Thu, Jan 20, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Burnley knocks out Liverpool

ENGLISH FOOTBALL Liverpool seemed to do all that it could to allow the lower-league team to win by scoring on itself and ending the match with 10 men on the pitch


Liverpool was eliminated from the FA Cup by lower league Burnley Tuesday, beaten 1-0 on an own-goal and ending with 10 men after Antonio Nunez was sent off.

Burnley took the lead in the 51st minute of the third-round match at Turf Moor when Liverpool's Djimi Traore put the ball in his own net.

Ian Moore's glancing header sent Richard Chaplow clear down the left, and when his low cross skidded into the box, Traore turned the ball into his net at the far post. Nunez was sent off in the 87th minute for elbowing Tony Grant.

"It's a fantastic win for us, I'm delighted with the boys," Burnley manager Steve Cotterill said. "In the second half, probably, they were the better side, but in the first half we were the better side and very unlucky not to be a few goals up.

"In the end, perhaps, we deserved what we got on the night and we are delighted. It was our team ethic. We were a team tonight. We've got good individual players but they played as one of 11 tonight."

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said he would have been happy with a draw.

"They started at a high tempo and played well. After that we controlled the game but at the end there was a big mistake," Benitez said. "Sometimes they had counter attacks, but I think at least a draw would have been the best result."

Burnley, in 10th place in the Football League Championship, one level below the Premier League, will host Bournemouth in the fourth round.

Benitez rested most of his key players, but fielded goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, Sami Hyypia, Traore and Nunez. Midfielder John Welsh made his first start for Liverpool, in fifth place in the Premier League, and David Raven played his second senior match on defense.

"I don't think it was a mistake," Benitez said of his youthful team. "I am happy with the players, they tried. All of us are disappointed with the result, but that is football."

The match was originally scheduled for Jan. 7 but was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

In Tuesday's other FA Cup match, Leicester beat Blackpool 1-0 in a third-round replay and will play at Reading in the next round to be played Jan. 28-30. The two drew 2-2 on Jan. 8 at Leicester.

Liverpool is the biggest club to be ousted at this stage of this year's edition of the world's oldest knockout competition.

Manchester United could join it however. The Red Devils play at non-league Exeter on Wednesday in a third-round replay after drawing 0-0 at Old Trafford on Jan. 8.

Other Premier League clubs to be eliminated in the third round were Manchester City, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Norwich.

Other big shocks in the 133-year history of the competition include Hereford 2, Newcastle 1 in 1972; Sutton 2, Coventry 1 in 1989; Wrexham 2, Arsenal 1 in 1992 and Shrewsbury 2, Everton 1 in 2003.

Blackburn reportedly agreed to pay 3 million pounds (US$5.58 million) Tuesday for Birmingham midfielder Robbie Savage.

Savage, who has been at Birmingham for 2 years, still needs to pass a medical test before he can sign with Blackburn.

"The next stage will be to confirm personal terms ... and for him to have a medical," Blackburn said on its Web site.

Savage put in a transfer request two weeks ago, saying he wanted to move closer to his ill parents in Wales. At Blackburn, he would also be reunited with former Wales manager Mark Hughes, who now coaches the northern English club.

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