Steven Gerrard slip-up: Mistake against Chelsea is not the first costly error made by the Liverpool captain
Gerrard's first-half slip allowed Chelsea striker Demba Ba to steal in and score the opening goal in the Reds' 2-0 defeat that has given Manchester City the title advantage
Steven Gerrard’s slip to let Demba Ba in to score on Sunday has given Manchester City the edge over Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title, and while there is still a long way to go, the Reds’ captain will be hopeful he will not look back on the error as the moment their title challenge fell apart.
Manchester City know that if they win their remaining three matches – against Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham – and maintain their goal difference advantage over Liverpool, they will regain the league title they lost to Manchester United last season.
Liverpool had looked to be favourites for a first league success in 24 years and providing they secured a draw or better against Jose Mourinho’s side, would be in pole-position to go on and claim the 2013-14 title.
However, a misfiring performance combined with a Chelsea side looking to defend for their lives and hit Liverpool on the counter-attack saw Gerrard’s side succumb to a 2-0 defeat at Anfield, despite enjoying 73 per cent of the possession on Sunday. With Willian’s goal to double Chelsea’s lead coming in the closing stages and Liverpool threw everything and more at the Blues’ goal, the Reds know they must win both their remaining matches and either hope for City to slip up, or overturn the eight-goal deficit in the goal difference between the two sides. Should they finish level on goal difference, Rodgers’ side would hold the advantage having currently scored three more goals than their closest rivals City.
Liverpool undoubtedly were the more positive side yesterday evening as well as across the whole of the season, but Mourinho claimed another tactical victory in which Rodgers claimed he “parked two buses” in front of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
The title is still well within Gerrard’s grasp, with the England captain claiming every trophy he has competed for at club level bar a Premier League winners’ medal, but it is not the first time an error has cost his side dear.
His mistimed back-pass in 2006 allowed Arsenal striker Thierry Henry to steal in ahead of goalkeeper Pepe Reina and tuck the ball away to give the Gunners a 2-1 victory and cost Liverpool ground in their pursuit of Chelsea and Manchester United, although by that point in the season Mourinho’s side already held a 15-point advantage on their way to a second-consecutive title.
Gerrard has also been guilty of an ill-fated back-pass against Chelsea before in 2010, when his pass to Reina was cut-out by striker Didier Drogba to help Chelsea pull away from United in the race for the title.
But his more famous slip-up didn’t come on the pitch, but in front of the TV camera in a post-match interview following the FA Cup victory over Luton in 2008. Fresh from a 5-0 thrashing in the third round replay, a jubilant Gerrard joined Xabi Alonso in the tunnel for the post-match interview, only to slip while he spoke, with his famous words of “woah, I hope that’s not on the telly” fondly remembered as one of his more humorous moments.
Both Gerrard and Liverpool supporters will hope that come May 11, they will be laughing just as much as the tunnel incident when they remember yesterday’s slip-up should they claw back the advantage in the title race.
Latest in Sport
Alvaro Morata non-celebration: Real Madrid tried to stop Juventus striker playing against them
Juventus vs Real Madrid - Champions League LIVE! Latest score and updates from semi-final first leg
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
Gareth Bale performance slammed by Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Lee Dixon: 'His team-mates can't be happy'
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show