The Real Footie Analyst

A tribute to Steven Gerrard on reaching 400 games for Liverpool

Steven-Gerrard-Champs-LeagueAs inspirational captains go, Steven Gerrard can rival the best.

For ten years and almost 400 games he has been the spearhead of Liverpool, leading his troops onto the field and setting an example for all to follow.

He lacks the titles of his Anfield predecessors but can still boast a wide ranging trophy cabinet, with the legendary Champions League final in Istanbul just one moment to savour in Gerrard’s finest as Liverpool skipper.

Gerrard’s first match as captain

Gerard Houllier rewarded the England midfielder with the armband in 2003 and his first match was in the UEFA Cup against Olimpija Ljubljana.

Liverpool won 3-0 and it became the start of an era where Gerrard would become the leader of Anfield. He took the role from Sami Hyypia and never looked back.

First Premier League game as captain

Gerrard was given the captaincy in the Premier League for the first time against Leeds in October 2003 when they won 3-1 at Anfield.

The nearest Liverpool have come in the Gerrard era to winning the Premier League was when they finished second in 2008/09.

Scoring against Olympiakos

Whether you were listening on the radio, watching on television or at the game, you will never forget Gerrard’s goal against Olympiakos.

Liverpool needed to win by two goals to secure qualification, and after an early Rivaldo free-kick they had to find three. Florent Sinama pongolle and Neil Mellor had given Liverpool the lead, but it was not until Gerrard’s stunning strike that they were assured of a path through.

Of all the goals he has scored throughout his career, he will be remembered most for this. And what it made possible…

Lifting the Champions League in 2005

Yet more drama in the 2005 Champions League, this time in the final. Liverpool went 3-0 down at half-time and it looked like their dream was quickly running away from them. Step up the skipper.

He first headed Liverpool level before winning a penalty that Xabi Alonso managed to score from at the second time of asking. Vladimir Smicer also grabbed a goal and the match went to penalties after extra-time.

When Andriy Shevchenko missed the decisive penalty it ended a fairy-tale run for Gerrard and his side and produced one of the most memorable moments in recent sporting history.

2006 FA Cup final

Just as against Olympiakos, Gerrard was on hand to fire in a spectacular goal that changed the face of the match, and made their season a success.

Down 3-2 to West Ham in the FA Cup final, the ball came out to Gerrard who was only just still standing because of cramp. He lashed his right boot at the ball and it it rocketed past Shaka Hislop.

Again the final went to penalties, with Gerrard scoring Liverpool’s third. Anton Ferdinand missed and Rafael Benitez had another trophy to go in his cabinet.

100th European game against Real Madrid

The game showed Fernando Torres and Gerrard off at their absolute best. When they played like this they were unstoppable.

In 2009 the skipper scored twice and Torres terrorised Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Fabio Cannavaro. Not only this but it was Gerrard’s 100th European game. Not a bad way to bring up the milestone.

Hat-trick against Everton in 2012

Gerrard has done many things in his career, but a hat-trick against Merseyside rivals Everton will be right up there. It was the first derby hat-trick between the two clubs since Ian Rush in 1982.

It was his second hat-trick in the Premier League after scoring three in Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat of Aston Villa in 2009.

Source: Daily Mail
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