After The Match 


LJUBLJANA-LIVERPOOL 1-1 (0-0)  Wed Sep 24   UEFA Cup 1 round-1 leg
Goals: Owen (77)         Zlogar (65)
Team: Dudek, Diao, Hyypia, Biscan, Riise, Le Tallec, Murphy, Smicer, Kewell, Owen, Heskey
Subs: Gerrard (Murphy 14), Finnan (Diao 69), Welsh (Le Tallec 86)
Not used: Luzi, Henchoz, Sinama Pongolle
Yellow: Kewell (30)
Red: None
Referee: Julian Rodriguez Santiago (Spain)
On target:
Off target:





"It's just a shame that we conceded that goal."
                 Gerard Houllier

2409: Houllier relieved to see Owen score
2409: Owen rescues Liverpool


Houllier relieved to see Owen score

LFC Official Website

Gerard Houllier admitted he was a relieved man after seeing record-breaker Michael Owen spare Liverpool's blushes in Slovenia tonight.

Owen's 77th minute headed goal - his 21st strike in European competition for the Reds - cancelled out Zlogar's opener for Olimpija Lubljana and secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg of this UEFA Cup first round tie.

Speaking immediately after the match Houllier said: "It's a relief but also a hope because when you score away in this competition it's vital for the second leg.

"Their goalkeeper kept them in the game for a long time. It's just a shame that we conceded that goal.

"Maybe we could have scored more but it was a difficult pitch. We sometimes didn't find the passes and, when we did, we couldn't find the goal."

Owen rescues Liverpool

BBC Sport Online

Michael Owen spared Liverpool's blushes with a late leveller against Slovenian side Olimpija in the Bezigrad Stadium.

Gerard Houllier's men had been stunned by Anton Zlogar's second half opener after Nedim Jusufbegovic's shot had rattled Jerzy Dudek's post.

But Owen stepped up to head home from John Arne Riise's cross 12 minutes from time to earn his side a draw and break Ian Rush's European goals record of 20 for the club.

Houllier decided to rest some key players for the tie and gave starts to Anthony Le Tallec, Salif Diao and Danny Murphy.

Had the Slovenians been more potent in the attacking third of the field they could have taken advantage of their neat build-up play, but Liverpool soon began to create chances.

After 14 minutes Le Tallec should have opened his account but he blazed over from 12 yards and a minute later the injured Danny Murphy had to be replaced by Steven Gerrard.

Michael Owen thought he had opened the scoring when he tapped home after Borut Mavric had plamed away Diao's shot, but the England striker was flagged for offside.

The hosts could have even taken a surprise lead six minutes before the break but home fans favourite Mladen Rudonja shot straight at Jerzy Dudek from a godd position.

Liverpool came out after the break looking keen to break Olimpija's spirit, and after Anton Zlogar hit a volley that Dudek saved well they saw a succession of opportunities at the other end go begging.

A curling Harry Kewell free-kick brought a magnificent save from Mavric and just moments later a thunderous Gerrard drive flashed past the keeper's right-hand post courtesy of a deflection.

With 24 minutes left Liverpool were rocked when Nedim Jusufbegovic hit a crisp right-foot shot from 20 yards that cannoned back off Dudek's post, and Zlogar tapped home the rebound.

The Slovenians looked the more likely to add to their tally but just as they were counting down the clock to a famous win up stepped Michael Owen to dash their hopes.

John Arne Riise sent in a delightful cross from the left wing and Owen was on hand to head the ball past Mavric into the net.

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Thor Zakariassen