EPL : LIVERPOOL 4-0 SHEFFIELD UNITED

LIVERPOOL 4-0 SHEFFIELD UNITED
Saturday 24 February 2007 15:00 , Barclays Premiership

REDS BLUNT BLADES IN ANFIELD STROLL

Liverpool consolidated their grip on third place in the Premiership by coasting to a convincing 4-0 victory over Sheffield United at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Robbie Fowler’s first half spot-kick double (20 and 25) and second half strikes from Sami Hyypia (70) and Steven Gerrard (73) fired the Reds to an emphatic win that moves them to within three points of second-placed Chelsea and seven clear of fourth-placed Arsenal.

Having sent shockwaves reverberating around Europe in midweek, a rousing reception from the Anfield gallery greeted the returning heroes as they resumed their ‘bread and butter’ quest on the domestic front.

With a couple of big games looming, Benitez shuffled his pack and veteran Kop favourite Fowler was one of seven changes to the starting eleven that helped defeat Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

Javier Mascherano was handed his Reds debut in the centre of midfield alongside Steven Gerrard and, with Pepe Reina’s wife about to give birth, Jerzy Dudek also made a rare start between the sticks.

Hyypia was recalled to the centre of defence in place of Daniel Agger, Mark Gonzalez and Jermaine Pennant came in to patrol the flanks, while Fowler was partnered by Peter Crouch in attack.

It was on the opening day of the season that Neil Warnock’s newly promoted Blades blunted Liverpool’s start to the campaign by holding them to a 1-1 draw at Brammall Lane and, given the much-changed line-up, hopes must have been high in the away dug-out of a repeat result.

But Rafa’s squad rotation policy worked a treat and it was the Reds who stuck the knife in to draw first blood after 20 minutes.

Robert Kozluk wrestled Gerrard to the floor as a corner was floated in from the right. Referee Steve Bennett immediately pointed to spot and Fowler made no mistake in expertly despatching the spot-kick to the left of Paddy Kenny’s outstretched arms.

Seven minutes later the Reds number nine doubled Liverpool’s advantage in almost identical circumstances. Gerrard was brought down in the box for a second time, this time by Nick Montgomery, and Fowler comfortably completed the task again, opting for the opposite corner on this occasion as Kenny dived the wrong way.

With the points safe, the main focus now was on how many Liverpool could score and the only surprise was that it took until twenty minutes from the end before the United net was pierced again.

Hyypia pounced on a loose ball as the visitors struggled to clear a corner and the big Finn’s goalward bound shot was deflected in off the legs of a defender for 3-0.

Three minutes later Gerrard completed the scoring and put the seal on a satisfactory afternoon when he drove the ball home from the right edge of the area.

Teams

Liverpool: Dudek, Riise, Carragher, Hyypia, Finnan, Gonzalez, Gerrard MBE (c), Mascherano, Pennant, Crouch, Fowler. Subs – Agger, Alonso, Kuyt, Padelli, Sissoko

Sheffield United: Kenny, Montgomery, Fathi, Geary, Quinn, Kozluk, Armstrong, Lucketti, Tonge, Hulse, Jagielka. Subs – Davis, Kazam-Richards, Morgan, Quinn, Stead

Referee: Steve Bennett

Conditions:

Attendance: Unavailable

Liverpoolfc.tv Man-of-the-Match: Steven Gerrard

From Liverpool Fc oficial site

Watch Liverpool Goal Here >> Goal Video Clips

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