What’s your favourite Steven Gerrard moment? Here are ours
Steven Gerrard has produced numerous miraculous moments during his Liverpool career. Our team of writers pick their favourites..
It will be an emotional day for all concerned so we asked our writers to pick out their favourite moments from his career.Of Steven Gerrard’s many qualities, his ability to make football look the ridiculously simple game it is tops the list. In a tactical world of raumdeuters, medium blocks and – to quote Brendan Rodgers – ‘that seven-and-a-half role’, nothing invigorates like watching Gerrard simply decide to change the course of the game. The goals are covered elsewhere so I’ll go with an assist. In February 2014 Liverpool were 1-0 down at Fulham (Kolo Toure horror o.g.) and playing like drains. Gerrard pounced on a loose ball just inside his own half and played an extraordinary first-time through ball with the outside of his foot, taking fully seven opponents out of the game and hitting Daniel Sturridge in stride to equalise. Easy. Liverpool won 3-2, the second of 11 straight wins that took them to the brink of the title.
The overwhelming temptation is to mention last season’s infamous slip but that would not be a fair reflection of a brilliant football career. Instead it must be his goal against West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup final. The showpiece event was later christened the ‘Steven Gerrard final’ – a honour Stevie G shared with the gee-gee of 1923 and the ‘White Horse final’ fame – such was his impact on the match. Having scored one already as Liverpool fought back after going 2-0 down , Gerrard then drew his side level again to make it 3-3 deep into added time with a quite unbelievable strike. The goal typified Gerrard in his most dynamic and brilliant years: a stunning goal from range in the dying seconds which rescued a set of earnest but inferior team-mates and dragged them to glory.
Liverpool’s captain Steven Gerrard (R, front) hugs fans after his team won the Champions League final soccer match …
It can only be the miracle of Istanbul, the 2005 Champions League final. I was actually about to turn the telly off, thinking that there was no point watching what would surely be a drab second-half in which an expert AC Milan side would simply close ranks as any self-respecting Italian side would do. But I’m pretty glad I didn’t because what followed is, in my eyes, one of the great examples of leadership actually making a difference in team sport. It’s still hard to fathom how Gerrard seemingly managed to reinvigorate everyone around him, even in the most hopeless of circumstances, and make something happen with an astonishing combination of will and skill. The success effectively stopped him from making what would have been a glittering, trophy-laden move to Chelsea – but the memory of that night of glory surely outweighs any number of Premier League medals that he could have picked up as a gun-for-hire for Roman Abramovich.
His wonderful ability to maintain the same level of haircut since 1998. When it threatens to get long, he just gets it cut short again. Real consistency, and a glorious personal achievement matched only by the quality of his goal and performance against Olympiakos in December, 2004. Liverpool needed a two-goal winning margin to reach the last 16. Gerrard secured their progress with a thrilling effort in the 86th minute from 20 yards. Liverpool won 3-1 from being a goal behind at half-time. Rafael Benitez’s side would progress to win the Champions League later that season. Everybody remembers his contribution to the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ in May, but it would not have been possible without Gerrard turning water into wine before Christmas five months earlier. It was an astonishing moment at a club that demands mythical moments from its captains. Some will say he should have joined Chelsea after that campaign, but Gerrard hardly soiled his legacy by remaining with Liverpool. He will depart the Premier League as one of world football’s most dedicated players. Deservedly so.
Let’s not kid ourselves just because it’s his emotional farewell. He was no more influential in Istanbul than super sub Didi Hamann and (the slightly fortunate) Jerzy Dudek; no more influential in last season’s title near-miss than Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. No, Gerrard’s greatest individual moment came at Wembley in 2006 when his volley rippled the net long before Shaka Hislop collapsed on the ground. As his team-mates crumbled around him, Gerrard kept Liverpool ticking along – leading the fight back from 2-0 and then 3-2 with that spectacular hit – before scoring in the shootout. It was dubbed ‘The Gerrard final’ because it was exactly that. His finest outing in a Liverpool shirt.
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard celebrates after scoring against West Ham United during the English FA Cup final soccer …
Trying to pin down a favourite Steven Gerrard moment over the years is a tough task. The 2006 FA Cup final in which he scored that thunderous long-range half-volley – only deciding to shoot because his legs were too tired to do anything else – was truly magical. As was his goal against Olympiakos; the unstoppable shot, the fist-pumping celebration and the accompanying commentary from Andy Gray: “Oh you beauty!”
But, for me, nothing will beat the 2005 Champions League final. The leadership he showed to drag his side back from the dead was remarkable. Starting with that wonderful header which left Dida helpless, the Liverpool captain inspired his side to glory when all hope was lost. Not only was that one of the greatest Steven Gerrard moments, it was, without doubt, one of the greatest footballing moments of all time.