Liverpool 2 Olympiacos 0 match report: Luis Suarez a second-half substitute in Steven Gerrard testimonial win

Goals from Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson send Liverpool fans home happy but there's no special ending for Gerrard

For a man who delivers at the most opportune moments Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard left the goalscoring in his testimonial to fellow midfielders Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson.

With a sell-out Anfield gathered to honour their inspirational captain it was a duo who will have a greater part to play in the club's future - rather than the man who has created so much of its history - who made the impact.

While the Greeks did not exactly come bearing gifts they acquiesced in ensuring Gerrard's big day ended on the right note.

There were no Champions League heroics from the England midfielder like the last time Olympiacos visited Anfield on that famous night in December 2004 which ultimately culminated in a fifth European Cup.

Gerrard has a proven record of producing when it matters and although this was a big occasion for the 33-year-old it was still only a friendly.

And while the biggest cheers of the day were rightly reserved for the Liverpool skipper his first-half performance was overshadowed by that of Allen and Iago Aspas.

Even Luis Suarez, who still appears to be angling for a move away after two failed bids by Arsenal, showed enough in a cameo substitute appearance to lift the mood.

Wales international Allen should have had a hat-trick before the interval but managed to convert just one of his chances - all from inside 10 yards.

That was from Aspas' low cross from the left-hand side of the penalty area, sliding in to divert the ball home from five yards midway through the half.

Just a minute earlier he had volleyed over from close range after Daniel Agger had headed Gerrard's corner into his path while his worst miss came much earlier when he volleyed over from eight yards from a flamboyant Aspas backheel.

The Spaniard, a £7million summer signing from Celta Vigo, put in a lively first outing at Anfield which should have begun with a goal after just five minutes when Allen intercepted a pass from Andreas Samaris to release the forward who shot too close to goalkeeper Balazs Megveri.

Aspas also had a close-range volley diverted wide by the goalkeeper's legs.

Gerrard had a largely watching brief - always involved but not particularly threatening - although one trademark run was picked out by Philippe Coutinho's brilliant through-ball only for the England midfielder's touch to allow Megveri to nip in to collect.

After the break another sensational Coutinho pass put Raheem Sterling through but his lob beat both substitute keeper Roberto and the far post.

Suarez was sent on to a rousing reception along with the recently-retired Jamie Carragher and Henderson, the latter scoring within seconds with his first touch from Sterling's pass.

Former Reds striker Robbie Fowler was given an emotional welcome from the Anfield crowd six years after his last appearance and almost rewarded them with a late goal.

Only a Gerrard thunderbolt in front of the Kop like the one nearly nine years ago would have eclipsed that but there was to be no fairytale ending as he departed to a standing ovation with six minutes to go.

A trademark run from Steven Gerrard, but who couldn't replicate his famous goal from 2004 against Olympiacos in his testimonial against the same opposition A trademark run from Steven Gerrard, but who couldn't replicate his famous goal from 2004 against Olympiacos in his testimonial against the same opposition  

 

A fourth successive pre-season friendly victory and clean sheet was racked up but for once statistics - apart from the £1million likely to be raised for the Steven Gerrard Foundation - were not important.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore