.

Harry Kewell was heavily involved on his Liverpool debut, but he wasted a glorious chance after 23 minutes, firing across the face of the goal with Owen unmarked.

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Chelsea had rarely threatened, but sprung out of defence brilliantly to break the deadlock seconds later.

Jesper Gronkjaer's cross from the right was met by Juan Sebastien Veron as Stephane Henchoz slipped, and the Argentine thundered a finish past Jerzy Dudek.

And Eidur Gudjohnsen should have doubled Chelsea's advantage after 32 minutes.

Veron was creator, sending the Icelander clear, but he delayed and Dudek saved smartly.

Chelsea coach Ranieri made a change at the interval, replacing Gudjohnsen with Hasselbaink.

Liverpool had more of the possession, but Chelsea continued to pose the greater threat.

Kop boss Gerard Houllier made a double change with 20 minutes left, sending on Steve Finnan and Milan Baros for Henchoz and Igor Biscan.

Smiling Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

And Liverpool were level in controversial circumstances after 76 minutes.

Chelsea bitterly disputed a Liverpool throw in - and their disappointment deepened when Wayne Bridge hauled down El-Hadji Diouf in the area.

Owen sent his first spot-kick hopelessly wide, but referee Steve Bennett ordered it to be re-taken after Cudicini encroached off his line.

Liverpool striker Owen slammed home his second attempt to Chelsea's obvious disgust.

But Chelsea responded in style and were back in front with only three minutes left, courtesy of a trademark Hasselbaink strike.

He pulled a Frank Lampard pass out of the air and dragged a brilliant finish into Dudek's far corner to take the points.


Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz (Finnan 70), Hyypia, Riise, Kewell, Murphy, Biscan (Baros 70), Cheyrou (Diouf 55), Owen, Heskey. Subs Not Used: Kirkland, Le Tallec.

Booked: Biscan, Henchoz, Diouf.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Johnson (Gallas 73), Terry, Desailly, Bridge, Gronkjaer, Geremi, Veron, Lampard, Duff (Joe Cole 75), Gudjohnsen (Hasselbaink 45). Subs Not Used: Ambrosio, Forssell.

Booked: Lampard.

Attendance: 44,082

Referee: S Bennett (Kent)


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
"Chelsea looked cohesive and full of potential"


Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"A great start to the season"




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