After The Match 


MAN U-LIVERPOOL 0-1 (0-0)                    Sat April 24.        Premier League
Goals: Murphy (pen 63))
Team: Dudek, Carragher, Riise, Hyypia, Henchoz, Gerrard, Hamann, Finnan, Murphy, Kewell, Owen
Subs: Smicer (Finnan 59), Cheyrou (Kewell 81), Heskey (Owen85)
Not used: Luzi, Baros
Yellow: Murphy (70)     Ronaldo (18), Silvestre (26)
Red: None
Referee: Mike Riley
Attendance: 67,647

                                                             FIXTURES & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 4-4
Shots off target: 7-5
Fouls conceded: 19-15
Corners: 3-4
Yellow: 2-1





"I think it was
a tremendous

                Gerard Houllier

Danny Murphy -
a real Man U killer.

2604: Carra: Hou summit inspired us
2604: Houllier has taste for battle
2404: Houllier delighted
2404: Ferguson disappointed
2404: Mutphy pen sinks United




Carra: Hou summit inspired us

By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo

Jamie Carragher today revealed how a fiery pre-match summit between the players and Gerard Houllier inspired Liverpool's win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Anfield boss delivered some home truths to his team and they responded with the 1-0 victory which protected the crucial fourth Champions' League spot.

"The manager called a meeting on Friday and basically told a lot of us we weren't doing enough for the team," revealed Carragher, (right).

"The message was really we had to work a lot harder, especially when we haven't got the ball, and get back to the attitude and commitment we showed when we won the three cups in 2001. I think the lads responded to what was said.

"In many ways, I think the performance proved what I said a few weeks ago. We seem to be able to compete against the big sides but struggle against others.

"You wouldn't believe we could go two home games against Charlton and Fulham without a win and then get a win at Old Trafford, but it seems to have been like that here for as long as I can remember.

"When I first broke into the side under Roy Evans I remember losing at home to Barnsley and then winning at Arsenal a week later. Until we put that right we're not going to challenge for the title.

"I think the game against Middlesbrough next week is going to be totally different. I know a lot of people will be looking at what happened and asking why we can't get results like that at home.

"The onus is on us to break sides down far more than it was on Saturday and that's when we've struggled sometimes.

"We've got to build on what happened on Saturday. Although tactically it will be different next weekend, there's still a lot we should take from the win.

"The character, togetherness and spirit in the side was a lot better. It's frustrating we're not in a better position when we've shown we can win at tough venues such as Goodison, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. Now we've got to play a lot better in our last two home games."

Houllier has taste for battle

Sporting Life

Gerard Houllier is tipping the race for fourth to go down to their May 15 meeting with Newcastle at Anfield.

The Liverpool manager had an afternoon to remember yesterday as Danny Murphy became the first opposition player to score a Premiership penalty at Old Trafford in a decade to seal victory in a closely-fought battle of the north-west giants.

Yet even as Houllier was striding into a rare shaft of sunshine in a season of almost unrelenting gloom at England's most successful club, he wondered out loud whether the Reds would have cause to regret their earlier failings against some of the top-flight's lesser lights.

No team that can beat Chelsea and Manchester United on their travels should find themselves scrapping for crumbs, some 30 points adrift of the champions.

But the euphoria at Liverpool's defeat of their fierce north-west rivals was quickly stifled by Newcastle's comeback win over Chelsea at St James' Park that reinstalled the Magpies as favourites to land the coveted final Champions League berth.

Still a game in hand of the Reds, Sir Bobby Robson's men may only require a draw when they head to Anfield for the final-day showdown.

Houllier knows his own future is at severe risk unless he can with the fight for fourth spot and he just hopes his side will not be left cursing their luck when the season finally draws to a close.

"There will be a few twists and turns before the whole thing is decided - but I don't think it will be completely finished until the final day," said the Frenchman.

"The one thing in our favour is that we will play Newcastle at home.

"We also have everyone fit again now, which is a big plus because the injuries have made this a very tough season for us.

"I just hope we don't regret dropping so many points against the lesser teams because we didn't kill them off.

"In terms of attempts at goal we are probably the best team in the Premiership but clearly we have not been clinical enough."

The charge of profligacy is hardly one that could be levelled against Liverpool. Presented with a single chance when Gary Neville sent Steven Gerrard sprawling in the area, Murphy took it, extending an amazing sequence that has now seen him score an Old Trafford winner in three of the last four seasons.

While it was ironic that a team who have had so many problems from the spot this season should be the ones to break United's 10-year duck, once they had a goal to defend, Liverpool retreated further into their shell and only in a frenzied late attacking spell did a disjointed and listless United look like levelling.

Ryan Giggs hit both posts with a stinging left-foot volley, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have done far better than completely miss the ball when he attempted to meet Cristiano Ronaldo's cut-back and then Louis Saha failed to hit the target with a header and a shot when well placed in central positions.

"If you have that many chances and don't hit the target, you don't deserve anything from the game," moaned Ferguson.

"We knew they would defend, although they didn't play like a team who has been struggling as badly as some people would have you believe."

It was United's fourth 1-0 reverse of the campaign, defeats Ferguson believes have been pivotal in his team losing their title.

He vowed to correct the situation before the end of the season, although Ferguson's post-match mood would not have been helped when Roy Keane informed him of his intention to travel to Poland with the Republic of Ireland as planned.

Keane's return to the Irish fold is aimed at getting back onto the World Cup stage he so dramatically spurned in the Far East two years ago.

Some of his old dynamism may have gone, but the 32-year-old remains an intense competitor and was by far the safest United player in possession.

In contrast, Gerrard was everywhere, prompting Liverpool in attack and sheltering them in defence, a modern-day Captain Marvel.

"Steven leads by example," said Houllier.

"He is a good captain on and off the field. He has a strong will and character and a good link between myself and the players.

"He is a Liverpool man and so very important to us."

Houllier delighted

Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier was delighted with his side's gritty performance in the 1-0 win at Manchester United.

Danny Murphy's penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides as he grabbed the winner for the third time in just four seasons.

"I think it was a tremendous performance," said a delighted Houllier. "I think it was a controlled performance.

"When you play at old Trafford you need discipline and energy and teamwork. You also need a bit of luck and we had that at the end.

"We had a bit of luck when they hit the post. But I think we worked hard and we deserved it.

"I told them at half time that I had seen better Man Utd sides before, and it can happen sometimes."

Missed penalties have cost The Reds dear this term, but Murphy showed no nerves and dispatched the spot kick with commendable coolness under the circumstances.

"It was a clear penalty, and credit to Danny he took it well," added Houllier.

"He knows the importance of that penalty, normally when he plays he takes the penalties.

"He was always in my plans for the game as he is very tactically astute, and I thought he was excellent.

"I said to the boys that this is the right place to win and to show your link with the club."

Penalty hero Danny Murphy was also in buoyant mood after grabbing his now customary winner at Old Trafford - a lucky ground for him.

"I've always taken penalties when I'm playing," said Murphy. "It started when Michael Owen wasn't playing and touch wood I've never missed.

"I don't know why it's a good ground for me.

"I made my England debut here and played one of my first games for Liverpool here so it's a happy hunting ground for me.

"I know what it's like as I've come here as a fan and its great for the fans as they've not had a lot to shout about this year as we all know.

"I think generally we deserved it because it was a hard fought performance with some good football in there as well.

"We're well aware of the upset and disappointment because it hurts us to. The fans are entitled to that and we've got to put it right.

"We're getting a lot of money to do a job and we need to do it better."

Ferguson disappointed

Sky Sports

Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed with his side's performance during their 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool, saying they missed vital chances.

Danny Murphy's penalty settled the match in Liverpool's favour, and Ferguson was not happy with his side's display.

Although he had no complaints over Mike Riley awarding the penalty, he thought the official was too fussy and gave too many free kicks.

"It was a disappointing result and at times disappointing performance," said Ferguson.

"I thought it was strange game which never really got started, because the referee blew for every challenge.

"It could never get started which suited Liverpool. I think ref was over fussy and every challenge and free kick.

"But at times in the second half they played some good football which belied their position that we all read about.

"They showed good composure and were the better side during that period.

"It's a good result for Gerrard and out of all the Liverpool managers that have come here he's got the best record so he's not doing a lot wrong.

"We've had enough chances to win the game. We had five good positions and not worked the goalkeeper enough."

Ferguson was quizzed over Roy Keane's participation in Republic of Ireland's international friendly - saying that he would only go if fully fit.

"I don't know," said Ferguson of Keane. "I'll have to speak to him about that.

"We would prefer that, I can understand why Brain Kerr's picked him.

"Once Roy had announced he was out of international retirement he had no option but to pick him.

"But he can only play if he's fit."

Murphy pen sinks United

Sky Sports

Danny Murphy came back to haunt Manchester United yet again as he scored for Liverpool in a 1-0 win for the third time in four years.

The last thing under-fire Reds boss Gerard Houllier wanted in his side's recent slump was a trip to Old Trafford, but a battling performance from his side did enough to frustrate Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

In a game of few chances, United were unable to trouble Jerzy Dudek enough for their liking, and Murphy's 63rd minute penalty was enough to give Liverpool and morale-boosting victory.

United, looking to pressure Chelsea in second place, started off the game brighter and were on top in the opening ten minutes as Liverpool, with just Michael Owen up front, were happy to sit back.

Owen was left free from a long throw-in on the quarter hour and he was allowed to race into the box on his own, but he was left isolated on a narrow angle and could only roll the ball across the face of goal with nobody in support.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the main danger for United, as he was again full of tricks down the wing, and he set-up Louis Saha inside the box but the Frenchman's bundled shot was easily saved by Dudek.

Darren Fletcher then dragged a shot wide after good build-up play from the hosts as they gained the upper hand in terms of pressure and possession.

However, the visitors had spells of good possession themselves and John Arne Riise's powerful free kick was deflected while Dietmar Hamann flashed a shot over the bar.

The second half started strangely quiet for a game between these two old rivals, with Liverpool sticking to their game plan of trying to keep the ball without really threatening to go forward.

United were looking to push on, but the game sprung into life at the other end just after the hour mark when Mike Riley, who gave the Red Devils two penalties in the corresponding fixture last season, awarded the visitors a penalty.

Steven Gerrard flew past Roy Keane before storming into the box where his progress was halted by Gary Neville's late sliding challenge and Riley had no option but to point to the spot.

After missing a host of spot kicks, Murphy took charge from Owen and Gerrard, and he made no mistake by coolly slotting the ball past Tim Howard to send the visiting support wild.

United took a while to respond to the goal, and they so nearly equalised when Ryan Giggs came in at the far post to connect with Saha's cross only for his shot to strike both posts and stay out.

Substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was only inches away from connecting with Ronaldo's right wing cross as Ferguson's side started to pile on the pressure.

Liverpool held on though to register a much-needed victory and get their hunt for fourth place back on track.

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Thor Zakariassen