Football: Boothferry no barrier for Murphy and Meijer

WHILE ARSENAL toiled in Tuscany and Manchester United embarked on the defence of the European Cup at Old Trafford, Liverpool were obliged to go to Hull and back last night. Not that it was a harrowing experience for the three-times champions of Europe.

A Third Division Hull City side which cost pounds 120,000, a fortnight's wages for Steve McManaman in Madrid, succeeded in keeping Michael Owen's name off the score-sheet. They also succeeded in beating Sander Westerveld in the Liverpool goal, David Brown, a former Old Trafford trainee, cracking a right-foot volley past the Dutch goalkeeper after 59 minutes.

However, Liverpool travelled back across the M62 with a comfortable lead from the first leg of this Worthington Cup second-round tie. Although Owen, having started his first game for five months, departed goalless, the transfer-listed Danny Murphy and the debutant Erik Meijer bagged two apiece and the veteran Steve Staunton claimed a last-minute fifth for Gerard Houllier's reshuffled team.

The last time Liverpool visited Boothferry Park, for an FA Cup fifth- round tie 10 years ago, the Tigers gave Kenny Dalglish and his team a first-half fright. Hull led 2-1 at the break before two John Aldridge goals earned them a 3-2 victory. Hull might have struck twice in the opening stages last night but the debutant Djimi Traore intercepted one threatening Steve Harper cross bound for Brown and another eluded Dave D'Auria's head by inches.

Liverpool, however, soon provided a lesson in precision play. In the 10th minute, a sweeping left-wing move ended with Vladimir Smicer crossing low from the left, Meijer stepping over the ball and Murphy burying it with a crisp drive.

The outcome might have been different had Westerveld's right-hand post not kept out a 25-yard shot by Gary Brabin, a one-time bouncer in a Liverpool nightclub and a lifelong Evertonian. On the half-hour, though, David Thompson's right-wing cross reached Murphy at the far post and the former Crewe midfielder trapped the ball before beating Lee Bracey with a side-footed shot.

Bracey, who conceded eight goals in a League Cup tie at Anfield for Swansea eight years ago, tipped a Smicer drive on to the crossbar in the 43rd minute but Meijer made it 3-0 four minutes into the second-half, turning to whack a right-foot shot past Bracey from the edge of the Hull penalty area. Although Brown's goal threatened to give Liverpool a less than comfortable time in the last 30 minutes, they ultimately won at a canter.

With 14 minutes remaining, Meijer, the Dutch-born forward Houllier signed on a free-transfer from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, latched on to a Vegard Heggem through ball and slipped a close-range shot past the advancing Bracey. Then, in the final minute, Staunton hit the target with a sweeping drive from wide on the left.

Hull City (5-3-2): Bracey; Harper, Edwards, Whittle, Greaves, Mann (Swales, 31); D'Auria (Alcide, 55), Brabin, Schofield; Eyre (Wood, 72), Brown. Substitutes not used: Baker (gk), Williams.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Westerveld; Heggem, Traore, Hyypia, Staunton; Thompson, Murphy, Carragher, Smicer (Berger h-t); Meijer, Owen (Camara, 77). Substitutes not used: Friedel (gk), Bjornebye.

Referee: K Leach (Codsall).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee