Competition: English Premier League.
Referee: Mr D. Gallagher (Banbury).
United had found Anfield to be a graveyard for their hopes, having won only one league game there in the past twenty-six years, and they looked to be heading for another defeat when Robbie Fowler stroked in a penalty to give Liverpool a sixty-eighth minute lead. Leeds, who had knocked the ball around in encouraging fashion in the first half, stuck to their task and when manager David O’Leary made the decision to send on Leeds-born Alan Smith in place of the ineffective Clyde Wijnhard after seventy-six minutes, the gamble paid off handsomely.
took charge of the team affairs at
surprisingly, his manager was beaming afterwards, “I have seen him develop over
the two years that I have been at the club and have been wanting to give him a
go in the first team”, said O’Leary. “But I wasn’t brave enough to put him on
from the start at
Alan Smith’s equaliser inspired United and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink certainly drew encouragement from it as he burst into life and came up with the perfect answer to recent criticism of his form with a stunning double blast. Suddenly all his old sharpness was in evidence as he determinedly and skillfully carved up Liverpool’s hesitant and disorganised defence to hammer in goals, with his left foot in the eighty-first minute and his right foot minutes later.
United’s only other league victory at Anfield in the past twenty-six years was a 1-0 success in the 1994-95 season when Brian Deane scored, but in their three following visits United had lost heavily conceding twelve goals while managing to score just one.
Liverpool were going through a depressing patch and were without Steve McManaman, tormentor in chief of United in those recent encounters, and England striker Michael Owen, but United’s victory was richly satisfying for the players and sweet music to the ears of their fans.
players aged twenty-one or under on the field at the end this triumph was all
the more satisfying for United and their recently appointed boss, but for
Frenchman Gerard Houllier, in sole charge of the Reds
for the first time following the mid-week departure of Roy Evans, it was a
nightmare. This had been
Dermot Gallagher, who had awarded
David Hopkins leaves David Thompson David Hopkins watches Lee Bowyer and Paul
in his wake Ince go up for a high ball
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink rounds Patrik Berger
Back Row: Derek Lilley, Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Matthews, David Wetherall, Mark Beeney,
Nigel Martyn, Robert Molenaar, Gunnar Halle, David Hopkin, Andy Gray.
Middle Row: Eddie Gray (Coach) Ian McNeill (Chief Scout), Alan Maybury, David Robertson,
Stephen McPhail, David Swift (Physio), David O’Leary (Assistant Manager), Jeremy Fenn (Director).
Front Row: Paul Shepherd, Harry Kewell, Ian Harte, Bruno Ribeiro, Lucas Radebe,
Peter Ridsdale (Director), George Graham (Manager), Chris Akers (Director), Alf-Inge Haaland,
Martin Hiden, Gary Kelly, Tommy Knarvik, Lee Bowyer.
Back Row: Rob Jones, Steve Harkness, David Thompson, Dominic Matteo, Brad Friedel,
Jorgen Nielson, Tony Warner, David James, Jason McAteer, Phil Babb, Danny Murphy,
Middle Row: ? (Coach), ? (Coach), Steve Staunton, Shaun Dundee, Bjorne Tore Kvarme,
Stig Inge Bjornebye, Jamie Redknapp, Vegard Heggem, Karl-Heinz Reidel,
Haukur Ingi Gudnason, Sammy Lee (Coach), ? (Coach).
Front Row: Oyvind Leonardsen, Gareth Roberts, Steven Gerrard, Paul Ince, ? (Coach),
Roy Evans (Manager) Gerrard Houillier (Manager), Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler,
Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen.
Alan Smith and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink
(2) scored for
David James was in goal for Liverpool. Vegard Heggem and Stig Inge Bjornebye were the full-backs Jamie Carragher and
Steve Staunton were the central defence Karl-Heinz Riedle
partnered Robbie Fowler in attack. David Thompson, Jamie Redknapp,
Paul Ince and Patrik Berger
were in midfield Steve McManaman and Michael Owen were noticeable absentees Oyvind Leonhardsen was substitute.
David James was in goal for Liverpool. Vegard Heggem and Stig Inge Bjornebye were the full-backs
Jamie Carragher and Steve Staunton were the central defence Karl-Heinz Riedle partnered Robbie Fowler in attack.
David Thompson, Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince and Patrik Berger were in midfield
Steve McManaman and Michael Owen were noticeable absentees Oyvind Leonhardsen was substitute.