Historical Memory And The Rangers Vs Celtic Soccer Rivalry In Scotland

Second-place Liverpool host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday 

  • New Villa boss Steven Gerrard will return to Anfield for the first time as manager  

  • The Liverpool legend scored his first of several wonder goals at the stadium

  • But he also saw the league title slip out of his hands against Chelsea in 2014 

  • By Isabel Baldwin For Mailonline

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    Steven Gerrard returns to Anfield for the first time in his managerial career as he takes charge of Aston Villa's trip to Liverpool on Saturday. 

    The Villa boss spent the vast majority of his playing career with the Reds and is one of the all time greatest Liverpool legends. 

    From debutant to skipper, Gerrard provided the Anfield faithful with iconic and memorable moments - even if there are one or two he wishes he could erase from his own memory. 

    Steven Gerrard returns to Anfield for the first time in his managerial career with Aston Villa

    Steven Gerrard returns to Anfield for the first time in his managerial career with Aston Villa

    As a player, Anfield's loyal support were able to enjoy years of Gerrard's brilliance

     As a player, Anfield's loyal support were able to enjoy years of Gerrard's brilliance

    European nights on Merseyside set the stage for legendary performances with Gerrard's 'beauty' against Olympiacos setting Liverpool on the path to a dramatic Champions League triumph. 

    But he also witnessed the lowest moments of his career at the Reds' hallowed ground, ending his playing career without a Premier League title after his own blunder against Chelsea in 2014. 

    Here, Sportsmail takes a look back at Gerrard's highest of highs, the lowest of lows and one particularly bittersweet moment, all in front of the Anfield crowd.

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    THE HIGHS 

    Wonder strike vs Olympiacos, 2004

    Heading into their final Champions League group stage game in 2004, Liverpool sat three points behind Olympiacos in third, knowing only a win by two goals against the Greek side would secure them passage to the knockout stages.

    The score sat at 2-1 in Liverpool's favour going into the last few minutes of the game but the Reds captain stepped up in typical heroic fashion to score a last-gasp goal and fire his side through to the next stage. 

    Substitute Neil Mellor had stabbed Liverpool in front before teeing up Gerrard to smash home a quite incredible low bullet of a half-volley from 25 yards. The moment provided Reds fans with one of the most memorable pieces of commentary as Andy Gray's 'you beauty... what a hit son' was written into Anfield folklore.

    Gerrard's wonder goal would be the seminal moment of a dramatic Champions League campaign that saw Liverpool triumph in a famous final comeback over AC Milan that became dubbed as the 'Miracle of Istanbul'. 

    Neil Mellor teed up Gerrard to strike home from 25 yards against Olympiacos at Anfield - it was Liverpool's third goal, sending them through to the 2005 Champions League knockout stages

    Neil Mellor teed up Gerrard to strike home from 25 yards against Olympiacos at Anfield - it was Liverpool's third goal, sending them through to the 2005 Champions League knockout stages

    Hat-trick in the Merseyside Derby, 2012

    To score against Everton is a big deal for any Liverpool player but to bag hat-trick is on a different scale altogether - especially when it clinches a 3-0 victory.

    Gerrard marked his 400th Liverpool appearance in suitable fashion when he notched the first league treble in the Merseyside derby in 30 years to help Sir Kenny Dalglish's side to a fairytale 3-0 win. 

    His first came in the 34th minute when he lofted the ball into the net from the edge of the area.  

    He smashed the ball into the roof of the net at the Kop end to score the second nine minutes into the second half. 

    And Gerrard sealed the third with one of the final kicks of the game after Luis Suarez unselfishly squared the ball to the No 8, who hooked it into goal from 12 yards.

    Gerrard celebrates scoring his second goal before sealing his hat-trick in the 2012 derby

    Gerrard celebrates scoring his second goal before sealing his hat-trick in the 2012 derby

    4-0 win over Real Madrid, 2009

    Liverpool have had a lengthy love affair with the Champions League and a magical night on Merseyside saw the Reds fire four past the Spanish giants to pen yet another chapter.

    The Reds scored four against another Spanish powerhouse, Barcelona, in the second leg of a Champions League tie in 2019 but they had achieved a similar feat 10 years earlier. 

    Rafa Benitez's side had secured a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu before following it up with a 4-0 win at Anfield to progress to the quarter finals.

    Gerrard  was once again the architect of the impressive display as he scored twice, including a late finish on the half-volley that flew past a helpless Iker Casillas.  

    First Liverpool goal, 1999

    Gerrard was just 19 when he scored his first goal for Liverpool as his side beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-1. 

    He started in place of an injured Jamie Redknapp in a side that was managed by Gerard Houllier and featured Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. 

    Playing alongside these Liverpool greats, it would not take long for Gerrard to cement himself as a Reds legend himself. 

    The then-teenager picked up the ball in the middle of the park, drove past two Wednesday defenders and fired home a powerful finish, which would become the hallmark of his career. 

    Gerrard scored his first goal for Liverpool at age 19 against Sheffield Wednesday at Anfield

    Gerrard scored his first goal for Liverpool at age 19 against Sheffield Wednesday at Anfield

     

    THE LOWS 

    The slip against Chelsea, 2014

    Sadly, this will be the moment that haunts the former Liverpool captain for the rest of his life.

    Liverpool had their first Premier League title in their grasp as they welcomed Jose Mourinho's Chelsea to Anfield towards the end of the 2013-14 season.

    But Gerrard lost his footing on the ball in his own half, letting it slip to Demba Ba who was ready to pounce and score. 

    Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners that day allowing Manchester City back into the title race. Liverpool saw their best chance of lifting the Premier League trophy in more than two years disappear as City went on to finish top by two points that season.

    The incident condemned Gerrard to finish his playing career without a title winner's medal and he admitted last year that he still thinks about the moment which he described as a 'brutal, cruel low in my life'.

    The Reds skipper slipped on the ball allowing Demba Ba to score as Chelsea won at Anfield

    The Reds skipper slipped on the ball allowing Demba Ba to score as Chelsea won at Anfield

    Did someone say Liverpool v Chelsea? 😉 pic.twitter.com/0uCFbbZEVF

    — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 13, 2019

    38-second red vs Man United, 2015

    The clash between old, bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester United has always been one to create tension up and down the M62.

    But the Liverpool veteran possibly let himself get swept up in the rivalry a tad too much on this occasion. 

    The visitors headed into the break on top thanks to Juan Mata's 14th-minute strike but Brendan Rodgers brought on Gerrard at half-time in the hope he would inspire his side to a comeback. 

    It is safe to say the former Reds boss swiftly saw his hopes well and truly dashed.

    Gerrard had been on the pitch for a total of 38 seconds before he was given his marching orders by Martin Atkinson for a stamp on Ander Herrera.

    Liverpool ultimately suffered a 2-1 defeat to United at Anfield. 

    Gerrard was sent off after just 38 seconds on the pitch against Manchester United in 2-1 loss

    Gerrard was sent off after just 38 seconds on the pitch against Manchester United in 2-1 loss

    Two yellows in a minute against Everton, 2006

    The Merseyside derby is a notoriously feisty event and has produced 22 red cards over the years, the most of any Premier League fixture. 

    And Gerrard is no exception, having contributed his fair share. 

    As Red and Blue clashed at Anfield in March 2006, Gerrard was given his marching orders just 18 minutes into the game. 

    The sending off was a result of two quickfire yellows within a minute of each other. Gerrard earned his first booking for kicking the ball away before a poor challenge on Kevin Kilbane. 

    Liverpool still managed to eek out a 3-1 triumph over their neighbouring rivals but it probably was not enough to save Gerrard from the wrath of a furious Rafa Benitez who stood seething on the touchline as he headed down the tunnel.

    The No 8 was shown two yellows within a minute to be sent off in 2006's Merseyside derby

    The No 8 was shown two yellows within a minute to be sent off in 2006's Merseyside derby

     

    THE BITTERSWEET 

    'We go again' 

    Steven Gerrard was the epitome of a Liverpool captain and you need look no further than his battle cry following the Reds' dramatic 3-2 win over Manchester City in 2014. 

    'This is gone. We go Norwich, exactly the same, we go again. Come on!' The words were heard by television viewers all over the globe and quickly carved their own little niche into Anfield folklore. 

    'We go again' quickly became the Reds fans' slogan as Liverpool seemingly headed down the four-game home straight towards their first Premier League title. 

    The phrase now carries a bittersweet twinge in the memories of the Anfield faithful as Liverpool saw their title hopes slip out of their hands following Gerrard's blunder against Chelsea just two games later. 

    But the moment will always be remembered for the passion of one of Anfield's most loyal servants as Gerrard gathered his team into a huddle in front of the Kop after the triumph. 

    The midfielder issued a battle cry of 'we go again' after a 3-2 victory over Man City in 2014

    The midfielder issued a battle cry of 'we go again' after a 3-2 victory over Man City in 2014

    Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-10291979/Liverpool-Steven-Gerrards-best-worst-Anfield-moments-returns-Aston-Villa.html

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