This Day in Sport - Gerrard Slips up At Anfield

reuters

Gareth Messenger

Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool legend, he is a footballer with a career that most footballers can only dream of, yet his playing career is arguably best remembered for one small slip up.

Liverpool is the second most successful league team in the history of English football but in the Premier League era, they have never got their hands on the title... yet. You can check out beIN SPORTS’ exclusive programme “30 Years of Hurt” to explore the reasons why Liverpool have not won the English championship since 1990.

 

But in 2014, the Reds had the best chance of putting that right. Brendan Rodgers built a team of incredible attacking quality led by the vibrant trident of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

With three games left of the season, Liverpool faced title rivals, Chelsea. The Reds had gone on an 11-game winning streak and were five points ahead of the Blues and three points clear of Manchester City, who had a game in hand. Liverpool knew a draw would be a good result and a win would knock Chelsea out of the league title. 

Knowing that though fuelled the man at the helm at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho, who went full Jose-style and set up to frustrate Rodgers' side.

The seminal moment for Gerrard's career and the title race came as the half was ending. In injury time Gerrard mis-controlled a pass by Mamadou Sakho and slipped trying to rectify the mistake. It allowed Demba Ba to latch onto the ball, running through unopposed to open the scoring.

 

What added to the horror was the fact that following Liverpool's dramatic 3-2 win against City just two weeks before the Chelsea game, a win that put them in control of the title, Gerrard had gathered the players for an emotional huddle screaming 'we do not let this slip,’ – the cruel irony of it all. They went on to lose 2-0 to Chelsea, with Willian scoring a second late on.

The Reds had another chance to keep control of the league title eight days later when they played Crystal Palace. City's game in hand meant the title could go down to goal difference. Liverpool looked in more than fine as they opened a 3-0 lead over Crystal Palace but in the most dramatic fashion Palace battled back to earn a draw after goals in the 79th, 81st and 88th minutes.

In a mock-up of the Reds famous Champions League final turnaround against Milan in Istanbul – this was now being branded “Crystanbul” – it was another cruel irony.
City would win all their remaining fixtures and grab their second Premier League title whilst Liverpool, and particularly captain fantastic, Gerrard, were led to wonder: what if?


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