After months of abuse from Chelsea supporters, Steven Gerrard answered back with an equalizing goal against The Blues in a game that never really lived up to its potential despite the pre-game build-up. All the talk leading up to the game focused on one man.
With Gerrard embarking on his final game, Liverpool player sentiments ran high inside and outside his boyhood club. Jose Mourinho recalled on the close battles he had with Steven Gerrard throughout the years and spoke about his failure to attract Gerrard on three occasions in the past.
Steven Gerrard has attracted abuse from rival fans throughout his Liverpool career. With his team coming so close to lift their 19th league title only to lose out on his slip in front of the Kop, the abuse intensified with Chelsea fans playing the role of ringleader. Steven Gerrard’s relationship with Chelsea is a unique one.
In 2005, Gerrard almost made the move to Stamford Bridge. However, the Liverpudlian proved his loyalty by rejecting Jose Mourinho’s offer to star alongside fellow English stalwart Frank Lampard in a Chelsea midfield that went on to lift their fair share trophies in the coming years.
In 2015, Steven Gerrard led Liverpool’s guard of honor for the newly elected champions.
Despite the gesture of respect from the Liverpool players, the Stamford Bridge faithful immediately went on to taunt the Liverpool skipper. However, Steven Gerrard would soon answer in the only way he could. His goal was hardly picturesque, a mazy run beating John Obi Mikel, Steven Gerrard headed his second header in as many games from close range to equalize.
Steven Gerrard’s goal was just the second goal against The Blues in 37 appearances. As the game petered out, with both set of fans singing his name albeit for different reasons, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers decided to substitute his skipper.
Stamford Bridge stood in unison to clap Steven Gerrard off the field in sign of respect. A player they so nearly called their own, one where they’ve battled with for trophies and honors for the past two decades.
Jose Mourinho was happy with the response of his fans and heaped praises on the 34-year-old skipper after the game. Gerrard, on the other-hand, was not in the mood for forgiving his rival fans remarking on the years of abused he has had to endure, especially in the past year.
However, Steven Gerrard hailed Jose Mourinho as the best manager in the world.
On what should have been a game where Chelsea celebrated their title-winning success, Steven Gerrard managed to steal the headline in part, ironically, due to Chelsea’s obsession with their “dear enemy.” For Steven Gerrard, he is focused on giving his absolute best for the club he has known all his life.
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