The end of the Premiership season comes with grateful thanks from these two clubs. For hugely differing reasons Liverpool and Wimbledon have both had bitterly disappointing campaigns.
Liverpool, once the dominant force in English football, have had to watch their north-west rivals Manchester United take over that crown. Talk of trophies and trebles has long since disappeared from the Anfield corridors and headed for those at Old Trafford.
It will come as litle consolation to the Anfield faithful that this win lifts their side into seventh place in the Premiership, meaning the club have narowly avoided their worst top-flight finish for 37 years.
This display was more like the vintage Liverpool of some two decades ago: slick passing, good movement off the ball and plenty of chances. But the fact that it was against Wimbledon somewhat diminished the magnitude of the performance. The Dons have won only once in 21 games and have not banked three points since their manager Joe Kinnear collapsed with a heart attack in early March.
The only really significant feature of the game was that it was Steve McManaman's last for the club in the league. He will head for Real Madrid after playing in a friendly at Sunderland tomorrow. And what odds on a few more players following him through the Shankly Gates?
Much has been said about the way McManaman is leaving the club but he is clearly still a special talent. The Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier faces a hard task replacing the slightly-built winger.
McManaman was behind most of Liverpool's best attacking moves yesterday. The Kop is known to house some of the most knowledgable foot soldiers in the game and the ovation they gave 'Macca' when he left the field midway through the second half was honourable indeed.
McManaman had just completed one of many forays down the Liverpool flank when his side went ahead after 12 minutes. Paul Ince's early through-ball found Patrik Berger and he swiftly shot past Neil Sullivan.
Liverpool went two-up just after the interval when McManaman superbly picked out Karlheinz Riedle and the German turned the ball past Sullivan at the near post.
The Liverpool defence has lacked strong direction this season but Wimbledon's bulky-looking forward line of Carl Cort and John Hartson failed to cause them many problems. And Ince scored his third goal in as many games at Anfield to complete the afternoon's entertainment.
However, the three points and a booming chorus of You'll Never Walk Alone failed to gloss over a hugely difficult season for Liverpool. Houllier is unlikely to be given much more time to haul Liverpool out of their current hole and McManaman's departure certainly will not make his job easier.
Goals: Berger (12 mins), Riedle (50), Ince (65).
Half-Time : 1-0 to Liverpool.
Booked: Riedle, Babb.
Attendance : 41,902.
Team (4-4-2) : Friedel, Staunton (Babb 46), Song (Heggem 85), Matteo, Carragher, Berger, Redknapp, Ince, Leonhardsen, McManaman (Thompson 74), Riedle.
Substitutes (not used) : James, Bjornebye.
Referee : N. Barry (Scunthorpe).
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