After The Match 


LIVERPOOL-BIRMINGHAM 3-1 (1-1)        Sun Nov 30.         Premier League
Goals: Gerrard (34 pen.), Kewell (68), Heskey (78)       Forssell (32)
Team: Kirkland, Diao, Biscan, Hyypiä, Traore, Diouf, Gerrard, Hamann, Kewell, Heskey, Sinama Pongolle
Subs: Smicer (Diouf 54), Riise (Traore 66), Murphy (Pongolle 79)
Not used: Dudek, Le Tallec
Yellow:  Diao (31), Hamann (66)                 Johnson (25)
Red: None
Referee:  Neal Barry (N Lincolnshire)
Attendance: 42,683

                                                            FIXTURES & RESULTS  
On target: 7-4
Off target: 3-3
Fouls: 24-17
Corne:rs 6-4
Yellow: 2-1
Red: 0-0





"The table looks a
lot healthier now."

                  Gerard Houllier

3011: Heskey wins Houllier support
3011: Bruce fumes at penalty
3011: Reds comeback sinks Blues

Heskey wins Houllier support

BBC Sport Online

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier praised the contribution of under-fire striker Emile Heskey after the 3-1 victory over Birmingham on Sunday.

Heskey scored Liverpool's third - only his third league goal of the season - with an acrobatic volley as Liverpool moved into their highest Premiership position for almost three months.

Houllier said: "Emile's effort was outstanding. He does that sort of thing every week in training, and I am pleased for him because he gets so much stick all the time."

Liverpool had to come from behind after Mikael Forssell gave Birmingham the lead.

Steven Gerrard equalised with a disputed penalty within two minutes and Liverpool confirmed their superiority with second-half goals from Harry Kewell and Heskey.

Houllier added: "The table looks a lot healthier now, but to be fair we should have been in this position before, we have lost about six points we should have got.

"But this was a good three points, and a good win. Considering we played a European game on Thursday I was very pleased with the effort and workrate.

"We started well but they were on top and doing well when they scored. That was a wake-up call for us.

"At half-time I told them they had to be realistic and they had to get going. I said they had not used up much energy before the break so they should find it afterwards.

"And what they produced was a performance of energy and self-belief."

Bruce fumes at penalty

Sky Sports

Steve Bruce was left fuming after Birmingham's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool claiming a penalty for the home side turned the game.

Birmingham took the lead against the run of play in an even first half, but that was cancelled out by Steven Gerrard's penalty after Kenny Cunnigham had pulled down Florent Sinama-Pongolle inside the box.

Referee Neal Barry gave the spot-kick and Bruce believes that turned the game against the visitors.

Bruce says the penalty was a 'soft' decision and that it gave Liverpool the edge as they went on to win the match in the second half.

"We bleat on about referees but I doubt it would have be given at the other end," fumed Bruce

"To say it was soft was an understatement. I think everyone in the ground would agree with me and say that it was a soft penalty.

"But that's changed the game and given them the boost to go on and win the game.

"We've come here and competed and given them a good game but in my opinion the penalty has ruined the game for us."

Bruce's side have endured a slump after a great start to the season, but he says they have faced some tough opposition and is now looking to pick up again heading towards Christmas.

"We started well but we haven't done as well in the last month and picked up the points I think we deserved.

"We've had a tough month and there has been a lot of encouraging signs.

"It's important now that we get back to winning ways and start doing what we were good at at the start of the season."

Reds comeback sinks Blues

Sky Sports

Liverpool came from a goal down to earn a 3-1 win over Birmingham City at Anfield on Sunday.

Finnish striker Mikael Forssell shocked the hosts by putting Blues ahead against the run of play on 33 minutes, but the lead lasted just two minutes and Steven Gerrard's penalty restored parity before The Reds stepped up a gear in the second half and Harry Kewell's header and Emile Heskey's superb volley gave them a well-earned 3-1 win.

The home side started brightly and applied most of the early pressure, with Igor Biscan flashing his far post header across the face of goal after ten minute but nobody was there to put the ball in.

                                Kewell celebrates his goal.

Blues nearly shocked Anfield with a breakaway goal six minute later when Sami Hyypia's dreadful back-pass allowed Christophe Dugarry to race in on goal but his heavy touch allowed Chris Kirkland to close him down and the ball went harmlessly wide.

Kirkland then had to be alert to turn away a Stan Lazaridis header before Harry Kewell had a header of his own that went just over the bar.

Steve Bruce's side then took the lead largely against the run of play when Robbie Savage's free kick found Mikael Forssell at the far post and he poked the ball in from close range after poor marking from Djimir Traore.

The lead lasted just two minutes as Liverpool drew level from the penalty spot after Florent Sinama-Pongolle was wrestled to the ground by Kenny Cunningham.

Referee Neal Barry pointed to the spot and Reds skipper Steven Gerrard stepped forward and took the responsibility of drawing his side level - and did so by dispatching the ball under Ian Bennett.

Gerard Houllier's side stepped up a gear in the second half and duly took the lead after 69 minutes when John Arne Riise supplied a great cross with his first touch as a substitute and Harry Kewell flew in with a diving header that gave Bennett no chance.

Dietmar Hamann then looked to have made it 3-1 when his header seemed to have gone over the line before being hacked away by Jamie Clapham, only for the officials to deny the goal the Kop was screaming for.

The third goal did come on 78 minutes when Emile Heskey controlled Salif Diao's cross on his chest before swivelling and slamming in a superb volley the flew into the back of the net.

Vladimir Smicer hit the frame of the goal late on as Liverpool secured a moral-boosting victory to get their challenge for a UEFA Champions League place back on track.

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