Bruno a knockout,
By Steve Tongue - The Independent
The banner high up in the Centenary Stand was
unequivocal: "Sort it out, Houllier. Not good enough for
LFC. No more expensive mistakes. We want the title."
this season, but perhaps another FA Cup, if accompanied
by a Champions' League place, will keep the dissidents
at bay. Yesterday evening the much-criticised Bruno
Cheyrou, generally regarded as one of those costly
mistakes, did his bit by producing the match of his
brief Liverpool career and scoring the two goals that
took them into the last 16 of the competition.
For most of the first half Newcastle, with some
wonderfully sharp passing under pressure, were the more
composed side, the home team's frayed nerves still in
evidence after poor performances in the past week at
Tottenham and Wolverhampton.
Cheyrou - the goal hero - celebrates.
A point in the latter game carried them above
yesterday's opponents in the Premiership, fifth against
sixth, by virtue of having scored one goal more, and
eventually the tie became as close as the League table.
Liverpool began to edge it after the interval and took
control once Cheyrou, whose early goal was almost
immediately cancelled out by Laurent Robert's blinding
free-kick, headed his second just after the hour.
So for all his many and varied achievements in football
not least winning the FA Cup for Ipswich Town some
quarter of a century ago Sir Bobby Robson has still
never won a match at Anfield as player or manager. "I'm
gutted, that's how much the FA Cup means to me," he
said. "It's gone for another year. At half-time we were
quite confident and I didn't think we'd lose it. And I
have to say second half we were under pressure. Our
forward play and penetration were poor."
Gérard Houllier, in contrast, must have physically felt
the pressure easing with this result. "I'm pleased and
proud," he said, "because it was a difficult game. Look
at the run of form Newcastle are on. We said at
half-time that we didn't want a replay, so let's take
the game to them." For once his team carried out their
instructions to the letter.
It would have been difficult for any game to live up up
to the promise of the explosive start, briefly
threatening to make the 4-3 scorelines of 1996 and '97
look tame. Within 70 seconds, Steven Gerrard and Michael
Owen played in Emile Heskey, sprinting forward from his
starting position on the right of midfield; Shay Given,
impeded rather than assisted by the full-back Olivier
Bernard, managed to block, but Cheyrou was following up
for the most straightforward of his four goals in the
past five matches.
When Robert then lined up a free-kick 35 yards out,
everyone in the ground knew what to expect, but Jerzy
Dudek in Liverpool's goal was the only man theoretically
able to take preventive action. Some faulted him for
coming so close to the 78mph shot without saving it, but
at that speed he must have felt as helpless as the Kop
patrons behind him.
If the noise from two sets of supporters persisted for
some time, and the pace of the game remained furious,
the number of chances understandably slackened. By
half-time Heskey was hobbling painfully and needed to be
replaced. With three strikers injured and El Hadji Diouf
at the African Nations Cup, there was not a forward
available to sit on the bench so Anthony Le Tallec was
summoned, Harry Kewell continuing to support Owen from
the left to fluctuating effect.
To the home crowd's relief, their team found greater
impetus, and just after the hour a flurry of attacking
brought three opportunities and a second goal. Owen
failed to take advantage of a two-against-one with
Gerrard, and Kewell fizzed a drive across goal before
Cheyrou's second memorable moment. After Newcastle had
surrendered possession carelessly in midfield, he came
from deep to meet Gerrard's perfect cross with a firm
header past Given. Houllier said of the day's hero: "I
hear he's been criticised but he's not been playing,
he's been injured."
Owen did not have any opportunity to add to a remarkable
record against his favourite opponents 13 goals in
nine previous meetings and there was inevitably some
late edginess as Newcastle poured forward, Dudek defying
Shearer in added time. So it was Robson offering the
congratulations at the finish, painfully aware that as
his opposite number recently remarked: "We win together
but as a manager, you lose alone."
Whichever of two decent men lost this tie was always
going to be under greater pressure as the season
progressed towards the possible climax of a play-off for
a Champions' League place when their teams meet here
again on the campaign's final weekend. Last May
Liverpool lost in identical circumstances to Chelsea and
have never quite recovered, so this was a result to
boost morale in the dressing-room if not the Centenary
pleased and proud with Cup victory
LFC Official Website
Gerard Houllier said he was a pleased and proud man
with his players as Liverpool produced an excellent
display and battling performance to knock Newcastle
United out of the FA Cup.
The Liverpool manager praised Bruno Cheyrou for his
goals, Jerzy Dudek for a matchwinning last ditch save
and hailed the return of Jamie Carragher and Stephane
Houllier said: "I am a pleased and proud manager tonight
because this was a difficult game and we did well.
"It was a great game of football and a really good cup
tie. That is why our performance needs to be highlighted
because we have beaten a really good team here today who
have been going really well.
"We scored early on and unfortunately they equalised
with an amazing strike really. The first half was very
even but in the second half I told the boys to go for it
because we didn't want a replay. Jerzy made a brilliant
save at the end from Shearer.
"I am pleased for Bruno Cheyrou to score the two goals
as he is a player with good skill and has the ability to
score goals and create them. I thought the young boy Le
Tallec did really well when Emile had to go off with a
"Jamie Carragher epitomised the spirit out there and was
absolutely brilliant. Stephane Henchoz was back and did
really well alongside Sami. We have missed Jamie and
Stephane this season."
Bobby: I'm gutted to be out of cup
Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson said he was
"gutted" that his FA Cup dream died for another year
with a 2-1 defeat at Liverpool.
But Robson, who praised Laurent Robert for his
equaliser, had no qualms with the result and praised
Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz and midfielder
Anthony Le Tallec.
He said: "I certainly will not be winning it this year!
I am gutted to be out, the Cup means so much to me.
"We scored a wonderful goal, an incredible strike, and I
felt we were comfortable at the break, I certainly did
not think we were going to lose the game. But after they
came out and started to attack us, we started to drift.
"They took control too easily and we let them do it. We
did not do enough in the second half to win the game,
Alan Shearer's effort in injury time was our only shot
in the second period. That was just not good enough.
"We just did not seem ready for it. They got the ball
behind our full backs and we did not do that to them.
Gerard Houllier had a lot of his best players back, and
"Stephane Henchoz looked much better at centre back than
full back, and young Le Tallec did well for them. And
our players needed to realise quicker that they had to
improve their game, it just drifted from us."
Cheyrou sinks Newcastle
BBC Sport Online
Bruno Cheyrou's brace guided Liverpool to victory
over Newcastle and a place in the FA Cup fifth round.
An explosive opening four minutes saw Cheyrou give
Liverpool the lead as he started and finished a rapid
move by sidefooting the ball into the net.
Liverpool had barely time to celebrate before Laurent
Robert flashed a vicious free-kick past Jerzy Dudek.
Just past the hour a surging Steven Gerrard run ended
with him picking out Cheyrou and the Frenchman headed
With three goals in two games, Cheyrou's Anfield career
has undergone a remarkable revival after he struggled
with injuries and a loss of form since arriving from
With Liverpool opting for more direct approach and
Newcastle preferring a more patient build-up, the game
offered an intriguing contrast in styles.
A goal for each side in that pulsating opening only
served to add to the intrigue as well as suggesting the
two clubs were about to recreate their high-scoring
encounters in the late 1990s at Anfield.
Picking up the ball in the second minute, Cheyrou
exchanged passes with Michael Owen before setting Emile
Oliver Bernard slid in to tackle Heskey but the ball
broke to Cheyrou, who calmly slotted his shot home.
Robert has also been scoring plenty of goals recently
and the Frenchman added another fine effort to his
impressive collection of spectacular strikes.
Hit with the outside of his left-foot, Robert's vicious
free-kick rocketed into the net past Dudek's flailing
After such a dramatic opening a brief impasse ensued
before Liverpool created a series of half chances.
Owen gave the Newcastle defence a couple of anxious
moments, while a Cheyrou shot curled just wide.
Kieron Dyer almost broke free for Newcastle, while
Jermaine Jenas went close with a header from a corner.
Heskey was replaced at the interval by Anthony Le Tallec
as Liverpool rejigged his resources, deploying Owen as a
The switch prompted Liverpool to begin to pass the ball
more and gradually Gerrard emerged as a dominant force
Just before the hour, Gerrard capitalised on Andy
O'Brien's mistake only to overhit his pass to Owen, who
was unmarked in the area.
Within minutes Gerrard quickly made amends for his
error, surging down the Newcastle left and crossing for
Cheyrou, who powered his header past Shay Given.
Newcastle mounted a late charge and Dudek superbly
tipped over Alan Shearer's powerful drive in stoppage