Camara goal sets Liverpool buzzing

Early Windass strike for Bradford stuns Anfield but Houllier's team fights back to take sixth place in Premiership
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Paul Jewell did not make it as a Liverpool player and the likelihood is his team are not going to make it in the Premiership either. The Bradford City manager returned to the club where he was once an apprentice last night and his journey down Memory Lane came to an unhappy cul-de-sac.

Paul Jewell did not make it as a Liverpool player and the likelihood is his team are not going to make it in the Premiership either. The Bradford City manager returned to the club where he was once an apprentice last night and his journey down Memory Lane came to an unhappy cul-de-sac.

That makes it seven defeats in 12 League matches since Bradford were promoted and as they are already in the bottom three, the omens are not looking promising. Last night they took a surprise lead through Dean Windass, but so porous are their defence it never looked likely to be enough.

Titi Camara's fifth goal of the season, Jamie Redknapp's penalty and a delightful 80th-minute dribble through the visiting ranks by Vegard Heggem ensured Liverpool collected their third win in four unbeaten matches and they are now sixth in the table.

Patience has been a watchword at Anfield this season as Gérard Houllier has asked supporters to give him time to undertake the reforms he believes are required. Yet if anything has been designed to test the Liverpool manager's own capacity of this commodity, it has been the injury to Dietmar Hamann.

The German midfielder was bought from Newcastle for £8m in the summer with the intention of building the Liverpool team round him. So much for plans, because he has managed just three games before last night thanks to two serious ankle injuries.

Hamann made it to the starting line-up which made him a contrast to Michael Owen, another pivotal Liverpool player. With England's Euro 2000 qualifier against Scotland looming, that would have had Kevin Keegan fretting until the striker revealed he was being rested as a precaution.

"I was 50-50 to play," he said, "but the manager decided to get the hamstring right by giving it another week. We have located the problem around the pelvis area and the hamstrings are doing some of the work the pelvis should be doing. There's no danger of missing Hampden Park."

That Liverpool could miss Owen became apparent after 12 minutes when Bradford confounded the pattern of the earlier play by taking the lead. Gunnar Halle launched in a pass from the right flank and, after his dummy had created space for Lee Mills, Windass took the lay-off and curled his shot past Liverpool's goalkeeper, Sander Westerveld, with the outside of his right foot.

Anfield appeared stunned and it was an almost eerie silence from the Liverpool supporters when Bradford almost went 2-0 up. Dean Saunders, his usual bundle of energy, contrived space on the left and as his cross came over, the home centre-backs stood still in admiration. In nipped Neil Redfearn, but from point-blank range he headed over.

This Bradford superiority could not last and once Liverpool had shaken themselves out of their stupor, they equalised on 20 minutes. Steve Staunton passed from the left, Camara lost David Wetherall with a lovely spin and then slipped his shot into the corner.

It was not long before Liverpool doubled their tally, when Patrik Berger jinked into the area in the 41st minute. David Wetherall tripped him and Jamie Redknapp confidently thumped the resulting penalty high to Matthew Clarke's left.

Given Bradford's record, particularly how hard they find it to score, it was a reasonable assumption that Liverpool had done enough by half-time to have won the match, and their players certainly gave the impression of men who had completed the job. They relaxed, failed to run with the earlier urgency, and almost paid for it after 53 minutes when Mills turned suddenly and passed into space for Robbie Blake. He shot low, only to find Sander Westerveld's reflexes too quick from him, and the goalkeeper dropped on to the ball.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Westerveld; Song, Henchoz, Hyypia, Staunton; Thompson (Heggem, 77), Redknapp (Carragher, 72), Hamann, Berger; Smicer (Meijer, 80), Camara. Substitutes not used: Murphy, Nielsen (gk).

Bradford City (4-3-3): Clarke; Halle (Lawrence, 67), Wetherall, O'Brien, Sharpe; Redfearn (Rankin, 77), McCall, Windass; Saunders, Mills, Blake. Substitutes not used: Myers, Dreyer, Prudhoe (gk).

Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).

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