Gerrard's five greatest games for Liverpool
Dear reader, even if you are a Red Devil, or a Gooner at heart, or a life-long True Blue, or a staunch Evertonian, or a supporter of any other club, please do not deny the fact that you do not respect, admire, idolize him, or just love it when you see Gerrard’s name in the first-team. Please do not deny that you are incapable of criticizing him. Every person who has been following EPL regularly will attest to this fact that Stevie G is one of THE greatest players ever to have graced a football pitch.
The Messi’s and Ronaldo’s have been scooping up the Best Player of the Year trophies with alarming regularity. If you see, the list of the top three players has been virtually unchanged over the past few years. But why do people often forget about the true greats of the game, who single-handedly change a club’s fortunes on their own, without any assistance or any world-class players to back them up?
Steven Gerrard has been doing this, and more, over the 14 years he has been at Liverpool. He has played like a man possessed, playing in all sorts of positions. He has been a box-to-box midfielder, a holding midfielder, at times a defender, or in case of injuries, a unorthodox striker. And what’s particularly awesome about this is that he has performed well in each and every position. Truly magnifique.
Here is a compilation of five matches in which he has took it on himself to churn out results from nowhere.
1. LIVERPOOL 3-3 AC MILAN ( LIVERPOOL WIN 3-2 IN PENALTIES)
SCENE: ISTANBUL, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2005
One of the greatest comebacks by any team in the history of the Champions League. Simply epic.
A powerful header from Maldini and a lovely brace from Hernan Crespo had put AC Milan 3-0 up at half-time. Benitez’s decision to drop Dietmar Hamann had proved to be a costly error, as Milan’s midfield trio of Seedorf, Kaka and Pirlo cut open Liverpool’s defence with defence-splitting and neat passing triangles. The next 45 minutes seemed bleak. Benitez brought on Hamann to stop Milan’ attacks and maintain the scoreline to a respectable level. But ah! What a masterstroke!
Hamann’s introduction allowed Gerrard to play a more attacking role, which saw him play a role in all three Liverpool goals later. He headed a cross into the goal to make it 3-1, he slipped the ball to Smicer to smash home for cutting Milan’s lead to just one, and he was brought down in the penalty box, the resulting penalty from Xabi Alonso which made it 3-3. But the fairy tale did not end there. In a dramatic penalty shoot-out, Hamann and Cisse scored, while Pirlo and Sergio missed. But bizarrely, Liverpool fluffed their next two, enabling Milan to make it 2-2 through Tomasson and Kaka. But goalscorer Smicer was again on target, and Dudek capped off a extraordinary evening by saving Shevchenko’s penalty, which made it 3-2 to the Reds. This ranks as one of the greatest sporting achievements of all time.