Dalglish stunned by Owen's strike

TEENAGE wonder Michael Owen had Kenny Dalglish shaking his head in disbelief last night after turning the heat on leaders Manchester United.

A brilliant eighth league goal of the season moved Liverpool to within five points of the defending champions and left Dalglish gasping: "He had no right to score a goal like that."

The Newcastle boss couldn't work out how his spirited side ended up empty- handed after a storming late fight back.

But he was even more disbelieving about the 17th minute strike which gave Liverpool a quick-fire hat-trick of wins over their old boss.

"I'd like to see a replay of that because I think the ball must have bobbled as he hit it," he said.

"Shaka Hislop is 6ft 4 ins, and I would like to know how else Owen could have lobbed him from there." After being assured that the 18-year old had made the cleanest of contacts, former Kop idol Dalglish added: "That's incredible - he has no right to do something like that."

Liverpool have now taken 19 points out of 21 and inched nearer United after being nine points adrift following last month's 3-1 home defeat by their arch rivals. And that had Dalglish declaring: "Of course

Liverpool have got a chance of catching United. There's no doubt United are in the driving seat - it's in their hands, and that is the position that Liverpool and the rest of the chasing pack would like to be in.

"But it's not impossible for Liverpool, and they are bound to believe they can do it."

Liverpool manager Roy Evans echoed Dalglish's sentiments and saluted goal ace Owen by saying: "We are not talking about potential with Michael any more. He's got to be considered a fully fledged Premiership player now.

"It was a great goal - the sort that's worthy of winning matches - and is something that he is always capable of doing.

"United have been different class for most of the season, but we have got to believe that we can catch them.

"Their defeat at Southampton underlined the point. It showed that there are places you have to go to where it is difficult to come away with a win.

"We are back in it. This gets us that bit closer and it would be daft for anyone to rule us out.

"The trick now is to keep it going and make sure we keep the pressure on.

"I know the previous two games with Newcastle here have ended 4-3. But in a way, winning 1-0 tonight was more satisfying.

"We have always had stick for being unable to tough it out when need be and show that we can be gritty.

"But no-one could level that at us tonight - we worked hard throughout and stood up to it when the pressure was on."

Match winner Owen modestly shrugged aside all the acclaim and admitted he could still pick up a few pointers from the likes of Alan Shearer, who went on as 60th minute substitute.

"I can definitely learn a lot from Shearer," he said. "He is one of the best strikers in the world and watching him can only improve my football education.

"I don't know about getting into the England squad with him for the Chile match - I can only carry on doing my best for Liverpool and see what happens."

 Copyright - The Mirror


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