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Rediff.com  » Sports » Liverpool's losing run ends

Liverpool's losing run ends

October 25, 2003 20:46 IST

Liverpool beat Leeds United 3-1 to end their three-match losing streak in the Premier league and Birmingham City emerged 1-0 winners over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Michael Owen and substitutes Danny Murphy and Florent Sinama-Pongolle scored the goals that gave Liverpool their first league win since September 20 to ease the pressure on manager Gerard Houllier, whose side rose from 11th to seventh in the table.

Birmingham consolidated fourth spot after winning at Bolton for the first time since 1965 with Finnish international Mikael Forssell scoring the only goal after 31 minutes. It was also Birmingham's first win in four matches after a defeat and two draws in their last three outings.

Six other matches are being played later on Saturday when there could be a change at the top as league leaders Arsenal do not meet Charlton until Sunday.

OWEN VOLLEY

At Anfield Liverpool took the lead after 35 minutes against Leeds after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Igor Biscan played the ball back in for John Arne Riise who headed the ball down for Owen. The England striker let it bounce once and then volleyed it into the top corner with his left foot for his ninth goal of the season.

Leeds scored a deserved equaliser seven minutes later after Jermaine Pennant crossed into the box where Alan Smith reacted marginally faster than Biscan to stab the ball into the net for his first goal since August 23 and his 50th for Leeds.

But Liverpool regained the lead after 56 minutes with a controversial goal direct from a Danny Murphy free kick awarded after Pennant handled.

Three Liverpool players were in offside positions as Murphy's 25-metre free kick eluded Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson. Although the linesman flagged, referee Jeff Winter allowed the goal to stand after consulting him.

Murphy, who had missed the last three matches with a back injury, scored just eight minutes after replacing the injured Vladimir Smicer.

Liverpool wrapped up the points when French teenager Sinama- Pongolle, who replaced Owen at halftime, scored his first goal for the club on only his second league appearance with an 18-metre right-footed shot.

FORSSELL STRIKE

At the Reebok Stadium Bolton, without a league win in four games, were denied a penalty at one end after 30 minutes when Kenny Cunningham appeared to climb over Kevin Davies.

A minute later Birmingham capitalised on their double dose of good fortune by taking the lead at the other end.

Birmingham scored after a quick break with Christoph Dugarry putting Bolton defenders Emerson Thome and Simon Charlton under pressure.

They both failed to clear and Dugarry's cross was deflected off Charlton and into the path of Forssell whose first time shot gave fellow Finnish international team mate Juski Jaaskalainen no chance in the Bolton goal.

Bolton were unlucky midway through the second half when Greek international Stelios Giannakopoulos thought he had scored with a spectacular overhead kick, only for the effort to be ruled offside.

Source:
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