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The Wycombe players made a mockery of the gulf in status between the two sides and for 78 minutes the game was locked at 0-0. It was only the introduction of Emile Heskey that finally tipped the tie in favour of Gerard Houllier's side - the ex-Leicester player connecting with Steven Gerrard's cross from the right flank to send an unstoppable header past Martin Taylor from six yards.
Prior to the goal Taylor and his defence had been heroes again, Taylor thwarting Owen on at least a couple of occasions in the first-half, including a world class stop from the England International in the 33 minutes. It was a rare opening for Liverpool against a solid rear guard action from Wycombe. Indeed with a little more luck Wycombe could have stunned the Premiership side. Keith Ryan lobbed over from 40 yards as early as the 7th minute, while Steve Brown had strong claims for a penalty waved away in the 36th minute after Markas Babbel had shoved 'Brownie' in the back before Chris Vinnicombe saw his shot blocked.
The closest either side came to scoring in the opening period came in stoppage time when Christian Ziege's overhead kick flashed just inches wide of Taylor's left hand post.
Heskey's introduction proved vital just after the hour mark although there were a couple of half-chances for Wycombe to come. On 71 minutes a Jason Cousins free-kick saw Jamie Bates get up and head wide of the far post and four minutes later Ryan volleyed wide after a build-up that would have had neutrals wondering who the Premiership side were.
Heskey forced Taylor to save from diving header on 76 minutes and a minute later a Bates slip let in Owen but Taylor saved bravely again to concede what was Liverpool's only corner of the game. Taylor needed treatment after the save but he still managed to get a good punch on the resulting corner. Unfortunately for Wycombe Gary McAllister picked up the loose ball on the Liverpool right, fed the ball to Gerrard and it was Heskey who converted the cross at the near post with 78 minutes on the clock.
Lawrie Sanchez threw on Dave Carroll and Guy Whittingham in a last effort to salvage the tie but after Bates had fouled Heskey a couple of yards outside the Wycombe penalty area, up stepped Robbie Fowler to curl in the deadball.
Wycombe's cup spirit then shone through again as Taylor's long clearance was headed on by Paul McCarthy and Ryan got a boot on it to turn the ball past Sander Westerveld. Four minutes of stoppage didn't bring the fairytale ending and the final whistle signalled an emotional farewell to the side that have re-ignited the magic of the FA Cup and put Wycombe firmly on the footballing map.
Final Score Wycombe Wanderers 1 Liverpool 2
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