Liverpool 3 - Blues 0

Last updated : 26 January 2002 By Brian Cartlidge
Owen scores for Liverpool
Blues were hoping to avenge their Worthington Cup final defeat at the hands of The Reds, but they can have no complaints this time as they were soundly beaten.

Club chairman David Gold had claimed before this game that Liverpool had "stolen" the Worthington Cup from them" maintaining Blues should have been awarded a penalty at the end of extra-time.

Blues, though, failed to gain their revenge, and after Steve Vickers had headed wide from an early Curtis Woodhouse free-kick, Liverpool took charge.

Steven Gerrard fired the first warning when he cracked a drive just over Ian Bennett's crossbar from 20 yards out.

The Reds opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Vladimir Smicer headed the ball to Murphy, who in turn set up Owen, who struck home right-footed from just inside the box.

It was inevitable a second goal would come and it did on 25 minutes when Anelka robbed O'connor of the ball in midfield and fed Owen on the left, who scored with his supposedly weaker left foot.

It was a similar finish to that which won the FA Cup last May and it took his goals tally for the club to 102.

The Frenchman was then denied his first goal for Liverpool when he had a shot blocked by Bennett.

Liverpool's patient passing then opened up Blues down the left only for Smicer to shoot straight at Bennett.

Owen demonstrated his predatory instincts again when he broke through on the right and fired a half-volley against the crossbar with Bennett beaten.

With the tie won, Owen came off with 13 minutes remaining to an ovation from the home fans to be replaced by Emile Heskey.

His withdrawal did not spare Blues further pain and four minutes from time, Anelka netted his first Liverpool goal when he collected Gerrard's through ball and fired in from the edge of the area.

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