Reds dumped out by Clarets
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 18/01/05 9:54pm
Burnley dumped a young Liverpool side out of the FA Cup on Tuesday with Djimi Traore's bizarre own goal putting The Clarets through.
Rafa Benitez opted to make wholesale changes for the trip to Turf Moor, but his decision to give the youngsters a chance backfired as they failed to perform on the night, and were outbattled by the Championship side.
Burnley flew into their Premiership opponents from the opening whistle, with Jerzy Dudek tested by two early strikes.
The hosts where hoping that the Polish shot-stopper was still nervy after his blunder against Manchester United on Saturday, and he did look a little shaky as he parried Richard Chaplow's low effort.
Micah Hyde fired a shot straight at Dudek following a corner, and the Liverpool keeper was relieved to just turn the ball behind for the corner.
Steve Cotterill's side forced a flurry of early corners that threatened the visiting defence, but Sami Hyypia was standing strong in the heart of the backline.
Igor Biscan wasted Liverpool's first chance when he planted a free header from a corner tamely at a defender.
Burnley were well on top but Florent Sinama-Pongolle could have given The Reds the lead when he raced into the clear after a Lee Roche mistake, but the young Frenchman could not get a shot off in time and Brian Jensen was able to smother the ball.
Burnley were gifted the lead six minutes after the interval when Traore totally lost his head inside his own six yard box to bundle the ball into his own net.
Chaplow burst into the box but his cutback from the left was easy to deal with for Traore, but he amazingly opted to try and turn on the ball instead of clearing the danger, but got it all wrong and somehow diverted the ball past Dudek.
Benitez was forced into a change after the goal, and brought on Milan Baros for the goalscorer Traore, in a bid to spark more attacking intent from his lacklustre side.
Chaplow had a glorious chance to seal the tie on 71 minutes when he arrived on to Roche's back post knockdown, but Dudek managed to tip his effort wide.
Substitute Neil Mellor lifted an effort over from the edge of the box when Baros was well placed, as Liverpool tried to exert some pressure.
Stephen Warnock's run ended with a lay-off to Biscan on the edge of the box, but the Croatian dragged his shot woefully wide of the target.
Things got worse for Liverpool four minutes from time when Tony Grant theatrically fell to the ground after Antonio Nunez had stupidly waved an elbow at him, and the Spaniard was rightly dismissed.
Cotterill's troops hung on for a famous FA Cup shock to delight the home fans, while Reds fans will be ruing Benitez's decision to field a weakened team.
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