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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Aberdeen 1 - 5 Liverpool
Kick Off:  7:00 PM   Zdrilic 2.       Murphy (8),Heskey (50), Kewell (57), Mellor (79, 87)  
Attendance: 20,469
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Liverpool goal blitz sinks Dons
Aberdeen were given a bit of a football lesson in the second half at Pittodrie as Liverpool brought out the big guns after the break. It had been a lot closer in the first half when Aberdeen made a sensational start when new signing David Zdrilic drilled the ball into the Liverpool net after only 90 seconds. Liverpool were quick to recover and were level after 8 minutes when Danny Murphy fired the ball past Preece from 22yards. After missing a first half penalty the visitors took control after the break and goals from Heskey, Kewell and Mellor (2) gave them a convincing 5-1 win.

Aberdeen made a sensational start to the match when new signing David Zdrilic fired them ahead two minutes into his debut. Steve Tosh took a short corner then swung in a cross, which was half cleared by the Liverpool defence. Zdrilic was lurking on the edge of the box and drilled the ball low past Kirkland to give Aberdeen an early advantage. Liverpool regained their composure and threatened Aberdeen on the flanks but found the Dons defence in a mean mood.

The visitors levelled the match in the 8th minute with some good build up play. Murphy latched on to a head flick from Le Tallec and drilled the ball past Preece from 22 yards. Liverpool almost grabbed a second two minutes later when Baros clipped the ball over the bar after latching on to a free kick. Liverpool were starting to take control at this stage playing some lovely football and giving the Dons a good test for the season ahead.

Zdrilic was looking impressive up front as he carved open the Liverpool defence in the 18th minute and was only denied by a last gasp tackle. A minute later his strike partner Leigh Hinds was causing problems as he carved out another chance, which was also blocked by a last minute challenge. Hinds was then released in the 22nd minute but was denied by Kirkland who raced out of his goal to block the effort.

Referee Freeland presented Aberdeen with an excellent chance in the 25th minute when he waved on an offside decision. Kirkland hadn't noticed and placed the ball outside his own penalty area. The referee then awarded a free kick, which Tosh rolled into the path of Sheerin. The midfielder drilled in a low shot, but justice was done when Kirkland held the effort to his chest.

Preece came to the Dons rescue on the half hour mark when Murphy released Pongolle and the keeper got down quickly to block the strikers shot. Seconds later Baros drilled an effort wide of the target. Murphy was causing problems again in the 35th minute when he fired in a shot, which was deflected inches wide of the target. Aberdeen were still creating at the other end however and Sheerin went close two minutes later when Hinds delivered a deep cross from the right which Sheerin volleyed inches over.

There was drama in the 39th minute when Liverpool were awarded a penalty as Anderson tripped Pongolle after Diouf had released him. The small striker picked himself up but fired his shot straight at Preece to deny the visitors the lead. In the 44th minute Preece did well to punch a free kick clear before Vignal returned the ball with interest and Aberdeen were happy to see the effort deflected wide.

Liverpool made nine changes at half time as they introduced their big guns into the game. The new team went straight on the offensive as they probed the Dons defence. Aberdeen had made only one change with McNaughton replacing McGuire. Liverpool grabbed the lead in the 50th minute through a wonderful solo effort from Heskey, which gave David Preece no chance. Within seven minutes the visitors were 3-1 ahead as Harry Kewell collected his first goal for Liverpool after being set up by Michael Owen.

Aberdeen were spurred into action and went close to pulling one back a minute later when Sheerin had a fine effort deflected wide. The resultant corner was headed wide by Anderson. Mackie replaced Zdrilic in the 62nd minute and the Aussie went off to a resounding cheer having shown enough to convince the red army he can do a job. Liverpool were soon back in control however and Michael Owen was gifted a chance by the Dons defence in the 67th minute when he went through one-on-one against Preece and chipped the ball well wide of the target.

Liverpool added a fourth in the 79th minute when Mellor capitalised on some slack defending to fire past Preece. Aberdeen had a chance to pull one back in the 84th minute when Mackie was released and had his shot blocked for a corner. The resultant set play saw Anderson scoop the ball over the bar at the far post when he really should have done better. The home side were punished for the miss minutes later when Mellor grabbed his second and Liverpool's fifth after good play from Owen and Ruse.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Deloumeaux (Muirhead 76), Anderson, McGuire (McNaughton 46), McQuilken, Tosh (Tiernan 85), Sheerin, Heikkinen (Bird 76), Hart, Hinds (Clark 88), Zdrilic (Mackie 46).

Unused Subs:


Liverpool Teamsheet: 
1st Half
Kirkland, Carragher, Henchoz, Hyppia, Le Tallec, Murphy, Biscan, Diouf, Barros, Vignal, Pongolle.
2nd Half
Kirkland, Finnan, Henchoz, Traore, Ruse, Welsh, Gerrard, Kewell, Cheyrou, Owen, Heskey.

Unused Subs: Aberdeen : McNaughton for McGuire (46), Mackie for Zdrilic (62), Bird for Heikkinen (76), Muirhead for Deloumeaux (76), Tiernan for Tosh (85), Clark for Hinds (88).

Liverpool: Mellor for Heskey (76)


Referee: Alan Freeland, Aberdeen

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