Bruce impressed with Reds duo

Last updated : 11 January 2002 By Brian Cartlidge

Steve Bruce at Anfield
Speaking after the game Bruce said "The two up front, Owen and Anelka, I thought they were razor sharp."

"You can see why Owen is scoring every week. You can see why he's the European Player of the Year and you can see why people think he's the best striker in the league."

Owen struck twice in the first half, with Anelka wrapping up the game late in the second half.

Bruce, though, was more concerned by The Blues' timid performance in the first half. He claimed they had been afraid of Liverpool and did not start playing until the second half when it was too late.

"I felt we showed them too much respect," he said.

"In the second half we at least made more of a cup tie of it, but you can't show teams of this quality too much respect and I just believe there was an element of fear about us, especially in the first half an hour.

"It took us 35 to 40 minutes to have the belief that we were allowed to tackle them.

"Certainly in the second half at least we did a little bit of that, but it was too late then.

"Against the quality opposition we were up against, the cup tie was over.

"At times the game was at testimonial pace and that upset me."