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BBC Sport's Alan Green
"An extraordinary evening"
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Liverpool boss Gerrard Houllier
"It's a historic day for Liverpool"
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Liverpool's Gary McAllister
"All credit to Alaves they made it a great game"
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"The best game I've ever played in"
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banner Thursday, 17 May, 2001, 04:17 GMT 05:17 UK
Houllier hails brilliant Reds
Houllier and Fowler savour the sweet victory
Houllier and Fowler savour the sweet victory
By BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach in Dortmund

Gerard Houllier believes his Liverpool cup heroes are on the verge of footballing immortality.

The Anfield boss saw his side shake off Spanish fighters Alaves to win a stunning Uefa Cup final 5-4 with a golden goal in extra time on Wednesday evening.

The remarkable nine-goal thriller, which was seen on BBC One by a peak audience of 14.2 million viewers, was the latest chapter in an incredible Liverpool season that has seen them capture an unprecedented cup treble.

Houllier said: "When you play in a European final, you are looking for immortality.

"People remember who was playing and when you look at programmes from finals you just recall the facts of the game.

Liverpool; Victory is theirs
Liverpool; Victory is theirs
"These boys have produced a game which will be remembered for a long time - and that is thanks to Alaves too."

Houllier believes the open encounter brought a heart-stopping end to Liverpool's reputation as a counter-attacking side.

That is a theory which grew following the Reds' come-from-behind FA Cup final win over Arsenal in a game which had seen them on the back foot for much of the match.

But the Uefa Cup thriller left Houllier bubbling: "The two teams have a counter-attacking reputation, but produced a game with nine goals. "We have scored 123 goals in 62 games this season.

"That is an average of almost two a game. "Maybe we are a boring side - as I seem to keep reading - but I will put up with that.


He added: "We must have scored 122 of our 123 goals on the counter attack, but all I know is that our total this season is the third highest in Liverpool's history."

That history now ranks the modern Liverpool side close to some of the great Anfield teams of the past, but Houllier remains reluctant to make comparisons.

"Liverpool has a tradition of success," he said.

"In one season we have won three cups and we are still in contention for the Champions League.

As soon as Charlton is out of the way, we will have a good drink
  Gerard Houllier
"The players deserve special credit for that.

"They are always compared to the great players of the past but no club can achieve what that Liverpool team did.

"For the players, they write their own history and they have made a name for themselves."

But the manager also confirmed that the ban on celebrations would remain firmly in place until after Saturday's game with Charlton.

Victory would confirm Liverpool's place in next season's Champions League, as well as putting the seal on an incredible year.

Houllier said: "Saturday's game will delay the celebrations.

"I am sorry about that, but we will catch up on Sunday.

"As soon as Charlton is out of the way, we will have a good drink.

"We will enjoy it, have a rest, and then start again, ready for next season.

"The players know the situation and they will not let themselves down.

"The game at Charlton is too important for them."

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See also:

17 May 01 |  Liverpool
Trezeguet keen on Anfield move
16 May 01 |  Uefa Cup
Hansen: 'Best game ever'
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