|Sunday 11 March 2001 14:00 FA Cup
||2 - 4
| Yates 47, Allison 58
|| Murphy 12, Owen 27, Gerrard 52,
Fowler 82 p.
|Team: 1. John
Achterberg, 18. Richard Hinds, 15. Graham Allen, 31. Richard Jobson, 2. Steve Yates, 9. Andy Parkinson, 8. Nick Henry (c), 16. Jason Koumas, 3. Gareth Roberts, 25. Paul Rideout, 11. Stuart Barlow.
Subs: 13. Joe Murphy, 5. Dave Challinor, 12. Alan Morgan, 4. Wayne
Allison, 10. Scott Taylor.
||Team: 1. Sander
Westerveld, 12. Sami Hyypia, 23. Jamie Carragher, 29. Stephen Wright, 6. Markus Babbel,
13. Danny Murphy, 17. Steven Gerrard, 21. Gary McAllister, 20. Nick Barmby, 10. Michael
Owen, 9. Robbie Fowler (c).
Subs: 19. Pegguy Arphexad, 27. Gregory Vignal, 25. Igor Biscan, 37. Jari
Litmanen, 7. Vladimir Smicer.
| Rideout (Allison 57), Jobson
|| Barmby (Biscan 66), Murphy (Smicer
83), Owen (Litmanen 87)
|OFFICIALS & BOOKINGS
|Referee: Alan Wiley
| Booked: Allen 50, Henry 63, Roberts
|| Booked: Gerrard 42
|Prenton Park (capacity 16,587)
Gerard Houllier (Liverpool)
|| Houllier's steady Reds
hit the double trail
Tranmere Rovers yesterday discovered that the FA Cup is loth to permit two seismic
upsets in any one round. Only in those rare moments when honest endeavour threatened to
eclipse true class did the First Division's bottom club seem capable of following Wycombe
Wanderers into this season's semi-finals.
Premiership flesh usually withers and dies on the Wirral peninsula. In the past two
seasons John Aldridge's journeymen have beaten seven members of the English game's
aristocracy on home soil. But Liverpool to their great credit bucked the trend and with
only Wycombe now blocking their path to Cardiff they may well become only the second club,
after Arsenal, to win both the FA and League Cups in the same season.
"I said it would be a difficult day and it was," said Liverpool's manager
Gйrard Houllier. "Tranmere work so very, very hard; they never give you anything.
I'm delighted to be through. Wycombe? That won't be easy either."
The suspicion remains that for all the household names scrapping for public
acceptance within Liverpool's over-crowded ranks, the grand jigsaw puzzle is still
Only a fool prone to debilitating bouts of xenophobia would now decry the input of
Houllier, for if nothing else he has introduced order and almost reverential calm where
there was seething discontent which at times appeared to verge on outright mutiny.
Tranmere's football is high-octane stuff sustained by sheer effort. Though
Liverpool's defence is, of course, an admirably proficient unit, yesterday it was
subjected to disruption and was thus rather less mean and watertight than of late. Indeed,
in the opening, frantic exchanges it boasted all the repellent powers of sodden tissue
With Markus Babbel moved to centre-back to cover for the loss of the injured
Stephane Henchoz, Liverpool were exposed down their right flank where young Stephen Wright
struggled, initially at least, to hang on to the coat-tails of Jason Koumas, Tranmere's
most gifted player.
Had Tranmere managed to find a way through during this brief period of supremacy,
the outcome might have been different. "I'm proud of them; they gave it everything
they had," said Aldridge.
As it was, much as they had done in Porto three days earlier, Liverpool simply
soaked up the pressure. This time, however, they were to shake off the drips and score.
After 12 decidedly uneasy minutes Tranmere caved in, Danny Murphy arriving almost
unannounced at the far post to head home a fine Michael Owen cross from the left.
Thereafter there was much ado about nothing until Liverpool strolled forward to
double their advantage on 27 minutes. Sami Hyypia's long and forceful clearance was
craftily controlled by Murphy, who then simply ran the ball square into the path of Owen
who, quite naturally, scored from no great distance.
But, Tranmere never give up, however lost the cause may appear to be. Barely 60
seconds into the second half they were back in the frame, Steve Yates heading home
Koumas's cross at the far post.
Liverpool would have been forgiven had they moved into panic mode, for in the
previous round Southampton had given up a three-goal advantage at the same venue. Instead,
on 52 minutes the tireless Steven Gerrard rose inside a crowded area to head in a Gary
Still Tranmere were not done and six minutes later, only seconds after being
introduced by Aldridge, the substitute Wayne Allison put the outcome of the match back
into the melting pot when he collected Robbie Fowler's weak back-pass and converted.
It was not until Fowler atoned for that error from the spot eight minutes from the
end, after McAllister had been hauled down by Yates, that Liverpool were home, dry and
dreaming of another day trip to south Wales.
Tranmere (0) 2 - 4 (2) Liverpool
Fowler (82) pen
Achterberg; Allen, Hinds, Jobson (Challinor), Roberts, Yates; Henry, Parkinson;
Barlow, Koumas, Rideout (Allison).
Westerveld; Babbel, Carragher, Hyypia, Wright; Gerrard, McAllister, Murphy
(Smicer); Barmby (Biscan), Fowler, Owen (Litmanen).
Referee: A. G. Wiley (Burntwood)
Tranmere Rovers: Allen (50) Henry (63) Roberts (80)
Liverpool: Gerrard (42)
Tranmere Rovers: 16
Tranmere Rovers: 6
Tranmere Rovers: 5
Tranmere Rovers: 3
Tranmere Rovers: 0
Tranmere Rovers: 4
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