Steven Gerrard is one of the best midfielders ever to play in the Premier League. His individual stats are brilliant, he’s also won the Champions League, but he’ll constantly be told that the English league title never stayed. And Liverpool once deprived themselves of it.
Memorable Moments is a special project by Ruiku that recalls the most iconic moments that have happened in football. Today, we look back at Steven Gerrard’s slip-up.
It was 2014 and Liverpool were having an exceptional season and had the chance to win their first Premier League title in 24 years. Brendan Rodgers had built an extremely strong team around the attacking trio of Luis Suárez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
With 3 games left in the season, Liverpool welcomed Chelsea at home. They were five points ahead of them after eleven straight wins, three points ahead of second placed Manchester City who had a game in hand.
The Reds knew that a draw would not be a bad result and that a win would knock Chelsea out of contention for the title. But coach Jose Mourinho, who was in charge of Chelsea, certainly wasn’t laying down his arms.
However, he was struggling with injuries and the starting lineup included Tomas Kalas, who played only 2 games for Chelsea in the PL, and Mark Schwarzer, who made only four appearances for the Blues, in goal.
He set a defensive tactic for his team and came to Anfield Road to completely decimate the home team. Chelsea parked the proverbial bus in the whitewash and delayed from the first minute. However, even 73% ball possession didn’t bring a goal for the Reds and by the end of the first half the score was still 0:0.
Only, in the first half’s setup, Steven Gerrard wanted to take Sakho’s pass in the half, but what happened afterwards went down in history. The Liverpool captain got the ball under his foot and when he tried to go for it, he slipped.
So Demba Ba took the loose ball and headed it towards goal himself. Mignolet in goal comfortably shot through and sent Chelsea into the lead.
What’s the worst part of the whole situation, however, is the fact that Gerrard did exactly what he told his teammates not to do.
Because two weeks before the duel with Chelsea, Liverpool had won 3-2 against Manchester City in a dramatic game and were in control of the title. “We don’t let this slip!” (“We’re not going to let this slip through our fingers”) proclaimed Gerrard at the time. And two weeks later, in a crucial game, he slipped up and gave the Blues the win..
Chelsea cashed in for the second time in the second half with Chelsea, when Willian broke through from a break in the 94th minute. But it wasn’t such a disaster yet.
Liverpool AND Citizens had the same points, so the score would decide the game and the Reds still had the title in their hands. In the penultimate round they played at Crystal Palace, where they led 3-0 and were probably already thinking about the last round.
But Crystal Palace sensationally equalised after goals in the 79th, 81st and 88th minutes to condemn Liverpool to deep sorrow. Manchester City dominated all the remaining games to become Premier League champions for the second time in their history.
Gerrard was immediately nicknamed “Slippy G”, later a derisive chant reminiscent of a slip chanted by fans of other teams as Gerrard toured the Premier League as coach.
Source: Twitter, Liverpool
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