After The Match 


LEEDS-LIVERPOOL 2-2 (2-2)        Sunday February 29.       Premier League
Goals: Kewell (21), Baros (41)        Bakke (28), Viduka (34)
Team: Kirkland, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Kewell, Baros, Owen
Subs: Heskey (Baros 80)
Not used: Dudek, Biscan, Diouf, Cheyrou
Yellow: Henchoz (52)
Red: None
Referee: Paul Durkin (Dorset)
Attendance: 39,932

                                                              FIXTURES & RESULTS
Shots on target: 6-13
Shots off target: 6-9
Fouls conceded: 13-11
Corners: 6-8
Yellow: 0-1





"But football was
the winner - it was
a smashing, thrilling
game from the first
minute to the end."

                  Gerard Houllier

2902: Houllier defends misfiring Owen
2902: Houllier: Football was the winner
2902: Baros seals Elland Road point


Houllier defends misfiring Owen


Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier defended Michael Owen following another goalless outing for the England striker.

Owen had several chances during an entertaining 2-2 draw with Leeds at Elland Road.

But he again failed to find the net as Liverpool could only pick up a point which keeps them in the hunt for Champions League football next season, albeit still in sixth place.

"It happens," remarked Houllier on Owen's glut of missed chances.

"Ruud van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henry both go through the same thing, but at least Michael got himself in positions to score.

"On another day he could have won the match ball, but as far as I'm concerned there's nothing to worry about.

"When he doesn't score people have a go at him or at me because he doesn't get the service.

"Today he got the service, it's just that he was unlucky, but he can create goals and make goals and his link-up play with the midfield is getting better and better.

"He also very rarely gives the ball away, so overall I am pleased with his contribution because it's not just about him scoring goals."

Houllier: Football was the winner


Gerard Houllier declared himself proud of his Liverpool players after they claimed a thrilling 2-2 draw at Leeds.

Liverpool took the lead with a goal from former Leeds favourite Harry Kewell but trailed to goals from Eirik Bakke and Mark Viduka before levelling the scores three minutes before half-time through Milan Baros.

Coming under three days after their Uefa Cup win over Levski Sofia, Houllier was delighted with the performance, even if they almost lost it in the dying seconds when Didier Domi's shot was cleared off the line.

Houllier said: "Maybe we had more chances and if it was boxing, maybe we'd have won it on points.

"But football was the winner - it was a smashing, thrilling game from the first minute to the end.

"We both wanted a third goal, it was extremely entertaining and Leeds played well as well.

"I was proud of my players' performance, they can be proud of each other - particularly with today's game coming a bit more than 48 hours after we played in Europe."

Houllier was pleased with the contribution of Kewell, adding: "He kept extremely focused and worked hard for the team.

"We were all disappointed to go out of the FA Cup last Sunday - but that's gone now."

Baros seals Elland Road point

Sky Sports

Leeds United remain rooted to the foot of the Premiership table despite an entertaining 2-2 draw against UEFA Champions League chasing Liverpool at Elland Road.

Harry Kewell opened the scoring against his former club before The Whites struck back through Eirik Bakke and Mark Viduka before Milan Baros equalised.

The visitors began in confident mood with Michael Owen causing problems in the Leeds box early with Gary Kelly deflecting his close-range effort just wide of the post for a corner.

Kewell failed to test Paul Robinson from the resulting corner, as his drilled effort sailed over the bar with Baros forcing the England keeper into a save shortly after.

Both sides continued to push forward looking for the opener with Alan Smith coming close at one end while Owen skied his shot well over at the other when well placed in the box.

Kewell, against his former club, inevitably opened the scoring with a stunning strike from outside the box that almost mirrored his midweek effort against Levski Sofia.

Leeds' reply was swift and not only did they find themselves level they were soon ahead with Liverpool's defence getting carved apart by Smith and co.

Firstly, Jermaine Pennant collected Smith's flick-on before feeding Bakke in the box to stab home from close range past the oncoming Chris Kirkland with his first of the season.

Smith, at the heart of every move, then received Robinson's goal kick before playing in Viduka who chipped the ball over Kirkland from close range to cap a remarkable turnaround.

The first half scoring was complete when Baros signalled his return to form with a superb equaliser. The Czech international skipped past Didier Domi and Seth Johnson before drilling home.

Eddie Gray was forced into a half time substitution with Stephen McPhail coming on for goalscorer Bakke who was forced out with a slight thigh injury.

Smith was inches from getting his name on the scoresheet after the break, but after skipping through the Reds defence his drilled effort beat Kirkland and the far post.

It began to look like it was not going to be Owen's day shortly after when Robinson somehow clawed away his goal-bound header from point-blank range from a left wing cross.

Steve Finnan had his heart in his mouth moments later, however Kirkland read his poor back-pass well, clearing under pressure with James Milner closing in.

Smith continued to cause problems for the visitors, but he saw his first effort saved by Kirkland before he was inches from scoring when his header from Milner's cross cannoned off the bar to safety.

Dietmar Hamann, who had spent most of the match protecting the visitors' defence, almost won the match late on but his rasping long-range drive was superbly tipped over by Robinson.

Despite the dropped two points from either side, Liverpool close the gap on Charlton who lost to Arsenal while Leeds are now unbeaten in three league encounters.

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Thor Zakariassen