After The Match 


WOLVES-LIVERPOOL 1-1 (0-1)         Wednesday Jan 21.   Premier League
Goals: Cheyrou (42        Miller (90)
Team: Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Biscan, Gerrard, Hamann, Cheyrou, Kewell, Owen, Heskey
Subs: Henchoz (Biscan 46), Murphy (Cheyrou 75)
Not used: Jones, Le Tallec, Riise
Yellow: Carragher (47)         Ince (35), Rae (53)
Red: None
Referee: B. Knight
Attendance: 29.380

                                                             FIXTURES & RESULTS
On target: 6-10
Off target: 3-4
Fouls: 14-16
Corne:rs 7-5
Yellow: 2-1





"I definitely
feel we've
dropped two points."

              Steven Gerrard

2201: Fourth still a target
2201: Houllier criticises lack of nerve
2101: Miller strikes late again to frustrate Liverpool

Fourth still a target

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard defiantly predicted the Reds would still finish in the top four, despite the latest setback at Wolves last night.

Kenny Miller's last minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Molinuex leaves the Reds trailing Charlton by four points.

Gerrard was outstanding on his comeback from injury, but admitted a below par second half display was to blame for the costly lapse.

"Until half-time everything was perfect and then we just stopped performing in the second half. It's hard to say what happened," said Gerrard.

"I felt we just sat back too much and wanted to hold onto our 1-0. It wasn't a tactical ploy or anything, I think that mentally as a team we just wanted to settle for what we had. They were bombarding us in the second half and we just couldn't seem to get out of our half.

"I definitely feel we've dropped two points. This was the game in hand and we know we needed to win. It's a game we should have won, and even at the end we had the chances before they equalised."

With just 16 games left, Liverpool can't afford any more slip-ups if they're to realise their Champions' League ambitions.

But Gerrard insists it's too early to panic.

He added: "I'm not worried about the gap between ourselves and Charlton. I'm still confident we'll get the last Champions League place. Both Charlton and Newcastle still have to come to Anfield so there's plenty to play for yet.

"I think that's the first time the gaffer has had a full squad to choose from going into a game. All I'd say is give us three or four games playing together and watch us go then.

"From a personal point of view I felt okay out there. I got a bit of a second wind before the end and felt good.

"I'm just looking forward to the Newcastle match now. It will be good to get away from the Premiership for a while and set our sights on getting back to Cardiff."

Passions spilled over at the end of last night's game when Gerrard clashed with Paul Ince.

But the captain says the feud ended at the final whistle.

He explained: "I thought Paul Ince was trying to get a penalty when it wasn't. That's just one of those things which happens in a game and it's forgotten about now so far as I'm concerned.

"We swopped shirts at the end so there's no problem."

Houllier criticises lack of nerve

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier says his side lost their nerve as they let in a late equaliser in the draw with Wolves.

With time ticking away, a row between Paul Ince and Steven Gerrard needed referee Barry Knight to issue a lecture before calm was restored.

Seconds later Liverpool cracked and Kenny Miller scored his second crucial goal in the space of a couple of days.

"You have to stay calm and keep your focus, but we lost our concentration and our nerve," said Houllier.

Houllier also believed that referee Barry Knight wrongly awarded the corner that led to Wolves' equaliser after Bruno Cheyrou had given the Reds the lead in the first half.

"But I cannot blame the referee for the draw, I blame ourselves for not finishing clinically enough," he said.

"We had enough chances to have won that game, Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Danny Murphy - twice - could have finished it before they scored.

"We should have had two more points from that one."

Miller strikes late again to frustrate Liverpool

By Phil Shaw - The Independent

Kenny Miller is fast emerging as the finisher who could yet preserve Wolves' hard-won Premiership status. After scoring the goal that beat Manchester United last weekend, the Scot sparked fresh raptures at Molineux when he fired a 90th-minute equaliser to deny Liverpool the victory their second-half sloppiness scarcely deserved.

A week earlier, Miller had a solitary goal to show for his efforts in an injury-blighted season. Then two against Kidderminster in the FA Cup seemed to reignite his confidence, as exemplified by the way he fired past Tim Howard on Saturday, and he repeated the feat against Jerzy Dudek to nullify Bruno Cheyrou's splendid first-half strike.

Dave Jones, who had spent much of the day negotiating to sign Carl Cort from Newcastle for £1.5m as competition for his strikers, acknowledged the sudden surge in Miller's self-belief. "It was a great finish, a really calmly taken goal," the Wolves manager said. "Once that confidence is there, you feel you can do anything. But he has to keep doing it."

Wolves are unbeaten at home in seven League matches since September, when Chelsea routed them 5-0, but they have not won away from Molineux in the top flight since 1984. If they are to survive, it could be they will have to update that record on their next three trips ­ which just happen to be to Portsmouth, Leeds and Leicester.

If spirit and support are anything to go by, Wolves have a fighting chance. "I told the players after the game: what we have at the moment, that feel-good factor, is something you can't buy," added Jones. "And the crowd just kept urging us on, When the goal went in, I turned around to the stands and the whole place was rocking. As I said on Saturday, everyone connected with the club should give themselves a pat on the back."

Jones admitted Liverpool had had the opportunities on the counter-attack to close off the win, the most glaring coming when Danny Murphy shot against the post with five minutes remaining. Yet Wolves were determination personified in the second half, forcing Liverpool so deep that they were virtually encamped in the Asda car-park. Only the most blinkered Liverpudlian could have begrudged them a point.

Gérard Houllier, for whom three points in his 200th Premiership match as manager would have taken Liverpool to within two of fourth-placed Charlton, felt his team were "unsettled" by an incident in which Paul Ince squared up to Steven Gerrard in the final minutes.

Ince, who had played with all his old combativeness against another of his former clubs, raised his hands to Gerrard and was fortunate to stay on the pitch, having already been booked. "We were wrong not to keep our composure," Houllier admitted. "The players had some anxiety and nerves. But we had enough chances to finish them off ­ more than enough. I feel a bit frustrated but Wolves are not doing badly at home."

Fielding one of their strongest sides of the season, Liverpool initially looked the more cohesive unit. Two minutes before the break, Cheyrou had darted through the inside-right channel to despatch Steve Finnan's fine long pass beyond Michael Oakes for his second goal in three weeks and the second of a previously ill-starred Anfield career.

Wolves, spurred on by Ince and Alex Rae, carried the fight to Liverpool almost from the first whistle in the second half. They looked certain to draw level in the 65th minute, after Miller glanced on a cross by Colin Cameron. Steffen Iversen, arriving at the far post to complete the formality, somehow contrived to fire over the bar from four yards.

But the gold shirts kept pressing and Liverpool, with Harry Kewell invisible and Michael Owen quiet after some bright early runs, showed their infuriating inconsistency. Their lack of ambition was embarrassing, and Miller, angling his shot across Dudek after Ince had flicked on Denis Irwin's deep cross, ensured it was ultimately expensive.

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