PATRIK BERGER today pledged total commitment to Liverpool's Champions League push. The Czech Republic international has held talks with manager Roy Evans after expressing his disappointment at his lack of regular football. And Berger promised to give 100 per cent to the Reds' cause, even if it means re-acquainting himself with the substitutes' bench. Evans said today: "Patrik is fully committed to the club and he will help us to end the season on a high note. We have had a chat and he wants to enjoy his football again. He was disappointed and frustrated at not being in the team, but he has promised us that he will give it his best shot. "I don't think all the transfer speculation which was surrounding him at the time was of any help to him. But now his mind is clear again and he is thinking positively and I'm delighted because he is a player of considerable ability, and we want to make use of him." - Ric George of the "The Liverpool Echo"
WONDER boy Michael Owen is in the running to sweep the board at the annual PFA awards on Sunday. The Liverpool and England striker has been nominated by his fellow professionals in both the Player and Young Player of the Year categories following his stunning impact for club and country. Owen is favourite to be named Young Player of the Year ahead of the likes of Manchester United duo Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, Coventry's Darren Huckerby, Southampton's Kevin Davies and West Ham's Rio Ferdinand and John Hartson. Anfield team-mate Robbie Fowler scooped the prestigous accolade in 1995 and 1996. And 18-year-old Owen's outstanding form, which has seen him plunder 19-goals this season and push himself into England coach Glenn Hoddle's World Cup plans, has also placed him onto the shortlist for the overall award. He is competing against Arsenal's Dutch maestro Dennis Bergkamp, Manchester United duo David Beckham and Andy Cole, Coventry's Dion Dublin and Hartson. No player has ever won both trophies, while the last Liverpool star to be named Player of the Year was John Barnes in 1988. - by Paul Joyce for "The Daily Post"
Liverpool's teenage sensation Owen may have been beaten into third place in the main award, but he picked up the PFA Young Players' Award. The young striker, who recently became the youngest England player this century, then set his sights on a World Cup winners' medal. Owen said: "It is the dream of everyone who plays football to win a World Cup medal and I hope that if I go to France I can be on the winning end of one. " - condensed from Press Association
Manchester United failed to overcome 10-man Liverpool on Friday, drawing 1-1 as the balance of power in the premier league tilted once more in the favour of Arsenal. Michael Owen was sent off for a second bookable offence four minutes before half-time, but his 20th goal off the season had already cancelled out Ronny Johnsen's 12th-minute strike for United and the home side couldn't force a winner.
Substitute David Thompson scored his first senior goal for Liverpool to salvage a victory the Anfield side looked to have thrown away. Battling Palace were just five minutes from an unlikely point when the 20-year-old from Birkenhead struck. He had only been on the pitch for 13 minutes but his fresh legs took him into the six-yard box to slide home a goal that broke Palace's hearts.
Goals from England strikers Michael Owen and Dion Dublin saw Coventry and Liverpool share the points in a match of fluctuating fortunes. The scintillating highlight of an entertaining match full of graft and craft was Owen's magic moment after 33 minutes. His goal was a breathtaking piece of individualism - just one of the hallmarks of his glittering array of talents. But City hit back thanks to a clumsy challenge by Phil Babb on Darren Huckerby in the penalty area. Dublin stroked in the equaliser. Liverpool boss Roy Evans, who had been targeting the Champions League, conceded that Manchester United are now out of reach of his team saying: 'We needed three points from this fixture today but we have not got them. We will keep on battling and trying to win the games we have left. We are looking for maximum points. But I think that the UEFA Cup is probably as much as we can now hope for.' - Daily Mail
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