Steven Gerrard won a penalty, scored an equaliser and set-up another as LA Galaxy came from 2-0 down to beat San Jose Earthquakes 5-2 in the former Liverpool legend’s first game in Major League Soccer.
The midfielder proved himself an instant hit in California with both the home crowd, and his former Anfield teammate, Robbie Keane, who netted a hat-trick to make it a match to remember for the former Premier League pair.
Trailing 2-0 inside 25 minutes to Quincy Amarikwa’s quickfire double, Gerrard inspired his new club in the manner of old. After winning a penalty following an innocuous aerial challenge that Keane converted, he then brought the scores level before the break by beautifully sweeping the ball home at the far post to finish a move that he had begun deep in midfield.
And at half-time, Gerrard was quick to display that although he may now play his football in the United States, his loyalty remains to Liverpool. Leaving the pitch, the ex-England captain was caught on camera removing a pair of shinpads emblazoned with his old club’s crest.
The partnership of Gerrard and Keane flourished once again after the restart, and when the latter reacted smartly to flick in the former’s low free-kick at the near post, an impressive turnaround was ensured.
Another penalty from Keane ten minutes from the end completed his hat-trick before former West Ham youngster Sebastian Lletget added the gloss of a fifth for Galaxy in the final seconds.
The result was enough to move Galaxy two points clear at the top of the Western Conference, but the three clubs in immediate pursuit – Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas – all have at least two games in hand.Reuse content