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BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
reports from Upton Park
 real 14k

West Ham manager Harry Redknapp
"We've worked our socks off in all our games so far."
 real 14k

Sunday, 17 September, 2000, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Hammer Di Canio denies Liverpool
Dietmar Hamann and Steve Lomas
Dietmar Hamann and Steve Lomas clash
West Ham 1-1 Liverpool

Paolo Di Canio scored a second half penalty to give West Ham a much deserved point at home to Liverpool.

The Italian made no mistake from the spot to equalise Steven Gerrard's first half strike.

The visitors looked woefully short of a threat without the injured Michael Owen, withdrawn because of a back injury.

Harry Redknapp's Hammers are still looking for their first win of the season, although in fairness, three points here would not have flattered them.

If Liverpool really have aspirations of winning the Premiership, they will need to eradicate performances like this.

In the sixth minute, Di Canio sent over a free kick from the Hammers left which Frederick Kanoute headed over the crossbar.

Swift

But a swift Liverpool broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, with Nick Barmby starting the attack from within his own half, before feeding Danny Murphy down the left. The former Crewe player's left footed cross found Gerrard unmarked from ten yards out and the England midfielder finished neatly.

The Hammers moved back on the attack and a nice turn within the penalty area produced a chance for Di Canio, but the player's shot was weak and straight into the hands of Sander Westerveld.


I wasn't happy to go one down at home but we showed terrific character. We came from behind against Manchester United and did it again today and the football we are playing is first class
  Harry Redknapp

West Ham nearly got a bizarre equaliser when Di Canio's cross was deflected off Gerrard and into the path of Trevor Sinclair, who from three yards out managed to head over the crossbar with Westerveld stranded.

Attractive

The home side's play was always attractive but mostly lacking a cutting edge, with a Joe Cole drive causing a roar from the crowd, despite the fact it was high, wide and from long range.

A Stuart Pearce free-kick from the right curled wide of everyone including Westerveld, with Emile Heskey close to getting a touch at the wrong end.

In general, the game endured a tepid time during the middle - a Kanoute turn and shot at the start of the second half raised a roar from the crowd but was ultimately off target.

Liverpool's lethargy demanded that West Ham come forward and a great cross from Sinclair should have been converted by Kanoute, but the French striker's header went well over the crossbar again.


West Ham's determination and commitment caused us a problem. They were up for it and showed that their league position is false


  Gerard Houllier
It was Kanoute who forced a penalty after Di Canio's throughball pierced the Liverpool defence and the Frenchman was brought down by Stephane Henchoz.

It was a clear penalty which Di Canio easily converted.

It was all West Ham now, with Liverpool finally deprived of a lead they had not deserved for some time.

The visitors began to enjoy some possession with the introduction of Christian Ziege and Vegard Heggem, the wingbacks giving them a better shape.

But this was an ordinary game of football, and in that respect, Liverpool contributed fully.

West Ham: Hislop, Stimac, Ferdinand, S. Pearce, Lomas, Cole, Sinclair, Winterburn, Carrick, Di Canio, Kanoute. Subs: Forrest, Peacock, Keller, Potts, Newton.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Henchoz, Song, Babbel, Heskey, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Barmby, Carragher, Traore. Subs: Arphexad, Ziege, Fowler, Heggem, Diomede.

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)

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