Steven Gerrard plays his final Anfield match on Saturday and the Liverpool captain is a true club legend
Saturday’s clash between Liverpool and Crystal Palace is all about one player. You don’t get many one-club men in the Premier League although Steven Gerrard has clocked up 502 appearances in a red shirt, scoring 119 goals.
Gerrard admits it’s going to be strange leading out the team at Anfield for the final time, with both teams forming a guard of honour and tickets exchanging hands for over £1,000 to witness the midfielder’s last meaningful appearance on the hallowed turf.
Here are five memorable Gerrard moments along with a couple that Stevie would prefer to consign to the dustbin!
The Comeback in Istanbul
Ten years ago, Gerrard lifted the Champions League trophy after Liverpool’s unlikely comeback against Milan in the final. Stevie G picked the team up by the scruff of the neck at 3-0 and brought about an amazing triumph in Istanbul.
The success was made even more astounding considering it was a fairly average Liverpool team that Gerrard captained that season, with Rafael Benitez having only just taken charge.
That goal against Olympiakos!
Earlier in the season, Liverpool looked to be heading out of the Champions League, with Olympiakos leading 1-0 at Anfield which meant the Reds needed to score three times to reach the knockout stage.
Florent Sinama Pongolle converted Harry Kewell’s cross before Neil Mellor stabbed in from six yards although Liverpool looked like they would fall short before Gerrard scored a screamer to send the Kop bonkers.
That goal against West Ham in Cardiff!
Wind the clock forward a season and Liverpool were making hard work of things against the Hammers at the Millennium Stadium. West Ham were two goals to the good and also led 3-2 as the final whistle approached.
Gerrard had one chance to save things for his team when the ball fell to the Reds skipper from a full 35 yards out. He took aim and produced an unstoppable finish past Shaka Hislop to send the match into extra-time and a penalty shoot-out which would see him lift the cup.
Hat-trick hero in the derby
Wind the clock forward to March 2012 when Liverpool entertained Everton. Gerrard was without a goal in the past seven although he went to town in the derby, scoring his hat-trick goal at the death to claim the match ball and continue to write his name into Anfield folklore.
Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4
The title dream was alive in March 2009 when Liverpool headed to Old Trafford although a converted Cristiano Ronaldo penalty seemed to swing things in Manchester United’s favour.
Step forward Steven Gerrard who orchestrated a comeback which saw Fernando Torres torment Nemanja Vidic and the Liverpool skipper run the show in the middle of the park.
But do these two moments tarnish his legacy?
Oh Stevie! Liverpool’s title drought looked to be nearing an end during the 2013/14 season. The Reds had matters in their own hands when Chelsea pitched up and the Blues had Champions League thoughts in their heads.
However, after a tight first-half was coming to an end, Gerrard lost his footing in possession and Demba Ba was away quick as a flash. The ball was in the net and Liverpool couldn’t find a way back.
That red card
Gerrard’s fairytale ending would have been beating Manchester United at Anfield and getting Champions League football again. However, Stevie was super-pumped after coming off the bench in the second half and put a strong challenge in to get the ball from Juan Mata.
Ander Herrera gave him a taste of his own medicine moments later, Gerrard reacted and the rest as they say…