Owen brace sends Reds to victory
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Harry Kewell scored his first goal of the new season as Gerard Houllier's men finally got their season off with a vital win over The Toffees.
The home side had the brightest start as Wayne Rooney saw his early effort go over the bar while Tomasz Radzinski shot across the face of Jerzy Dudek's goal after Rooney played the speedy Canadian in.
The Toffees kept applying pressure, despite some poorly executed set-pieces, but Liverpool started to play themselves, as Kewell blasted a chance over the bar from the edge of the box.
The half was committed from both sides and it was the away outfit who took the lead six minutes before the break as Kewell beat one challenge to slip the ball to Michael Owen, who lost Alessandro Pistone and his low shot beat Steve Simonsen.
Owen's second goal of the season opened up the play and saw Everton come close but Rooney was blocked point-blank by Dudek after the youngster received a Steve Watson pass and immediately at the other end, Owen was denied a second goal by a diving Simonsen save.
Kewell also went close before the break with a fine effort that was brilliantly saved by Simonsen, as The Reds took a one-goal lead into half-time.
Both sides then picked up where they left off in the second period, with Everton going close after Mark Pembridge's deflected free-kick was stopped by Dudek but the loose rebound was not converted by Radzinski, as the ball was scrambled away.
However, Liverpool showed the deadliness in front of goal by scoring a second as Milan Baros took a long ball forward down the left and beat Joseph Yobo to play Owen, who struck home his and The Reds' second goal of the match.
Despite being two goals ahead, Everton had chances to close the gap and Rooney, in particular, will wonder how his point-blank header from a corner was saved by Dudek, who reacted brilliantly to tip the ball over the bar.
The young Everton prodigy then had another chance of a goal disallowed for a foul, as well as seeing a shot and a header go wide while substitute Duncan Ferguson was unlucky not to score after his free-kick rattled off the bar.
Owen had a great chance to get his third goal of the match with a fine strike that was tipped brilliantly over by Simonsen but it was the England man who set up The Reds' third goal, as his ball across Everton's box found Kewell, who half-volleyed his first Liverpool goal into an open net to make it 3-0.
An emphatic win from Liverpool in the end and a result which should take the pressure off Gerard Houllier following a slow start to the new season for The Reds.
Click below for match stats:
Everton 0-3 Liverpool
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