urges Liverpool to seize chance
By David Prior - Daily Post
Sami Hyypia called on his team-mates to retain their
never-say-die spirit for the rest of the season after
his injury-time goal ensured Liverpool's Champions
League destiny is now in their own hands.
The Finn rose high above the Wolves defence in the 93rd
minute to head Steven Gerrard's corner into the net and
finally break the visitors' stubborn resistance.
With Charlton losing at Newcastle, the three points
moved Liverpool up to fourth place in the Premiership
and into the qualifying places for Europe's elite
And Hyypia, whose goal lit up a deeply disappointing
encounter at Anfield, admitted: "Our destiny is in our
own hands now. That's a good position to be in with just
nine games left to play.
"We will need to play better than this to stay fourth
but results are all that matter at the moment. It was a
big win for us and one I felt we deserved. It looked
like it was going to be one of those days for us.
"We didn't play well. It's always my aim to score from
corners and I must admit it was a great feeling to see
the ball go in so late in the game.
"When you score in injury-time you know it's probably
enough to win you the points. It was a great relief to
see the ball go into the top corner.
"Everybody knows that reaching the Champions League is
important to the manager, and it is important to us. It
is where we all want to be playing next season and I am
just happy I could get a goal that helps us get just
that bit nearer our objective."
The afternoon had looked set to end in controversy after
referee Rob Styles turned down appeals for a first-half
penalty when Emile Heskey was felled by Jody Craddock,
with Gerard Houllier admitting he was "very angry" with
But Hyypia added: "You never give up. The game is 90
minutes plus so you have you to do your best until the
final whistle. I don't care who scores, but getting the
three points was all important.
"My mentality is to do my best while the game is going
on, whether that be in the first or the last minute, and
your rewards will come. That's got to be the approach in
the remaining games.
"We didn't play particularly well today and it was a bit
scrappy, but if we go through the last nine games
winning every match 1-0 we'll finish fourth. You still
only get three points, whether you win scrappy or win
"We celebrated the goal with the supporters, and that
shows we're in this together and everyone wants the
success for the club. The atmosphere in the dressing
room was happy, but not over the top, because we still
know we have things to do this season to reach our
relieved at Wolves win
Liverpool Gerard Houllier was a relieved man after
seeing his side finally overcome Wolves 1-0 courtesy of
Sami Hyypia's last-gasp winner.
The giant Finnish defender struck in the final minute to
boost Liverpool's UEFA Champions League hopes and leave
Wolves second from bottom.
Houllier conceded the blustery conditions did not make
an easy for flowing football, but the Frenchman was just
delighted to take all three points.
"The strong wind made life very difficult, it was a
great leveller," said Houllier.
"And don't ask me about the penalty we should have had
or I will get very angry. I just hope it was an honest
mistake when Emile Heskey was pulled down from behind.
It was a blatant penalty, I do not see how it was not
"We did not play that well, but it was a performance of
sheer character and effort. They were good on the break
and could have exposed us withHenri Camara's pace, so in
the end I was pleased with the result.
"It is a three good points we desperately needed. And
although it went right to the death, I was always
confident we would get something from all our pressure.
It was attack against defence for all the second half.
"I felt we deserved that reward for everything we put
into the game. We did not give up and just kept going."
Wolves boss Dave Jones bemoaned his side's luck as
they fell to a late 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
The Molineux outfit looked well on their way to a
well-earned point in their battle against relegation
frustrating Liverpool until Sami Hyypia popped up in
stoppage time to head home the winner.
Jones was happy with the battling display of his side
and felt his side were unlucky to leave Merseyside
without any reward.
"This is a cruel game. But we invited pressure in those
final stages and I do not think we deserved to lose like
that," lamented Jones.
"Compared to last week when we lost at home to Villa and
were never really up for it, this was much better. We
have to be at full pelt all the time to get anything in
this division, and against Villa we didn't perform
anything like as well as we did this time.
"I did not think Paul Jones had much to do and we
created the better chances and Kenny Miller and Camara
gave their centre-backs an awful lot to do. We certainly
gave them a fright."
Liverpool grabbed a 1-0 win in the second minute of
injury-time to stay on course for Champions League
Sami Hyypia's last-ditch header ended Wolves' brave
fight for a point which they surely deserved in a
Liverpool hurled themselves on to the massed old-gold
ranks for much of the second half - but when all seemed
lost the Finnish defender arrived on cue to save the
Paul Ince - probably playing his last game on the ground
where he used to captain Liverpool - and Alex Rae gave
Wolves every chance of a precious point.
In the end their hearts were broken, but never their
spirit with Ince leaving the pitch drained of energy but
able to turn and applaud an appreciative Kop.
Liverpool for so long had lacked the killer pass to
penetrate Wolves' massed ranks. In the end they were
undone by Steven Gerrard's corner, which dropped
perfectly for Hyypia to head home.
Manager Gerard Houllier fielded the side that beat
Portsmouth 3-0 in midweek for yet another must-win
Premiership game for his unpredictable side.
Wolves, who produced a memorable fightback to claim a
1-1 draw at home to Liverpool back in January.
Wolves, with three ex-Liverpool men in their ranks -
Paul Jones, Mark Kennedy and Ince - hurled themselves
into the battle, with ferocious tackling and strong
running that unsettled Liverpool.
And it was not all about defence. They got at
Liverpool's back four from the off. Henri Camara could
not quite connect with a diving header in the six-yard
box and then Rae found space on the edge of the box for
a drive held low down by Jerzy Dudek.
Liverpool got men down the left continually, mainly via
Gerrard, and but for Jones' good handling, the hosts
would have been ahead early on with Michael Owen
But there was a tenacity about Wolves that showed they
were not going to be easy to beat and this was typified
by Camara's last- ditch tackle in his own box to scoop
the ball off Danny Murphy's toes 10 yards out.
Rae's full-blooded tackle on Harry Kewell also showed
there was plenty of fight in Wolves.
Wolves were almost opened up when Gerrard's chip over
the defence sent Kewell away, but as he closed in on the
dropping ball, Jones hurtled from his line to punch away
on the edge of the box.
It was Jerzy Dudek's turn to come flying from his line
next to hurl himself at Vio Ganea on the edge of the box
to block a shot and end a dangerous situation for
Then after 25 minutes came the talking point of the
first half. Emile Heskey charged down a Jody Craddock
clearance and surged away into the box, only to be
felled from behind by the recovering defender.
Referee Rob Styles instantly waved away penalty claims.
Both managers and all the coaching staffs were on their
feet on the line while Heskey received lengthy
treatment, surrounded by protesting colleagues.
Wolves were right in Liverpool's faces, forcing footwork
errors from Dudek at one end and Kewell into hurried
mistakes at the other.
Ince and Rae in midfield did a magnificent job securing
decent possession, but when Murphy did get hold of the
ball he slipped it into Owen's path and the striker saw
an angled drive shave the far post.
Camara was a constant problem with his pace, and he left
Hyypia flat-footed with one run and forced John Arne
Riise into a flying header in his own box to stop the
ball reaching the striker.
Then Kenny Miller lashed a 20-yarder just wide of the
far upright with Dudek clutching at thin air.
The pattern of the game continued in the same vein after
the break. And when Camara picked up a sloppy clearance
on 47 minutes, he cracked in a low drive which Dudek
tipped round a post.
Heskey wasted a good opening after a ball was played
into his stride by Murphy, but Liverpool were creating
precious few openings to test Jones.
There was little or no service into Owen, and the
midfield were getting no peace from Rae and Ince.
And when Dietmar Hamann drilled a 25-yard free-kick well
wide, it just about summed up the afternoon so far for
On the hour, Gerard Houllier opted for a double
substitution. He took off Heskey and Kewell and thrust
Milan Baros and El-Hadji Diouf into the action.
Baros' first touch produced a fierce low cross from the
right and Owen met it with a hook shot that flashed just
wide of the near post.
Wolves were defending in depth now but they still broke
through Camara again and his low cross to the near post
was hacked off Ganea's toes by Riise.
Wolves then took off Ganea and put on an extra
midfielder in Shaun Newton seconds before Riise's
35-yard, dipping drive just cleared the bar.
Liverpool looked short of any real idea of how to break
down Wolves' massed ranks. Riise, with two long-range
efforts, and Owen with a hook just over were as near as
But in the second minute of added time, Liverpool
finally broke through.
Gerrard's corner from the left swung to the far post for
Hyypia to send a header crashing into the top corner.
There was still more drama. Wolves had to go for it from
the restart and their surge ended with Riise flat out on
the edge of his own box. After several minutes of
treatment he was carried off, just as Wolves took a
last-ditch corner, but 10-man Liverpool survived.