After The Match 

            


LIVERPOOL-WOLVES 1-0 (0-0)                 Sat March 20.     Premier League
Goals: Hyypia (90)
Team: Dudek, Carragher, Biscan, Hyypia, Riise, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Heskey, Owen
Subs: Baros (Heskey 60), Diouf (Kewell 60), Pongolle (Murphy 84)
Not used: Luzi, Henchoz
Yellow: Newton (90)
Red: None
Referee: Rob Styles
Attendance: 43.795

                                                             FIXTURES & RESULTS 
TEAM STATS
Shots on target: 4-6
Shots off target: 8-2
Fouls conceded: 6-12
Corners: 14-4
Yellow: 0-1
Red:

 

 

0-0

HEADLINES

"Our destiny
is in our
own hands now."

                     Sami Hyypia

2203: Hyypia urges Liverpool to seize chance
2003: Houllier relieved at Wolves win
2003: Jones bemoans luck
2003: Late Hyypia winner
 

MARCH 21
Hyypia 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 competition.

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 the decision.

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 impressively.

"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 targets."


MARCH 20
Houllier relieved at Wolves win

Sky Sports

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 given."

"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."


MARCH 20
Jones bemoans luck

Sky Sports

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."


MARCH 20
Late Hyppia winner

PA

Liverpool grabbed a 1-0 win in the second minute of injury-time to stay on course for Champions League qualification.

Sami Hyypia's last-ditch header ended Wolves' brave fight for a point which they surely deserved in a gripping match.

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 day.

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 constantly lurking.

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 Liverpool.

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 Liverpool.

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 they got.

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.


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Thor Zakariassen