Michael Owen silenced the press doubters with the clubs first hat-trick in nearly a year. Owen had been criticised by all bar his own. Through his barren spell he has continued to work hard and the Reds fans were behind him all the way but with only one penalty and two missed ones for the season people thought he was past it. Class does not disappear and that is exactly why Owen is still here and that the Reds won this game.
The reds were ahead as early as the fourth minute of this game. A Murphy corner was whipped over but not cleared and as Jensen tried to hack it clear the ball bounced back into the six yard box where with the pace of a whippet Owen threw his foot through the ball and put it into the back of the net. The relief was there to be seen on Owen and he was soon mobbed by all of his team mates who had backed him all the way.
The Reds were not playing at their best in this game but at least this time they were putting their chances away. City had a lot of play but Dudek was never hugely troubled apart from when, in the second half, he decided to fumble a shot. After the fumble the Pole seemed to lose sight of the ball which Berkovic weakly then hit into his back and Dudek rolled over to claim it back and the danger was gone.
With Owen back on the scoring chart again he had that extra spring in his step and he managed to create havoc at the back of City. He doubled the score on 64 minutes when he collected a Gerrard ball. Owen had played the offside line well against Distin and the through ball from Gerrard was inch perfect for him. Owen ran through to the area and as the last defender came back he cut across his path before shooting past the helpless Schmeichal.
Owen wasn't finished though and scored just before the end of the game as well. With City pushing hard for an equaliser the Reds always had the possibility of a break away so Owen stayed midway in his own half ready for it. Schmeichal had been coming up for corners but never getting near the ball. After one failed move Gerrard collected the ball and strode forward before sending the ball through for Owen to chase. He outstripped his defender before unleashing a right foot shot around the keeper and in off the post. Owen celebrated in front of the travelling Kop who chanted his name back.
The overall performance wasn't superb but this time the reds took their chances and won the game. They will play better and already have done this season but on a day when they shut up shop and Owen took his chances their was only ever one result.
MotM : Michael Owen - the press questioned him, Reds never did and he was back on fire and banging in the goals again. His Reds tally is now 115 and the hat-trick was his eighth for the reds.