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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 January, 2004, 14:53 GMT
Yeovil 0-2 Liverpool
Vladimir Smicer is crowded out by Nick Crittenden and Darren Way
England internationals Emile Heskey and Danny Murphy spared Liverpool's blushes with two late goals to end Yeovil's determined FA Cup challenge.

Heskey came off the bench to break the deadlock 20 minutes from time, firing low into the far corner after a neat build-up.

Murphy's penalty made sure of victory after Hugo Rodrigues was harshly adjudged to have fouled Harry Kewell.

Yeovil had dominated the first half and had chances to lead, but Liverpool grew stronger as the game wore on.

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson had spent most of the week in training telling his side to believe that playing Liverpool was just like playing any side in Division Three.

And Gerard Houllier's side did their best to prove that theory correct.

For 45 minutes, Yeovil took the game to Liverpool and what little chances were created went the way of the home side.

KEY MOMENTS
70 mins: Sub Heskey drills home the opener
77 mins: Murphy scores from spot after Rodriguez foul on Kewell

Jerzy Dudek was forced to fist clear from a Nick Crittenden free-kick before producing a stunning one-handed save to keep out Darren Williams' stinging drive.

And Darren Way's hooked volley over the crossbar followed a fine exchange of passes in a flowing build-up of one-touch football from the home team.

A touch of class from the side supposedly a class below.

Liverpool's chances were embarrassingly rare and it took Gerard Houllier's side 51 minutes to even force a corner.

El-Hadji Diouf shot wide just before half-time after Vladimir Smicer had found room to run into down the Liverpool right and cut the ball back.

Diouf's frustration and desperation to force an opening earned him a first-half booking for a clear dive in the Yeovil penalty area.

But Yeovil could have exacted a more telling punishment as they started the second half the way they had begun the first.

Liverpool, apparently unaffected by any half-time criticism from Houllier, remained ponderous as Yeovil snapped and challenge down the left.

And when a low cross fell to the feet of Nick Gall, it took a last-ditch challenge from Smicer to deny the striker an opening goal.

That finally signalled a response from the visitors and Smicer was unlucky to see a scuffed shot bounce back off a post with goalkeeper Chris Weale beaten midway through the second half.

But Heskey, a second-half replacement for Florent Sinama Pongolle, ensured there was to be no shock this time for a club that claimed 20 league scalps in the FA Cup during their non-league days.

It took an incisive combination of passing to open the home side up, Murphy and Kewell setting Heskey up for a neat finish.

Seven minutes later, Kewell fell under an innocuous challenge from giant defender Rodriguez and Murphy made sure of Liverpool's safe passage with an unstoppable penalty.


Yeovil: Weale, Lockwood, Skiverton, Rodrigues, Pluck (Jackson 74), Terry (Lindegaard 38), Way, Johnson, Crittenden, Gall, Williams, Lindegaard (Gosling 77).
Subs Not Used: Stansfield, Collis.

Liverpool: Dudek, Biscan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Riise, Diouf (Le Tallec 87), Murphy, Hamann, Smicer (Cheyrou 82), Kewell, Sinama Pongolle (Heskey 51).
Subs Not Used: Traore, Luzi Bernardi.

Booked: Smicer, Diouf, Le Tallec.

Attendance: 9,348.

Referee: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"Yeovil had a very good game and fought very hard"


Yeovil manager Gary Johnson
"Overall I thought we had as mane chances as Liverpool"




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