Danny Murphy scored an injury-time winner as Liverpool ended its dismal run by winning a 4-3 thriller at Aston Villa on Wednesday and reach the League Cup semifinal. \nMurphy scored twice, Milan Baros had a hand in three of the goals and Steven Gerrard produced a long overdue standout performance with a goal as Gerrard Houllier's men shrugged off an alarming Premier League sequence of one point in six games. \nWith a Merseyside game with Everton to come on Sunday, it was the perfect tonic for Houllier and his team even though they allowed Villa to come back from 3-1 down. \nGraham Taylor's Villa went ahead with a Darius Vassell penalty in the 22nd minute only for Murphy to level with a slick free kick five minutes later. \nGoals by Baros and Gerrard put Liverpool in control until Villa's German midfielder, Thomas Hitzlsperger, scored his fourth long range goal in five games and Stephane Henchoz deflected a Dion Dublin effort to make it 3-3. \nThe game appeared set for extra time until Gerrard, who commanded the midfield, set up Murphy for his 91st minute winner. \nMinutes after the final whistle, Houllier's team was drawn to face division one Sheffield United in the semifinal while Manchester United must get past defending champion Blackburn Rovers. \n``It's a good draw for us,'' said Houllier, whose team won the trophy two seasons ago. ``They are going to be two good games. They've knocked out Premier League teams [Leeds and Sunderland] to get here so we've got to show them a bit of respect and they work very hard for each other. \n``Maybe we've got a better chance of getting to the final by avoiding the Premier League sides but it's going to be no pushover. We've got to work hard.'' \n"We are very disappointed because it's not as if our league position is great and the cups have been really important. Everyone was really up for this," Villa manager Graham Taylor said. \nThe fourth quarterfinal was held up for one hour 20 minutes because of a ticketing fiasco. \nInstead of sending the tickets in the post, Villa arranged for its fans to collect them at the gates and some 17,000 were still lining up at the scheduled kickoff time. \nThere also was a minute's silence before the postponed kickoff as a mark of respect to Bert Millichip, the former FA chairman, who died earlier Wednesday at age 88.
* Manchester United vs. Blackburn
* Sheffield United vs. Liverpool
* The games are to be played over two legs in the weeks beginning Jan. 6 and Jan. 20.
Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table. Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw. Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan. Imai, who also managed the national
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational