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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Pompey stun Liverpool
Portsmouth's Patrick Berger celebrates his goal against Liverpool
Portsmouth 1-0 Liverpool

Former Liverpool player Patrik Berger condemned his old team to a third successive league defeat and provided Portsmouth with a much needed victory.

Released by Liverpool last summer the Czech Republic international scored in the fourth minute moments after Emile Heskey had hit the post.

Like Liverpool, Portsmouth had lost their previous three league games, but Berger's goal means Harry Redknapp's side have stabilised their league position.

The defeat means Liverpool have already lost four league games this season and trail Premiership leaders Arsenal by 12 points.

It was the first time Gerard Houllier had seen his side lose three consecutive league games.

Heskey looked certain to score when he ran onto El Hadji Diouf's through-ball and easily held off Dejan Stefanovic before toeing his shot past Shaka Hislop.

KEY MOMENTS
3 mins: Heskey hits the post for Liverpool
4 mins: Berger scores to wreak revenge against Liverpool
88 mins: Ayegbini's shot hits the crossbar

The Liverpool striker's shot bounced back into play off the foot of an upright and Portsmouth swept upfield with Teddy Sheringham opening up Liverpool with a splendid cross-field pass to Sebastian Schemmel.

The Frenchman delivered a low cross from the right and Berger reacted quicker than anyone, going to the near-post to neatly deflect the ball across Jerzy Dudek and into the far corner.

Schemmel proved a constant irritant and after a slick exchange with Steve Stone the Frenchman provided another telling cross for the unmarked Sheringham at the far post until Nigel Quashie's leap deflected it away.

Ayegbini also stretched Liverpool with his power and determination and he hooked a shot just wide from the edge of the area as well as going close late on when his shot hit the draw.

In the thick of the action Berger clearly relished the chance to wreak revenge on his old team.

On 21 minutes the Czech Republic international eyed a second goal but Sami Hyypia blocked his half-volley.

Berger was then booked for protesting after Boris Zivkovic was ruled to have handled on the edge of the area.

Steven Gerrard then curled a low free-kick which squirmed under Shaka Hislop's body and had to be cleared off the line by Dejan Stefanovic.

Houllier threw on Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama Pongolle, but the two young Frenchman were unable to salvage a point for Liverpool.

Portsmouth might have even grabbed a second when Igor Biscan was lucky not to net an own goal when his header crashed against the bar as he defended a free-kick.


Portsmouth: Hislop, Schemmel, De Zeeuw, Stefanovic (Foxe 35), Zivkovic, Stone, Quashie (Sherwood 90), Faye, Berger, Sheringham, Ayegbini.
Subs Not Used: Wapenaar, Taylor, Roberts.

Booked: Berger, Faye.

Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Riise, Diouf (Sinama Pongolle 64), Gerrard, Biscan, Smicer (Le Tallec 60), Heskey, Kewell.
Subs Not Used: Kirkland, Traore, Welsh.

Booked: Diouf, Biscan.

Attendance: 20,123

Referee: S Dunn (Gloucestershire).





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