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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 January, 2004, 19:29 GMT
Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle
Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek
Bruno Cheyrou's brace guided Liverpool to victory over Newcastle and a place in the FA Cup fifth round.

An explosive opening four minutes saw Cheyrou give Liverpool the lead as he started and finished a rapid move by sidefooting the ball into the net.

Liverpool had barely time to celebrate before Laurent Robert flashed a vicious free-kick past Jerzy Dudek.

Just past the hour a surging Steven Gerrard run ended with him picking out Cheyrou and the Frenchman headed home.

With three goals in two games, Cheyrou's Anfield career has undergone a remarkable revival after he struggled with injuries and a loss of form since arriving from Lille.

With Liverpool opting for more direct approach and Newcastle preferring a more patient build-up, the game offered an intriguing contrast in styles.

A goal for each side in that pulsating opening only served to add to the intrigue as well as suggesting the two clubs were about to recreate their high-scoring encounters in the late 1990s at Anfield.

Picking up the ball in the second minute, Cheyrou exchanged passes with Michael Owen before setting Emile Heskey free.

Oliver Bernard slid in to tackle Heskey but the ball broke to Cheyrou, who calmly slotted his shot home.

KEY MOMENTS
2 mins: Cheyrou gives Liverpool the lead
4 mins: Robert's free-kick pulls Newcastle level
61 mins: Cheyrou's header restores Liverpool's lead

Robert has also been scoring plenty of goals recently and the Frenchman added another fine effort to his impressive collection of spectacular strikes.

Hit with the outside of his left-foot, Robert's vicious free-kick rocketed into the net past Dudek's flailing hand.

After such a dramatic opening a brief impasse ensued before Liverpool created a series of half chances.

Owen gave the Newcastle defence a couple of anxious moments, while a Cheyrou shot curled just wide.

Kieron Dyer almost broke free for Newcastle, while Jermaine Jenas went close with a header from a corner.

Heskey was replaced at the interval by Anthony Le Tallec as Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier rejigged his resources, deploying Owen as a lone striker.

The switch prompted Liverpool to begin to pass the ball more and gradually Gerrard emerged as a dominant force in midfield.

Just before the hour, Gerrard capitalised on Andy O'Brien's mistake only to overhit his pass to Owen, who was unmarked in the area.

Within minutes Gerrard quickly made amends for his error, surging down the Newcastle left and crossing for Cheyrou, who powered his header past Shay Given.

Newcastle mounted a late charge and Dudek superbly tipped over Alan Shearer's powerful drive in stoppage time.


Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Heskey (Le Tallec 45), Gerrard, Hamann, Kewell, Cheyrou, Owen.
Subs not used: Jones, Murphy, Riise, Biscan.
Booked: Henchoz. Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Woodgate, Bernard, Solano (Ameobi 68), Jenas, Speed, Robert, Dyer, Shearer.
Subs not used: Harper, Ambrose, Bramble, Viana.

Attendance: 41,365.

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard
"We needed this win after the last few results"


BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
"Liverpool were well on top after the break"




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