Houllier faces salvage act
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier admitted FA Cup
defeat at Portsmouth leaves him struggling to salvage
his side's season.
The FA Cup would have been Liverpool's last hope of
landing a domestic trophy and Houllier said: "It's a
blow, we wanted to go to Cardiff."
Pompey won Sunday's fifth round replay at Fratton Park
Houllier added: "Now we must focus on the Uefa Cup and
trying to get fourth place in the Premiership."
Despite dominating the first game at Anfield and the
replay at Fratton Park Liverpool crashed out to Richard
Hughes' first goal for Portsmouth.
The result increases pressure on Houllier but the
Liverpool boss shrugged it off, saying: "It's part of
Liverpool's fate hinged on a controversial 62nd minute
penalty, with Pompey keeper Shaka Hislop saving Michael
Owen's underhit spot-kick.
Houllier said: "Had he scored, it would have been a
"It seemed to be a repetition of what happened at
Anfield, where we created enough chances to score and
win the game.
"Their first chance was on 72 minutes and they scored.
"But when you're in control of the game, you should be
in control of the result, and sometimes you just cannot
"I can't blame the players in terms of energy and
football. The football was good at times but we lacked a
"I think the supporters who were at the game will have
seen how unlucky we were."
Redknapp hails 'great win'
BBC Sport Online
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp was delighted at
seeing his under-strength side battle past Liverpool.
Pompey were 1-0 winners over the Merseysiders to earn a
place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"It has been a great day," said Redknapp. "We've come
here with the most patched-up group of players you've
ever seen - and I'm not exaggerating.
"But we worked our socks off and it was a great, great
performance and a great victory for Portsmouth."
A 72nd-minute goal from Richard Hughes was enough to
send Pompey through.
But they had to survive some nervous moments before
that, with referee Matt Messias twice awarding Liverpool
With the game goalless Messias pointed to the spot,
despite the ball clearly hitting Reds striker Milan
Baros on the arm, rather than a Pompey defender.
The official changed his mind after being urged to
consult his assistant by Portsmouth players.
Messias then adjudged Matthew Taylor fouled Baros and
awarded a penalty that subsequently Michael Owen missed.
Redknapp described the decisions as "two of the worst
penalty decisions I've ever seen".
And he added: "The first one he gave a penalty and it
was only when my players forced him to go and talk to
his linesman, who was stood facing the incident, he
changes his mind.
When you're in control of the game you should be in
control of the result
"It was so obvious that it was Milan Baros who handled
the ball. How can he give a penalty? Unbelievable
"The referee didn't have a good day unfortunately, but
that's how it goes.
"The penalty decision he did give was a great tackle by
"I've watched it on TV 10 times and it was a
perfectly-timed challenge, he took the ball clean as a
whistle and the referee gives a penalty.
"But we overcame that and we battled on and got a great
Portsmouth's reward is a home tie with Arsenal, who are
unbeaten in the Premiership this season and looking for
a third straight FA Cup win.
Redknapp added: "They're a fantastic side, they are so
good it is frightening but that's not the point. We're
there and we've got a game to look forward to.
"I'm just so proud of the boys the way they have given
their all under great adversity it just fantastic.
"Someone's going to beat Arsenal one day but I'm not
sure who it's going to be. They look unbeatable at the
minute, but we'll worry about that when it comes
pile the pressure on Houllier
Portsmouth increased the pressure on Gerard Houllier
as Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup at Fratton
A single second half goal from substitute Richard Hughes
proved enough to see Harry Redknapp's outfit win out in
the fifth round replay.
Chances proved to be scarce in the opening half with the
visitors creating the only clear cut opportunity.
Steven Gerrard was at the hub of Liverpool's best moves
and it was his through ball that left Emile Heskey
through on goal but the England international wasted the
opening as his left foot shot was straight at the
onrushing Shaka Hislop in the Pompey goal.
The game soon sparked into life straight after the
interval as referee Matt Messias appeared to award
Liverpool a penalty for an apparent handball by Linvoy
The decision seemed harsh as it looked as if it was
substitute Milan Baros' arm that made contact with the
cross and thankfully for the hosts the referee's
assistant had a clear view of the incident and told the
referee to reverse his decision.
Immediately Portsmouth began to become more of an
attacking force in the match as the home faithful turned
up the noise level.
However it was The Reds who were gifted the ideal chance
to break the deadlock as Messias again pointed to the
spot for an alleged foul on Baros.
The Czech forward was through on goal but a desperate
sliding tackle from Matthew Taylor seemed to have
averted the danger for the hosts until Messias decided
to point to the spot.
Justice was done for Portsmouth when Michael Owen tamely
struck his penalty to Hislop's left and the in-form
keeper easily kept it out to make sure it remained 0-0.
The only goal of the game finally came in the 72nd
minute when a neat passing move by Portsmouth left
Hughes with time and space on the left of the box to
arrow a low drive past the helpless Chris Kirkland in
the Liverpool goal.
It was the substitute's first goal for the club since
joining from Bournemouth and proved to be enough to see
the Premiership strugglers through as some late heroics
from Hislop booked a home tie with Arsenal in the