Date: 27th December 2005 at 1:36pm
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Owen – whose name was mildly booed when it was announced before the game – certainly did not get the ovation many expected at his old stomping ground. He didn’t do his cause much good by having a dig at the Kop in days leading up the match, saying he would celebrate if he scored against the Reds. Unlike players like Lee Clark and Kevin Phillips who did score against their old clubs – but didn’t rub it in.

The crowd chanted ‘Where were you in Istanbul?’ and ‘You should have joined a big club’ at him as he struggled to make any impact and ended the game a disappointed figure.

Owen’s great friend, Liverpool skipper Gerrard, said of Owen’s reception: ‘I am disappointed with that, he should be a legend here for all the goals he has scored for Liverpool in the past. He got a mixed reception, which is disappointing. I do not think they were booing him much but he deserves a standing ovation for the goals he has scored.’

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: ‘We did a sound job at the back, Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher were excellent and they did not allow Shearer or Owen any chances. We controlled their strikers and did a very good job against them. We stopped them playing in midfield and if the ball does not reach the strikers then they will find it difficult to score.

‘We worked hard in defence, we did not give them any chances. Michael is a great player but we stopped the ball getting to him. They could not play it long because we were always aware and they could not play in midfield because we closed down the space and had plenty of people in that area.

‘We gave them hardly any opportunities. We know he is a dangerous player but we were able to control him.’