Lisbie on fire!
... Reggae Boy's treble sinks Liverpool
LISBIE... scored first hat trick of his professional career which
was the perfect response to the boos he has had to suffer from some
of the Charlton fans this season
LONDON (AFP) -- Liverpool's Premiership revival was stopped in
its tracks yesterday as Kevin Lisbie's first senior hat trick gave
Charlton victory in a five-goal thriller at The Valley.
After two first-half strikes, the Jamaican international striker
rounded off a superb performance with a stunning solo effort to
complete his hat trick and clinch a 3-2 victory for his side, seven
minutes from the end of regulation time.
Picking up Dean Kiely's throw near the left touchline inside his
own half, Lisbie embarked on a 50-yard run which carried him inside
Liverpool fullback, Steve Finnan, to the edge of the Liverpool box.
From there he curled a right-foot shot beyond Jerzy Dudek and into
the corner of the net.
It was the first hat trick of Lisbie's professional career and
the perfect response to the boos he has had to suffer from some
of the Charlton fans this season.
"To get my first hat trick and do it against Liverpool is
great for me," Lisbie said afterwards.
"At the beginning of the season I was getting booed off and
it was difficult for me because I've been at the club since I was
14 -- I suppose the fans only want the best out of me.
"But I think that's my best goal and we were pleased to get
it because when Liverpool get ahead it's hard to break them down."
Charlton boss, Alan Curbishley paid tribute to the character Lisbie
had shown in not letting the boo boys get to him.
"I've got a lot of time for him but he hasn't got the goals
his play deserves. Fans have scapegoats and if we're not doing well,
ours have picked on him."
Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier said his side had thrown the
points away. "We were in control of the game and made some
silly mistakes but we've got to blame ourselves. We let ourselves
down," he said.
Liverpool came agonisingly close to an equaliser in stoppage time
when Harry Kewell, making his 250th appearance in English football,
smashed a left-foot shot against the upright with Kiely beaten.
Kewell's defence-splitting pass had enabled Vladimir Spicer to
put Liverpool ahead after 15 minutes.
At the time a fourth straight win for Gerard Houllier's men looked
firmly on the cards.
But Charlton equalised in similar fashion with Graham Stuart's
crisp first time pass creating an opening for Lisbie, who finished
with a deftly executed chip over the out-rushing Dudek.
The home side then went ahead two minutes before the break when
Shaun Bartlett fired in a half-volleyed shot from 12 yards.
Dudek blocked but was unable to hold the South African's effort
and the ball rebounded into the path of Lisbie, who stabbed it home
from close range.
Liverpool got back on level terms six minutes after the interval
when Chris Perry attempted to wrestle Emile Heskey to the ground
after the England striker had got in behind him.
Perry was lucky not to be cautioned for the foul but there was
no let-off from Owen, who sent Dean Kiely the wrong way from the
Liverpool pushed forward in search of a winner but they were made
to pay for the poor defending which allowed Lisbie to advance from
his own half to a scoring position with only one attempt at a challenge.
Yesterday, Steve Watson also scored a treble for Everton, who destroyed
Leeds, 4-0. In the day's other matches, Fulham won 2-0 at Blackburn,
and Tottenham drew 0-0 at Manchester City.