No Hassel As Blues Win At Anfield  (Sky Sports)

Liverpool 1 Chelsea 2

1 - 2
Michael Owen 79(pen)
  Juan Sebastian Veron 25
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 87
Match Facts
Competition: English Barclaycard Premiership
Venue: Anfield
Attendence: 44082
KO: 16:05 Sunday 17th August 2003
Referee: Steve Bennett

Charlie McFaulds reports 

Liverpool attackA Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaik strike three minutes from time got Chelsea off to a winning start with victory over Liverpool to earn the London club a rare win at Anfield.

Chelsea just about shaded the win, despite chasing shadows for most of the opening period, but they showed their class as the game wore on, and in Juan Sebastian Veron they had a quite superb performer.

The people of Liverpool have never been particularly captivated by opulence, so it was no surprise when the Reds failed to stand on ceremony for the Regal gathering from west London.

Gerard Houllier's side set about the visitors from the very start of this match, and it took a wonderful save from Carlo Cudicini inside two minutes to prevent them taking an early lead.

The Italian keeper could not have seen Danny Murphy's low drive through a crowded penalty area until the last second, but he got down to his left and turned the ball out for a corner.

The Blues keeper had to be alert moments later when he raced to the edge of his box to gather a threaded pass from Harry Kewell.

Chelsea could not get into a rhythm in the opening spell and Liverpool would not allow them to settle on the ball.

Cudicini was earning his corn though as twice in a minute he was required to show his agility. First to gather another through ball and then to block at Michael Owen's feet as the striker latched onto a neat pass inside the Chelsea box.

The home side should have taken the lead on 23 minutes though when Harry Kewell left John Terry trailing on the right side of the penalty area, but with Owen lurking on the six-yard line the former Leeds ace elected to shoot.

Veron celebrates goalHis effort beat the diving Cudicini but went straight across the face of the goal and out for a goal-kick. It was to be a costly miss as Chelsea took the lead within two minutes with their first real attack of the match.

Frank Lampard fed the pacy Jesper Gronkjaer on the right and his low cut-back found Veron in plenty of space to drill the ball past Jerzy Dudek from 10 yards.

Liverpool attempted to hit back quickly and Kewell linked up with Owen for the little striker to hammer towards goal but Cudicini blocked at his near post.

The visitors then passed up a golden chance to increase their lead when Veron's perfectly weighted pass allowed Eidur Gudjohnsen to beat Liverpool's offside trap with ease, but his shot the ball against Dudek with the goal at his mercy.

Kewell came close to equalising in injury time when he chested Veron's headed clearance 20-yards from goal and whizzed his half-volley narrowly wide of the target.

Liverpool did not have the same urgency after the break and were starting to look laboured as the game wore on.

Instead it was Chelsea who offered the greater threat and one sweeping move almost doubled their lead on 63 minutes.

Veron and Lampard linked in the middle before the former West Ham man fed Wayne Bridge whose driven cross was inches away from Damien Duff's toe.

Lampard then tested Dudek with a long-range drive as Chelsea stepped up another gear. 

But Liverpool were handed a lifeline 14 minutes from time when Bridge was adjudged to have fouled substitute El-Hadji Diouf in the penalty box and referee Steve Bennett pointed to the spot.

Owen sent Cudicini the wrong way but whipped his shot past the post, however the officials decided harshly that the Blues keeper had moved and the kick was retaken amid howls of protest.

This time Owen blasted the ball down the middle of the goal and high into the net.

Chelsea were not to be denied though, and substitute Hasselbaink gathered the ball just outside the penalty area and held off Jamie Carragher to shoot low into the bottom corner past the diving Dudek.


Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz (Finnan 70), Hyypia, Riise, Kewell, Murphy, Biscan (Baros 70), Cheyrou (Diouf 55), Owen, Heskey.
Subs Not Used:
Kirkland, Le Tallec.
Biscan, Henchoz, Diouf.
Owen 79 pen.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Johnson (Gallas 73), Terry, Desailly, Bridge, Gronkjaer, Geremi, Veron, Lampard, Duff (Joe Cole 75), Gudjohnsen (Hasselbaink 45).
Subs Not Used:
Ambrosio, Forssell.
Veron 25, Hasselbaink 87.

Attendance: 44,082

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

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