Friday 2 January 2015 16:17, UK
Following confirmation Steven Gerrard is set to leave Liverpool at the end of the season, it's a time to reflect on his remarkable career at Anfield.
We look back at five of his greatest ever moments for his beloved club. What was your personal favourite?
Gerrard has scored nine goals against Manchester United in his career, continuing to haunt them as recently as March when his two penalties helped Liverpool to a 3-0 win at Old Trafford. But the pick of his goals against United was surely the long-range effort that beat Fabien Barthez at Anfield in March 2001. The win completed the first double that Liverpool had achieved over their great rivals in 22 years with Gerrard’s opener setting them on their way to a 2-0 victory. There was a memorable celebration too as the midfielder dived towards to the corner flag and it was to go on to be a successful year for the club as they won no fewer than five trophies in that calendar year.
With Liverpool seemingly set for a group-stage exit from the Champions League at the hands of Rivaldo’s Olympiakos in December 2004, Neil Mellor’s late goal put Liverpool within a solitary strike of progressing to the knockout stages. Enter Gerrard with a sweetly-struck shot from distance that sent the Kop into wild celebrations. It was a wonderful Anfield moment in itself but one that will go into folklore given the significance of what was to come as Liverpool went on to become champions of Europe for a fifth time later that season.
The performance with which he will forever be associated, Gerrard’s greatest moment in a Liverpool shirt is also arguably the most famous night in the club’s history. With the Reds 3-0 down to the mighty AC Milan at half time, Gerrard helped orchestrate a comeback for the ages – reducing the deficit with a header before winning a penalty that led to Xabi Alonso levelling things up. Gerrard went on to lift the trophy – describing it as the “best feeling ever” – following a remarkable shootout to complete a miraculous night under the lights in Istanbul.
Twelve months on from one famous 3-3, there was another to enjoy as Gerrard added another chapter to his own legend with a sensational solo performance to drag Liverpool over the line in the FA Cup final against West Ham in Cardiff. The Hammers were 2-0 up when Gerrard set up Djibril Cisse before equalising himself only for Alan Pardew’s side to take the lead once more. West Ham were seconds away from a sensational win when a tiring Gerrard fired home from long range to beat Shaka Hislop. Liverpool’s hero later netted his penalty in the shootout as the Reds won the trophy in typically dramatic circumstances.
On the tenth anniversary of David Moyes’ time in charge of Everton, it was Anfield’s hero who stole the show. Gerrard went into the game having not scored in seven games for club and country, but Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish had him fired up for the Merseyside derby and the captain scored all the goals in a 3-0 home win. The first was a smart finish to lift the ball over goalkeeper Tim Howard, the second was thumped in to the delight of the Kop and a hat-trick goal was found in the dying moments to cap a virtuoso performance.