After The Match






 UEFA Cup, QF 1st  leg                   Wednesday March 13                Kick-off: 21.05cet

Result: 1-1 (1-1)
Goals: Heskey (16)     Larsson (2)
LFC Team:

Carragher  Hyypia  Traore  Riise
Diouf  Gerrard  Hamann  Murphy
Owen  Heskey

Subs: Biscan (Diouf 90)
Not used: Arphexad, Baros, Cheyrou, Diao, Mellor. Smicer
Booked: Petrov, Smith
Sent off: None
Referee: Terje Hauge (Norway)
Attendance: 59,756


On target:
Off target:
Yellow cards:
Red cards:  


Diouf fined two weeks wages

LFC Official Website

Liverpool today fined El Hadji Diouf two weeks wages following the spitting incident which marred the end of last night's UEFA Cup clash at Parkhead.

Club chief executive Rick Parry is now keen to liaise with Celtic to discuss sending the money to charity as he bids to ensure the good relations between the two clubs aren't soured because of one unfortunate incident.

Parry said today: "We have fined the player the maximum of two weeks wages and we will be liaising with Celtic to talk about the most appropriate way of spending the money.

"We consider it very important that the good relationships which both Liverpool and Celtic have had over the years should not be soured by this incident."

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier added: "The boy has made a mistake. He knows that. We all make mistakes in life because we are all human.

"I am not going to make excuses for him but the boy is young and I can tell you he is devastated by what has happened.

"It is sad that this has overshadowed a great night's football."

Hyypia hails Reds' show of strength

By Paul Walker - PA Sport

Liverpool skipper Sami Hyypia hailed his side's impressive UEFA Cup display against Celtic that was sadly overshadowed by the spitting incident involving El Hadji Diouf.

The giant Finn had seen his colleagues recover from Henrik Larsson's early strike in the quarter-final first leg before Emile Heskey's priceless equaliser.

Diouf's behaviour sadly has tainted Liverpool's performance, described by boss Gerard Houllier as a "mature display".

And now Liverpool must return to Premiership action on Sunday at Tottenham and produce the same again if the want to keep their Champions League dreams on track.

It will be tough on the ground where their title hopes were finally destroyed at the end of last season.

But Hyypia and Houllier believe Liverpool are now producing performances of desire and quality to handle the next tough few days, the second leg coming at Anfield against Celtic next Thursday.

Hyypia, however, did not fall into the Blackburn trap of over confidence.

Rovers, who lost 1-0 at Parkhead, were confident of turning the tie around but were brushed aside in the return leg at Ewood Park.

Hyypia had been asked before Thursday's tie whether he would settle for a 1-0 defeat in the first leg and his response was emphatic - not a chance.

And, after a disciplined defensive showing in the first leg in Glasgow, Hyypia said: "It was a strong, organised performance but we knew in the dressing room we haven't won anything yet.

"But I felt that we were the better team and that if we had scored again we would have been in real command and the tie would have been over.

"They are also a dangerous side but we put in a very strong performance and we deserved what we got.

"But of course it's going to be a hard time next week, it's only half time and they can score goals.

"They have big lads up front in Hartson and Sutton. Hartson can certainly score goals, we know that."

Liverpool's famed defensive qualities are now clearly back to their best and they will need to be equally sound at White Hart Lane to maintain their twin assaults on further European glory by the end of the season.

But the fact that under Houllier they have now lost just three of 23 European away ties says much about their strengths.

Houllier said: "There was more fluency about our game. It was a very mature performance. Despite the young age of the players some of them have played 40 plus European games, and it showed.

"The tactical discipline was spot on. It was just shame we conceded that early goal. But instead of freezing, it acted as a start for us, a spur to start our game.

"We also needed our mental strength, particularly at somewhere like Parkhead.

"We wanted to apply our plan and it worked very well. The team showed a work ethic that pleased me.

"It was a great European performance by Liverpool. The movement, composure, versatility, physical presence and maturity of some of the players is growing."

Before the game Houllier insisted Blackburn had given the impression that they had done the hardest part by only losing 1-0 at Parkhead.

"Maybe they felt the job was done," said Houllier.

Now, with Celtic heading for Anfield, Houllier underlined that Liverpool will not be taking anything as read.

He said: "The first game is always very important. You either secure your chance or ruin your chance. We are in the middle.

"But Celtic are a good side, they can play. Celtic are a very strong, committed and physical side, but we know we can cope with that.

"I know what they did at Blackburn, we won't underestimate them."

Houllier delighted with display

LFC Official Website

Gerard Houllier said he was a very satisfied man after his team's performance in the 1-1 draw with Celtic in the first leg of the UEFA Cup quarter-final.

The Reds manager was happy with the performance of his side, and praised the character shown to get back in the match despite losing the early goal.

Houllier said: "I thought it was a great European performance. I liked our versatility which is growing, which is a good sign with our young team.

"Our passing and movement was very good and I thought it was a great cup tie. Both sides were very committed and wanted to win. It was a very exciting game and after conceding the early goal I was pleased with the players' response.

"We knew it would be an unbelievable atmosphere but we managed to keep our composure. We kept playing football, we didn't lose our shape and we remained positive. I thought our fans were brilliant singing throughout the game. It's always a special atmosphere and an experience playing at Parkhead."

Police investigate Diouf incident


Liverpool star El Hadji Diouf will be the subject of a police investigation after he appeared to spit at the crowd during tonight's UEFA Cup clash at Parkhead.

The incident marred a good result for the Merseysiders, who will take a 1-1 draw back to Anfield, and sparked an angry reaction from two Celtic supporters.

They were arrested but have since been released, however local police confirmed Diouf is facing an investigation.

Superintendent Kevin Smith of Strathclyde police said: "He's the subject of an investigation.

"We won't speak to the player tonight but there have been complaints and TV coverage and we have spoken to two people involved.

"Two people have been arrested but they have now been released.'"

Houllier: We do not condone Diouf's actions

LFC Official Website

Gerard Houllier has said Liverpool will be taking internal action against El Hadji Diouf following the spitting incident which marred the end of the Reds' excellent display at Parkhead.

Diouf clearly spat at a section of Celtic fans towards the end of the game, and was soon substituted by manager Gerard Houllier as the hostility towards the Senegal striker threatened to boil over.

The Liverpool manager admits there is no defence for the actions of his player and he says the club will now be dealing with the matter internally.

He said: "It's a pity that what happened at the end of the game has cast a shadow over the performance.

"The player has apologised for his actions and he realises it was inappropriate, whatever the provocation. He should not have responded in the way he did.

"Liverpool do not condone this in any way and we will deal with the matter internally. It is not conduct acceptable for a Liverpool player and we view the matter very seriously."

Battle of Britain ends in a draw

Football 365

Emile Heskey and Henrik Larsson both hit the net on their much-hyped comebacks - but it was the England international striker who came back to haunt his former manager Martin O'Neill to give Liverpool the upper hand in
the "Battle of Britain".

But El Hadji-Diouf soured the draw for the Worthington Cup winners late on when he appeared to spit at the Celtic crowd and an investigation is certain to be launched.

The news before kick-off that the Swede and his rival had recovered from a double fracture of the jaw and hamstring injuries respectively added further spice to a wonderful occasion which was made even more special by a united rendition of "Never Walk Alone" pre-match.

But it was Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier who will be the happiest of the two managers after Heskey had scored a vital away goal and put them on course for the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup against the man who launched his career at Leicester City.

Amazingly it was only his seventh goal of the season compared to Larsson's 35th, but the winners of competition two seasons ago will be favourites to finish the job at Anfield next Thursday.

Heskey came in for Vladimir Smicer in the only change from Saturday's victory over Bolton Wanderers, but there was a surprise in Celtic's line-up with Paul Lambert dropping out to accommodate Sutton in midfield and the prolific striker alongside John Hartson.

But the Scottish champions took inspiration from the incredible noise conjured up and they came within inches of taking the lead after just 30 seconds.

Hartson beat Djimi Traore in the air and controlled Alan Thompson's pass before launching a fierce drive which beat Jerzy Dudek, but flicked the top of the crossbar on its way into the crowd behind the goal.

Liverpool failed to heed that warning and Celtic capitalised to make a dream early breakthrough just over a minute later.

The usually dependable Sami Hyypia misjudged Thompson's in-field cross and Hartson controlled the ball and lobbed it to the back post. Styllian Petrov picked it up and centred for Larsson to bundle the ball past Dudek with his knee from close range.

The men from Merseyside responded with a weak effort from Danny Murphy after the midfielder won a challenge with Jamie Smith and Robert Douglas comfortably saved.

But Celtic continued to bombard the Liverpool goal and Hartson sent another long-range effort fizzing over the bar after skipping past Dietmar Hamann in the fifth minute.

Liverpool started to show signs that they were finally settling down when Murphy fired over from outside the box after Owen had stepped over Jamie Carragher's infield pass.

But they retaliated in the best way possible by equalising in the 16th minute when John Arne Riise threaded the ball through to Emile Heskey to fire the ball low past Douglas and into the bottom corner of the net from a tight angle.

That clearly knocked the home side out of their stride and they suffered another injury blow in the 26th minute when Thompson had to go off and on came Steve Guppy.

Liverpool looked the more confident team after the restart, but they breathed a sigh of relief just a minute into the half when Hartson went down on the edge of the area under the clumsy challenge of Traore but referee Terje Hauge waved away protests.

The visitors continued to look a major threat on the break and only some great defending by Bobo Balde stopped Owen wriggling free in the box.

El-Hadji Diouf then got on the end of Riise's free-kick, but his goalbound header was blocked by Joos Valgaeren.

But Larsson had a glorious opportunity to put Celtic ahead again in the 53rd minute when Hartson capitalised on a slip by Traore to send the Swedish star clean through on goal, but Dudek read his chip perfectly to push the ball behind for a corner.

The Glasgow side almost paid the ultimate price in the 62nd minute following the best move of the match.

Heskey's flick found Gerrard, who quickly sent Diouf away down the right. He slipped the ball back inside to the Englishman, but he directed the ball wide of Douglas post.

Moments later and Balde needed to head Gerrard's fiercely-struck drive clear after more good work by Traore on the flank.

Douglas then prevented Owen from breaking more records with goals in five successive matches and equalling Ian Rush's European record when he brilliantly turned his right-foot drive around the post in the 75th minute.

Larsson was feeling the pace and was replaced by Lambert while Petrov and Guppy were booked as they desperately tried to stop Liverpool from scoring a killer goal.

Diouf touted controversy late on when he appeared to spit in the direction of the Celtic crowd to spark an angry reaction from a fan, who was arrested and he was soon after substituted and given a police escort down the tunnel.

That could have hampered a glorious night for Liverpool and Heskey - who will now be expected to move into the last four - at the expense of his former boss.


This page was last updated 16.03.2003 19:20
Thor Zakariassen