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Around The Uk

BBC Five Live's Simon Hill
With a round up of the action from Bucharest
 real 14k

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"It was a very professional performance"
 real 14k

Peter Beardsley
"It was all Michael Owen"
 real 14k

Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Liverpool make Rapid progress
Nick Barmby
Barmby coolly scores past Rapid keeper Lupescu
Rapid Bucharest 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool cantered to a win against Rapid Bucharest in the first leg of the first round of the Uefa Cup.

Nick Barmby, who was impressive throughout, scored the all-important away goal in the first-half.

Liverpool were missing several first-team regulars like Hyypia, Berger, Gerrard and Smicer, but were rarely in trouble.

They were further buoyed late in the match when Robbie Fowler came on for his first run-out of the season.

Rapid started brightly and gave Liverpool a scare after just five minutes.

Pancu broke down the right wing, skilfully evaded Henchoz and drove the ball dangerously across the box, but Song made an athletic diving clearance for Liverpool.

Created chances

The Cameroon international saved his side again two minutes later when he made an excellent block from Buta's cross.

Liverpool's passing was frustratingly inaccurate during much of the first-half, but they began to create more chances as time went on.

Barmby was particularly eye-catching, coming off his right wing and causing Rapid's defence a plethora of problems.

It was difficult for us. The Romanians raised their game and this tie is far from over yet.
  Gerard Houllier

After 12 minutes his diving header from Ziege's cross was saved at the second attempt by keeper Lucescu.

Barmby soon came even closer, slamming the crossbar with a powerful shot from the edge of the area after Owen had squared the ball to him.

On 28 minutes the two players again combined and Barmby finally scored.

Owen sped down the left past his marker, checked and evaded two defenders before squaring the ball to his England colleague, who scored from close range.

Resumed control

Rapid still posed a threat on the break and wasted a good opportunity near the interval when Ifdovi tamely hit a close-range free kick against the Reds' wall.

Liverpool quickly resumed control in the second-half.

Owen Stanciu
Owen (left) speeds past Stanciu
Carragher and Hamann dominated the centre of midfield and Westerveld had very little to do in the Liverpool goal.

Owen was put clean through in the area within five minutes of the restart.

He tried to chip the ball over the oncoming Lupescu, but the keeper was quick off his line and made an excellent parry.

It was a great start for Barmby. His first for the club gave us this win.
  Gerard Houllier

Lupescu was again called into action when he turned a powerful Murphy shot onto the top of his crossbar.

Then Owen miscued close to goal after Diomede crossed in from the left.

The in-form striker was substituted for Robbie Fowler near the end.

Rapid Bucharest: Lucescu, Stanciu, Frasineanu, Buta, Ifdovi, Constantin, Maldarasanu, Pancu, Mutica, Iencsi, Isaila.
Subs: Radulescu, Chirica, Constantinovicr, Radu, Buga, Bundea, Schumacher.

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

Referee: N Volquartz (Denmark)

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