Liverpool hold off Tranmere

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The Independent Football

Liverpool kept their dreams of the treble alive this afternoon by beating giant-killers Tranmere to join Arsenal and second-division Wycombe in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

Liverpool kept their dreams of the treble alive this afternoon by beating giant-killers Tranmere to join Arsenal and second-division Wycombe in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

Liverpool avoided the kind of upset that befell fellow Premier League side Leicester - a 2-1 loser to Wycombe on Saturday - with a 4-2 victory at first-division Tranmere.

Premier League side West Ham and Tottenham played later today for the final semifinal berth.

In today's draw for the April 7-8 semifinals, seven-time champion Arsenal faces either West Ham or the Gunners' archrival Tottenham, and Wycombe plays five-time champion Liverpool.

Tranmere, the giant killers of the English game with seven wins over Premier League sides in the last 18 months, couldn't work its magic again before a home sellout of 17,000 at Prenton Park.

Liverpool, which has already won the English League Cup and is in the chase for the Europe-wide UEFA Cup, showed its superiority early with a header from Danny Murphy (12th) and a Michael Owen (27th) side-footed goal from 8 metres (yards).

Tranmere, which is on the verge of relegation to the second division, struck after two minutes of the second half with a header by Steve Yates, but Liverpool regained its two-goal lead five minutes later on Steven Gerrard's header.

Sloppy defense made it 3-2 when Wayne Allison (58th) scored off an errant backpass from Robbie Fowler. Fowler atoned on a penalty in the 82nd.

Liverpool will be playing its 21st FA Cup semifinal.

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