Steven Gerrard's Infamous Slip Happened Five Years Ago Today
Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool legend, he is a footballer with a career that 90% of footballers would love to have, in fact you generally have to be a pretty special player to have a better list of achievements. And yet outside of Anfield his playing career is probably best remembered for one small slip.
Liverpool are the second most successful league team in the history of English football but in the Premier League era they have never got their hands on the title. Plenty of people moan about the whole 'records since the Premier League' thing but not to win the league for 28 years is a massive deal.
Back in 2014 they had the best chance of putting that right. Brendan Rodgers built a team of incredible attacking quality led by the three man attacking line up of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
With three games left of the season Liverpool faced title rivals Chelsea. The Reds had gone on an 11 game winning streak and were five points ahead of the Blues and three points clear of Manchester City, who had a game in hand.
Liverpool knew a draw would be a good result and a win would knock Chelsea out of the league title. Knowing that, and having a grudge against Liverpool from his rivalry with Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho went full Jose and set up to frustrate Rodgers' side.
Mourinho's side did their best to frustrate Liverpool with a deep defensive line and shithouse time wasting from the off.
The seminal moment for Gerrard's career and the title race came as the half was ending. In injury time Gerrard miscontrolled a pass by Mamadou Sakho and slipped trying to rectify the mistake. It allowed Demba Ba to latch onto the ball, running through unopposed to open the scoring.
Did someone say Liverpool v Chelsea? :wink: pic.twitter.com/0uCFbbZEVF- Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 13, 2019
What added to the horror was the fact that following Liverpool's dramatic 3-2 win against City just two weeks before the Chelsea game, a win that put them in control of the title, Gerrard had gathered the players for an emotional huddle screaming 'we do not let this slip,' the ultimate cruel irony.
Liverpool would go on to lose the game 2-0 after another counter attack goal in injury time, this time from Willian in the 94th minute.
The Reds had another chance to keep control of the league title eight days later when they played Crystal Palace. City's game in hand meant the title could go down to goal difference.
Liverpool looked good as they opened a 3-0 lead over Palace but in the most dramatic fashion Palace battled back to earn a draw after goals in the 79th, 81st and 88th minutes.
City would win all of their remaining fixtures and grab their second Premier League title whilst Liverpool, Rodgers and Gerrard were led to wonder what if?
It's still incredible to think that such a good player never won the Premier League and in some way it was his own fault.
Happy Anniversary Stevie, if it can be happy in any way.