Press Association report

A pair of superbly-crafted extra-time goals from strikers Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler steered Liverpool into the Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals at St James' Park tonight.

The 18-year-old Owen, who has already trained with the full England squad, showed international quality to beat Shaka Hislop five minutes into the first period of extra time.

Then more fine play set up Fowler for a simple finish from an acute angle in the 103rd minute.

Liverpool were simply unstoppable in the additional half-hour, especially during the first 15 minutes, when they could have doubled their two-goal tally.

The quarter-final had all the movement and imagination of recent encounters between the clubs, and with the tie having to be decided on the night, both sides were willing to push plenty of players forward.

Newcastle, showing four changes to the team who won at Goodison Park on Sunday, made the early running, but did not possess Liverpool's cutting edge, with Steve McManaman once again the dangerman.

Kenny Dalglish attempted to stop the England star - who almost single-handedly won the Premiership game between the clubs at St James' Park 11 days ago - by detailing Aaron Hughes to mark him.

While the young Northern Ireland international, who is normally a central defender, did a good job down the left flank, McManaman still found enough space to cause problems.

Jamie Redknapp was booked after seven minutes, when he upended England rival David Batty as the Leeds-born midfielder began to push forward.

McManaman was involved in the tie's first major incident in the 10th minute, when he drove forward in a 50-yard break before releasing Oyvind Leonhardsen, who blazed hopelessly wide.

Then Batty made a superb run into the heart of the Liverpool defence, butafter foxing Phil Babb, he shot straight at David James from 15 yards.

Owen created a great chance of his own in the 17th minute, but after outpacing Darren Peacock, he was stopped by a solid Hislop challenge 30 yards out from the Newcastle keeper's goalline.

The half's best challenge, though, saw Hughes track back to stop Fowler on the edge of the Newcastle six-yard box.

In an end-to-end encounter John Barnes then curled an effort a yard wide when he should have tested the keeper.

Republic of Ireland defender Jason McAteer crossed a superb ball in the 29th minute, which Leonhardsen headed inches wide from an offside position.

Roy Evans' men clearly posed the bigger threat, with Owen and Fowler alert to the slightest chance, and yet they were finding Peacock and Philippe Albert in stubborn mood.

Two minutes before the interval Steve Harkness, whose late 35th minute challenge put Keith Gillespie out of the second half, crossed for Fowler to round Hislop and let Leonhardsen in, only for the Norwegian to blaze a clear chance well wide.

Newcastle made two changes at half-time and the two internationals who replaced Albert and Gillespie soon combined to set up an excellent chance.

Dane Jon Dahl Tomasson crossed to the unmarked Temuri Ketsbaia at the far post, where the Georgian somehow sliced his shot woefully wide.

Fifteen minutes of United pressure gradually subsided as McManaman and Redknapp began to exert their influence on the midfield.

A John Beresford exchange with Ian Rush let in the England B defender, but Dominic Matteo, having another composed game at the back for Liverpool, cleared from the toes of United's six-goal left-back 10 yards out.

However, Matteo blotted his copybook when he fouled Rush from behind 10 yards inside the Newcastle half.

Ketsbaia's frustration at his lack of ball down the right was evident when he signalled to Dalglish that his team-mates needed spectacles!

Owen and McManaman then opened up the Magpies in the 87th minute, but Steve Watson brought down the latter and was booked.

There was no stopping Owen, though, in the 95th minute as Paul Ince, McManaman and Fowler combined to put the teenager in and he conjured a delicate chip to beat the stranded Hislop from 10 yards.

If the young pretender's finish was magnificent, Fowler's was not far behind as he fired across Hislop after an astute run and pass from Redknapp.


Newcastle: Hislop, Watson, Beresford, Peacock, Albert (Tomasson 45), Hughes, Batty, Lee, Barnes, Gillespie (Ketsbaia 45), Rush.

Subs Not Used: Given.

Booked: Watson.

Liverpool: James, McAteer, Harkness, Babb, Matteo, McManaman, Leonhardsen, Ince, Redknapp, Owen (Riedle 115), Fowler.

Subs Not Used: Carragher, Friedel.

Booked: Redknapp, Matteo.

Goals: Owen 95, Fowler 103. After Extra Time

Att: 33,207

Ref: D Gallagher (Banbury).

Copyright - Press Association

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