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BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"This one took a while to get going, but in the end it was worth the wait."
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 22:44 GMT
Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea (a.e.t)

Gianfranco Zola evades the Liverpool defence
Robbie Fowler's goalscoring drought ended in dramatic fashion to settle a stormy Worthington Cup against Chelsea.

Liverpool's night was soured when Emile Heskey was sent off for clashing with Winston Bogarde in extra time - but it was a night of celebration for Fowler.

Danny Murphy gave Liverpool an early lead, but Chelsea responded in style to equalise through Gianfranco Zola.

It was an ill-tempered clash littlered with personal battles, but there was also plenty of class on show and Liverpool deserved to edge to victory.

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier made six changes from the side that beat Everton 3-1 in the Merseyside derby.

It included a debut for goalkeeper Pegguy Arphexad, but it did not disrupt Liverpool in a confident opening period.

Liverpool enjoyed all the early possession, and it was no surprise when they went a goal ahead after only ten minutes.

Chelsea defender John Terry lost possession, and when Dietmar Hamann's wonderful driven pass found Murphy, he finished emphatically past Ed de Goey.

Patrik Berger wasted an opportunity to double Liverpool's advantage seven minutes later, who shot wastefully wide with his unfavoured right foot.


Danny Murphy scores for Liverpool
Chelsea took advantage of the reprieve to snatch an equaliser after 28 minutes, courtesy of Italian Zola.

Celestine Babayaro exposed Liverpool on the left flank, and his cross found Zola unmarked eight yards out to beat Arphexad with ease.

It was a high quality affair, and Liverpool's response was in keeping with the standard of football on display.

Fowler - seeking his first goal of the season - narrowly failed to make a firm contact with Vladimir Smicer's cross, and then shot narrowly wide from Nick Barmby's pass.

Liverpool were pinned back in the closing stages of the first half - but emerged for the second half with renewed vigour.

Chelsea needed to regain the initiative, and they responded with a positive move after 64 minutes, replacing defender Babayaro with Icelandic striker Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Lunged wildly

It almost brought an instant reward when Zola's brilliant pass found Hasselbaink unmarked, but the normally lethal striker was off target.

Liverpool made a change of their own with 18 minutes left, when man in form Heskey - with six goals in his last four games - came on as a replacement for Smicer.

Fowler was working tirelessly to break his duck, and he had his biggest slice of bad luck so far after 76 minutes when he found space inside the penalty area from Murphy's pass, but his finish struck the outside of an upright.

Berger, normally so deadly in front of goal, wasted another opportunity as time ran out, slashing well wide after Jamie Carragher's cross was only half cleared.

Heskey incurred the wrath of Chelsea's players in the ninth minute of extra time when he lunged wildly at Mario Melchiot, and he was fortunate to be shown only the yellow card by referee Rob Harris.

Chelsea were rattled - and they were made to pay when Liverpool went back in front four minutes later.

Fowler, finally and deservedly, was on the scoresheet when he took advantage of good work by Heskey and Berger to slide a precise left foot finish past De Goey.

As tempers boiled over, Heskey - a constant target for Chelsea's player's after his tackle on Melchiot - was sent off after clashing with Bogarde in the penalty area.

Liverpool: Arphexad, Henchoz, Smicer, Fowler, Hyypia, Murphy, Berger, Hamann, Barmby, Carragher, Traore. Subs: Westerveld, Ziege, Song, Heskey, McAllister.

Chelsea: de Goey, Babayaro, Desailly, Bogarde, Hasselbaink, Jokanovic, Wise, Melchiot, Flo, Zola, Terry. Subs: Poyet, Morris, Gudjohnsen, Cudicini, Dalla Bona.

Referee: R Harris (Oxford)

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