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BBC Sport's Steve Wilson
"Liverpool grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck"
 real 14k

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"I thought we controlled most of the game"
 real 14k

Goalscorer Michael Owen
"I think the whole team played well"
 real 56k

banner Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 22:05 GMT
Liverpool dismiss Porto threat
Owen celebrates his first European goal at Anfield
Owen celebrates his first European goal at Anfield
Liverpool 2-0 Porto (agg 2-0)

Liverpool booked their passage through to the Uefa Cup semi-finals by dismissing FC Porto in ultimately comfortable fashion.

Danny Murphy eased any fears posed by the delicately poised 0-0 scoreline from the first leg when he netted in somewhat controversial style for the opener.

Liverpool survived a scare at the other end before Michael Owen, in inspired form, scored his first European goal at Anfield with a header.

Those goals provided Liverpool with a firm stanglehold on the tie and they only furthered their grip as the game progressed.

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard set up the first two goals

Porto had arrived on Merseyside predicting they could threaten Liverpool's challenge for a unique Cup treble.

The Anfield side have already claimed the Worthington Cup and, along with their Uefa Cup campaign, they are also in the last four of the FA Cup.

Porto approached the encounter in an aggressive manner and, with Liverpool similarly giving their opponents little time and space, it dictated a combative affair early on.

Russian midfielder Dmitri Alenitchev, back in the Porto side, looked a threatening influence but the Liverpool defence stood firm before Murphy scored.

Steven Gerrard, on the right of midfield with Vladimir Smicer playing just behind the front two, was the provider.

In a formation which raised some eyebrows, the tactics were justified by Gerrard's impact.

He drove in a cross-field ball to find Murphy in space at the far post.

Danny Murphy
Murphy watches his opening goal go in

Murphy's initial control saw the Porto players appealling for handball but he took little notice and, with his second touch, scored with a left foot shot just inside the far post.

Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld then denied Porto an almost immediate equaliser.

Clayton Cruz was put through on the home goal which brought Westerveld rushing off his line to importantly block the shot.

Porto, without an away win in seven attempts, fell further behind with Owen's goal.

Gerrard again crossed from the right and Owen's downward header bounced into the Porto top corner.

Owen was in ominously threatening form as he and attempted a curling shot into the far corner which Porto keeper Pedro Espinha palmed away.

Impressive

There was little let up for Porto with Murphy again coming close shortly after the inteval.

Robbie Fowler teed up Owen for a shot on goal which went over as Liverpool rose to the occasion in front of a vociferous and passionate crowd.

Porto were limited to long range attempts on goal which were confidently dealt with by an impressive Westerveld.

Liverpool's main worry was that a third goal, in order to prevent any anxiety should Porto score, was proving elusive.

This danger did not materialise and Liverpool cruised into the next round which will be decided in the draw for the last four on Friday.


Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Hamann, Gerrard, Murphy, Smicer, Owen, Fowler. Subs: Ziege, Heskey, Arphexad, McAllister, Diomede, Wright, Litmanen.

FC Porto: Espinha, Paredes, Nelson, Secretario, Andrade, Alenitchev, Santos, Candido Costa, Clayton, Pena, Silva. Subs: Ovchinnikov, Aloisio, Deco, Drulovic, Chainho, Nuno, Maric.

Referee: Kim Nielsen (Denmark)

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See also:

14 Mar 01 |  Uefa Cup
Barmby to miss Porto clash
14 Mar 01 |  Uefa Cup
Reds have taste for success
08 Mar 01 |  Uefa Cup
Liverpool force Porto stalemate
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