Baros fires under-strength Liverpool to victory

Millwall 0 - Liverpool 3
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The Independent Online

John Peel would have approved. The legendary Radio One disc-jockey, who died yesterday , was also a Liverpool fan whose favourite ever single was Teenage Kicks by The Undertones.

John Peel would have approved. The legendary Radio One disc-jockey, who died yesterday , was also a Liverpool fan whose favourite ever single was Teenage Kicks by The Undertones.

As a mark of respect, Millwall played that song in the build-up before his beloved team then made occasionally hard work of reaching the fourth round of this competition.

Liverpool's manager, Rafael Benitez, was expected to switch things around for this Carling Cup match but maybe not to make 10 changes from the Premiership line-up that beat Charlton on Saturday.

Those thrust into this third-round tie from obscurity included the American defender Zak Whitbread, 20, making his debut, while 19-year-old midfielder Darren Potter was making only his second appearance of this campaign. Forward Neil Mellor was also given his first chance of this term.

For their part, Millwall started with eight of the players that drew here with Cardiff City on Saturday, and Neil Harris, who scored his club record-equalling 93rd league goal at the weekend from the bench, was given a start.

However, Harris was actually asked to play at left midfield and it was from there that he broke after five minutes. With the visitors' defenders still acquainting themselves with each other, Darren Ward's through pass caught them cold. A bad first touch saw Harris let the ball get away from him and Jerzy Dudek saved at his feet.

That miss proved costly as Liverpool then took the lead through Salif Diao's nerveless finish. From Neil Warnock's corner, Whitbread headed back across goal and the Senegalese midfielder finished with a half-volley, making a mockery of the fact it was only his third goal for the club in over two years.

It took Liverpool barely a minute after the interval to threaten to score a second goal. Darren Potter found Florent Sinama-Pongolle but the French forward saw both his shot saved and match ended in the ensuing challenge with the Lions' goalkeeper Graham Stack.

The home side drew strength from that only for Harris to miss his second presentable chance. With 53 minutes gone he held off Whitbread but shot too close to Dudek.

The decisive second strike came with 20 minutes remaining. Potter ran in on goal and although Stack saved at his feet, he spilled the ball to Stephen Warnock who found Milan Baros and the Czech substitute made no mistake.

But the visiting fans lent a sour note to the night by causing enough of a disturbance to require the intervention of police 15 minutes from time before order was restored.

In injury time Potter found Baros, who calmly scored his second of the night.

Millwall (4-5-1): Stack; Muscat, Ward, Lawrence, Livermore; Dunne (Healy, 79) , Elliott, Morris, Serioux (McCammon, 78), Harris; Tessem. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Simpson, Cogan.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Dudek; Josemi, Henchoz, Traoré, Whitbread; Potter, Biscan, Diao, Warnock (Riise, 81); Mellor (Finnan, 65), Sinama-Pongolle (Baros, 51). Substitutes not used: Kirkland (gk), Carragher.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire)

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