Liverpool  5 - 1  Chelsea
Saturday 21 September 1996 15:00 FA Carling Premier League
"Liverpool" "Chelsea"
5 - 1  (3-0)
 Fowler 15, Berger 42, 49, Myers 45 og, Barnes 57  Leboeuf 85 p
Image with site   1  David James
 20  Stig Inge Bjornebye
  5  Mark Wright
  6  Phil Babb
 21  Dominic Matteo
  4  Jason McAteer
  7  Steve McManaman
 10  John Barnes (c)
 16  Michael Thomas
  9  Robbie Fowler
 15  Patrik Berger

 13  Tony Warner
 14  Neil Ruddock
 11  Jamie Redknapp
 24  Lee Jones
  8  Stan Collymore
Image with site  13  Kevin Hitchcock
  2  Dean Petrescu
  6  Steve Clarke
  5  Frank Lebouf
  8  Andy Myers
 14  Craig Burley
 11  Dennis Wise (c)
 21  Jody Morris
 16  Roberto Di Matteo
 10  Mark Huges
  9  Gianluca Vialli

 30  Frode Grodes
 12  Michael Duberry
 15  David Lee
  7  John Spencer
 22  Mark Nicholls
 Berger (Redknapp 78)  Myers ( Duberry 46)
 Morris ( Spencer 46)
Referee: Steve Dunn (Bristol) Linesmen: C Bassindale (Yellow Flag), Phil Dowd (Red Flag)
 Booked: Babb, Matteo, Wright  Booked: Clarke, Duberry, Vialli, Wise
Anfield (capacity 41,197)
Attendance: 40,739
Roy Evans (Liverpool)
Ruud Gullit (Chelsea)

Official matchday programme  Price: J1,70

  Double Berger hammers Blues

  Patrik Berger celebrated his first start for Liverpool with a double blast in this goal feast, as Chelsea were beaten for the first time this season. Manager Ruud Gullit was left shaking his head in disbelief after seeing his expensive side ripped apart.

  Berger was called into the team in place of Stan Collymore, who was relegated to the substitute bench. The Czech Republic star had scored twice on Sunday in the 3-0 victory against Leicester, and followed that with two more goals in an international against Malta in mid-week. Today he was back in the mood scoring twice again, although some of Chelsea's wounds were self inflicted.

  Italian star Gianluca Vialli and French centre-half Frank Leboeuf returned to the team after missing the Coca-Cola Cup victory at Blackpool in mid-week because of minor injuries. But they were unable to halt the Liverpool steamroller with the opening goal coming after just 15 minutes.

  Stig Bjornebye drove in a marvellous cross and Robbie Fowler headed the ball powerfully home in front of watching England boss Glenn Hoddle. Berger opened his account three minutes before half time after Dominic Matteo had won the ball and raced on. He released Berger, who rounded keeper Kevin Hitchcock, for a clinical finish.

  Chelsea conceded a third goal in bizarre circumstances right on the stroke of half time. Bjornebye drove in another driving cross and this time there seemed little danger. However defender Andy Myers tried to deliver a cushioned header to keeper Hitchcock -- only to power it into the corner beyond his reach.

  Myers was replaced by Michael Duberry at the start of the second half but Chelsea couldn't plug the gaps. Berger scored his second after 48 minutes when Wise carelessly lost possession and the 3 million buy from Borussia Dortmund raced on to steer the ball home. Chelsea, had lost the plot completely and Vialli was one of seven players booked as the game threatened to turn ugly.

  Liverpool skipper John Barnes added a fifth after 57 minutes when his 20-yard shot seemed to take a deflection off the unfortunate Wise. Berger almost had a hat-trick, Hitchcock making a good block from his fierce drive. Manager Roy Evans then replaced him with Jamie Redknapp with 12 minutes to go and he was given a standing ovation by the crowd. Chelsea got a consolation goal five minutes from the end when Leboeuf scored from the penalty spot after Mark Wright was penalised for a challenge on Mark Hughes.

  Liverpool manager Roy Evans sent out a chilling warning to the rest of the Premiership today after the 5-1 defeat of Chelsea at Anfield. "We can play better than this. I was pleased with our movement but our passing was sloppy. I was delighted with the result in the end but only reasonably pleased with the performance."

  Patrik Berger marked his first start for Liverpool with two goals as the Anfield club consolidate their position at the top of the table. Robbie Fowler, John Barnes and an own goal by Andy Myers completed Chelsea's downfall. But manager Ruud Gullitt criticised referee Steve Dunn for allowing the second goal to stand. Dominic Matteo released Berger after winning a stiff challenge. The Czech Republic star ran on to beat keeper Kevin Hitchcock. But Gullitt said: "It was clearly off-side and it broke us. You can't do anything about that. We played more against ourselves than Liverpool today. The goals came from individuals and mistakes."

  Berger has now scored six goals this week and replaced Stan Collymore who was relegated to the subs' bench. The Kop's new hero scored twice in the 3-0 victory against Leicester on Sunday then followed it with another double blast in the 6-0 victory over Malta in the World Cup qualifier in midweek. Evans said: "You're under a bit of pressure to keep a player in the team after he's scored two goals and we were a bit short up front. He's now got four goals in our last two games and that's a good start for the lad, although he appreciates the help he gets from other players."

  The result must have sent shock waves all the way to Finland with Liverpool due to face My Pa-47 in the Cup Winners' Cup next Thursday. Gullit, meanwhile, has to rally his Chelsea side, although he believes they are not yet ready to challenge for the title. He said: "Everybody it seems expects us to be up there. But I know we are not yet ready and it takes games like this to find that out. We must avoid similar performances if we are to improve. None of my players did what I know they can do today."

  By Ken Gaunt of "Press Association"

  Copyright - Press Association

  Press' Liverpool man of the match awards:

  The Sunday Mirror : Patrik Berger (10/10).
  The Independent : Dominic Matteo.
  The Liverpool Echo : Patrik Berger.
  The Daily Mirror : Dominic Matteo (9/10).
  90 Minutes : Patrik Berger (9/10).
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