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Liverpool (0) 0 - 1 (1) Ipswich Town

FA Carling Premiership 2000-01

Sunday, December 10, 2000

Referee: A Wiley

Manager: Unknown

Anfield

Attendance: 43,509

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2876

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Match Report

Town clinch memorable victory at Anfield

Liverpool 0, Ipswich 1. Sounds great, doesn't it! The Tractor boys continued their remarkable season with a memorable victory in Liverpool.

A Marcus Stewart ‘classic' just before half time gave Ipswich another memorable away win. They shocked the red half of Merseyside with an outstanding all round performance, and the 1-0 victory lifts the Blues back into dreamland, above Liverpool, into 3rd place. There were concerns that the shock defeat at home to Derby last week could ignite a rapid slide down the table, something the national media seem to be just waiting to happen. But Town kicked those fears firmly into touch at Anfield, with a cracking win that almost makes the thought of relegation seem laughable. Ipswich started the match with the predicted formation; Scowcroft was chosen to partner Marcus Stewart ahead of Johno. Mark Venus, John McGreal and Jim Magilton all passed fitness tests, while Richard Wright replaced Keith Brannagan in goal. New £800,000 signing Alun Armstrong was included in the squad, and was on the bench. The first half had both Liverpool an Ipswich plying well, but chances for both teams were quite rare. Ipswich's patient passing approach meant they had much of the ball in the early exchanges, but didn't look like penetrating the Liverpool back four. Liverpool looked most dangerous on the break, as the pace of Owen and Fowler looked to be their best route to goal. Indeed Michael Owen should really have put the Scousers in front with a close range header. Fowler also went close, but some great defending from Hreidarsson and McGreal tamed most of what they could muster. Just before half time, the noisy travelling army were celebrating a superb goal from in-form Marcus Stewart. Jamie Clapham fed the ball to Stewart, who rounded a defender, took his time before waltzing past Westerveld, and then finally planted the ball coolly past in the back of the net, in front of a stunned Cop. It was a typical Marcus Stewart strike; his trademark now seems to be to take as long as he can before finally shooting. It was his 10th goal of the season, and he was certainly upstaging the two Liverpool and England strikers at the other end of the pitch. It was a magic, magic moment for Town fans, and what a great time it was to score a goal. Half time: Liverpool 0, Ipswich 1. A second half onslaught from Liverpool looked on the cards, as they dominated early proceedings. Being roared on by an expectant full house, they went in search for an equaliser. However, it was Town who so nearly went two up after a lovely 20-yard shot from Jamie Clapham. It produced a great save from Westerveld, and Scowcroft almost scored from the resultant corner. Emile Heskey, who had come on for Michael Owen, looked certain to score when he broke the Ipswich off side trap, after Hreidarsson had played him on side. It appeared he couldn't make his mind up about what to do, and his hesitation cost him, as magnificent defending firstly McGreal and then Venus, extinguished the danger. Gary Croft came on, rather surprisingly to replace Marcus Stewart. It meant a reshuffling of the pack, with Crofty's job being to sit on the left side, and try to slow up Liverpool's attacks. It was obvious Burley was aiming to shut up shop, with 10 minutes to go. But this seemed to egg Liverpool on, as they came forward, wave after wave, in a final push for an equaliser. A free kick from Danny Murphy produced Liverpool's best effort, as he skimmed the cross bar, with a delightful curler. It would have been very harsh on Town had it found its way into the back of the net, as the free kick was dubious to say the least. The final whistle sent the blue army into raptures. What a result. Again Town had a good away following, and they made the most it, singing continuously throughout the second half. The long journey home ahead would now seem remarkably shorter. I said earlier in the week I didn't think we should have to play on a Sunday. I think I'm beginning to like Sunday football now! Final score: Liverpool 0, Ipswich 1. In 1996 we recorded our very first win at Anfield, after an odd 100-year wait. That win, while also a very memorable result, can really only be classified as a freak result. Today we recorded our second consecutive win at the famous ground, but this time it was no fluke; it was fully deserved by Burley's boys, who continue to enjoy this blinding season. Most teams we have beaten away this year have come up with a plausible excuse for their defeat at the hands of the minnows from Suffolk, and Liverpool will no doubt claim to be suffering a ‘European hangover', after being beaten for the first time on home soil. But at the end of the day, like so many other teams, they probably underestimated us, and paid the price. Can the season get any better?

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