Steven Gerrard; Top 5 Goals
29th November 1998, Steven Gerrard makes his Liverpool debut as a late substitute for Vegard Heggem; the rest as they say, is history. 17 years later and Gerrard had made over 500 appearances in a red shirt, scoring over 100 goals and becoming a club legend in the process. In his Liverpool career, Gerrard won nine pieces of silverware including the Champions league, the FA Cup twice, the UEFA Cup and Super Cup. In honour of 19 years since the former Liverpool captain made his debut I’ve tried to condense all of his 100+ goals into a top five list of his best and most important during his 17-year tenure at the club:
- Sheffield Wednesday 1999
Where better to start than with Gerrard’s first goal for Liverpool, it took the midfielder over a year to score his first professional goal but it was worth the wait. Picking up the ball from deep the then number 28 danced past two Sheffield Wednesday defenders before striking the ball into the bottom corner, it may not be as stunning as some of his other goals but it’s one that marks the emergence of one of the greatest players of that generation and I’m sure it will always be remembered by the man himself.
- Manchester United 2001
Now an established member of the squad, Gerrard would contribute heavily towards the famous treble Liverpool achieved that season. During the Premier League campaign, Liverpool welcomed bitter rivals Manchester United to Anfield and would run out 2-0 victors. In the 16th minute, Gerrard picks the ball up in a similar position to his Sheffield Wednesday goal; however, instead of showing quick feet the Liverpool man produced a moment of pure power and accuracy to slam the ball into the top corner past Fabien Barthez from distance. It was the first goal of the game and would go some way to helping Liverpool gain all three points against a Premier League giant.
- Olympiakos 2004
A memorable moment on the road to Istanbul; having lost the away tie to the Greek side 1-0 Liverpool needed to win by two clear goals after Rivaldo put Olympiakos ahead at Anfield. With Liverpool trailing at half-time the chances of them qualifying for the last 16 were looking slim but a second half turnaround saw Benitez’ side go 2-1 up and needing just one goal with minutes left on the clock. As he has done so many times in his Liverpool career Gerrard stepped up to the mark, a Jamie Carragher ball was knocked down by Neil Mellor; Gerrard ran onto the header and connected on the half volley to send the ball flying past Nikopolidis in goal. Liverpool had got the third goal they needed and were on their way to the last 16 of the competition.
- West Ham 2006
Stepping up in the big games became synonymous with the Liverpool captain and it was no different in the FA Cup final in 2006. After the Hammers took a two-goal lead Gerrard had already pulled Liverpool level once but after Paul Konchesky’s cross found the back of the net Liverpool again needed another goal to take the game into extra time. The pressure was mounting but it wasn’t until the 90th minute when the ball fell to Gerrard from 35 yards out; troubled with cramp Gerrard had no other option but to go for goal and sent the shot flying into the bottom corner. The game would eventually go to penalties and Liverpool would take the trophy after a 3-1 spot-kick win.
- AC Milan 2005
You all know the story, AC Milan raced to three goals and the game looked over at half-time. Liverpool would produce the greatest comeback in Champions League history and steal the trophy from under Milan’s noses. I’ve chosen this goal as Gerrard’s greatest ever goal purely down to its importance, whilst it is a brilliant header it isn’t as good as his West Ham goal or his Olympiakos goal but it’s exactly what Liverpool needed to get back into the game that night. When the team looked down and out Gerrard would produce a goal from out of nowhere and inspire his team to get back into the game. At 24, Gerrard would become the youngest captain to lift the trophy but the pedigree of his performance as a captain was right up there with the greatest and most experienced players to have won the Champions League.