Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa will have a very special feel to it as Anfield welcomes back its favourite son, Steven Gerrard.
But for once, Gerrard will be an opponent of his beloved Reds as his Villa side look to continue their strong start under his stewardship.
Fans may be feeling rather conflicted on Saturday with any right-thinking Liverpool supporter wanting to see Gerrard do well, but Jurgen Klopp’s side of course have their own targets this season.
Unlike when Jack Grealish was booed by some Aston Villa fans, or when Jose Mourinho was jeered at by Chelsea supporters when in charge of Manchester United, Gerrard is expected to get a nice reception on Saturday.
And with good reason too. Gerrard was responsible for so many brilliant memories on Merseyside in his 18 years as a Liverpool player.
talkSPORT.com takes a look at eight (as that was the shirt number he donned for many years at Liverpool) moments where Anfield belonged to Gerrard.
‘As good a goal as you’ll see’
Gerrard made his Liverpool debut in November 1998 before getting his first goal in May 1999, a fine piece of skill and assured finish against Sheffield Wednesday opening his account.
It took a little bit of time for him to become a key player for the Reds, not too much time mind, and it was a goal against Manchester United in March 2001 that made fans sit up and think that the then 20-year-old could be something special.
After receiving the ball from Robbie Fowler, Gerrard was 30 yards from goal with two Man United defenders closing him down.
But before they could get to him, Gerrard’s sweet effort flew past Fabian Barthez and into the top corner, the strike being labelled ‘as good a goal as you’ll see’.
Another in the long list of Gerrard worldie’s but this speculative strike was certainly one of the most important screamers he scored.
Against an Inter Milan side that were unbeaten for almost five months, Liverpool realistically needed to win at home in the first leg of the last-16 tie to stand a chance of reaching the next stage of the Champions League.
An early red card for Marco Matterazzi meant the Italian side were more than happy to sit back and play for a goalless draw. With Liverpool losing to Barnsley in the FA Cup just three days before, anxiety at Anfield was unsurprisingly high as they struggled to break their opponents down.
But Dirk Kuyt’s 85th-minute strike and Gerrard’s goal, a brilliant drive in-off the post gave Liverpool the 2-0 cushion they needed going into the second leg – and it set them up to claim a famous win at the San Siro three weeks later.
There were many times Gerrard was the superhero for an often fairly average Liverpool side, but one standout pickle he got the team out of came in a Europa League clash in November 2010.
Napoli were cruising as Ezequiel Lavezzi gave them a first-half lead, putting Liverpool in a potentially difficult position in their bid to get out of their group.
Gerrard’s introduction at the start of the second half gave Liverpool the shot in the arm they needed as he drove them to a 3-1 victory with a splendid 14-minute hat-trick.
The first was vintage Gerrard as he took advantage of a slack backpass before winning a 50-50 with Morgan De Sanctis and the ball trickled in. Gerrard’s second was a penalty and his third was something any top striker would’ve been proud of – a lovely dink over the onrushing De Sanctis to silence the previously raucous Neapolitans in the Anfield Road End.
Supersub strikes again
Carrying on the supersub theme, Gerrard was by no means a David Fairclough or Divock Origi, but he had the ability to come to the rescue off the bench.
In a match Liverpool really needed to win, they were drifting towards a draw at home to Newcastle, and then-Reds boss Kenny Dalglish called on trump card Gerrard just shy of the hour.
And he saved the day once again as a tidy left-footed finish, plus a Craig Bellamy free-kick sealed a 3-1 win for them.
Gerrard was only on the pitch for half an hour but his stunning cameo earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.
It’s emerged Gerrard turned down the chance to sign for the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and of course Chelsea when playing for Liverpool.
Los Blancos may have decided they wanted to sign him after Gerrard was at the forefront of them being put to the sword as Liverpool raced to a 4-0 win in a Champions League tie in March 2009.
Gerrard scored two goals on the night – a penalty and a splendid effort on the half volley, his performance sparking Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane to label him the world’s best player.
Rival fans will forever use what Gerrard did after Liverpool’s 3-2 win over Manchester City in April 2014 as a stick to beat him with.
His passionate ‘this does not slip now’ instruction in an on-pitch team talk to his teammates two weeks before his infamous slip contributed towards the Reds’ collapse in the title race.
But his emotional celebrations had more depth than him celebrating such a mammoth win in the title race.
It came two days before the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster – Gerrard experiencing personal loss as his cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley, aged ten at the time, was one of the 97 victims.
Gerrard enjoyed a good record against Everton as a player but his personal highlight against Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals came towards the latter years of his playing career.
In March 2012, an out-of-form Liverpool dispatched an in-form Everton, winning 3-0 at Anfield – Gerrard scoring all the goals.
His first was a delightful chip with his left peg before two more simple goals in the second half sealed the bragging rights for the Reds.
And it provided a temporary remedy from the constant jeering Gerrard said he experienced from Everton fans when he was a player.
‘What a hit, son!’
Gerrard’s credited for dragging Liverpool to an incredible Champions League triumph over AC Milan, and rightly so.
However, that memorable night in Istanbul wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for some smart substitutions by Rafael Benitez, and of course brilliance from Gerrard.
To reach the knockout stage, Liverpool were in need of three second-half goals after falling behind at home to Olympiakos in their final group match.
The Reds went 2-1 up with 81 minutes on the clock and five minutes later they got the goal they craved as Gerrard produced one of his most iconic strikes ever, firing in on the half-volley from 25 yards out.
The Kop went wild as the goal flew in and it even led to former Everton striker Andy Gray yell: “Ohhhh, you beauutttyy. What a hit, son! What a hit!”
But ideally for Liverpool, Saturday’s clash will be a below par performance from Gerrard, for once.
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