Steven Gerrard has revealed how former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers reacted at half-time to his slip against Chelsea towards the end of the 2013/14 season.
With just two games to follow this match, the title was Liverpool’s to lose but the England international’s slip meant Demba Ba cruised through to put Chelsea ahead at a pivotal point in the game, with the half-time whistle looming.
Gerrard and his team-mates were well aware of the potential impact of this goal, not only on the game, but their entire title challenge.
The 35-year-old has since revealed just what his manager said at half-time to lift his skipper and the team.
“I had been straining the whole half to make something happen, so had Luis [Suarez],” Gerrard writes in his autobiography (via the the42.ie).
“Chelsea just kept blunting us. And then I’d slipped. The dressing room was hushed.
“Look,” Brendan said, imploring the other players, “if anyone deserves to be bailed out it’s him.” His finger pointed at me. “Your captain needs you to all pay him back.
“The amount of times he’s pulled this club out of a mess and changed impossible situations and got players out of trouble are the stuff of legend.
“Now it’s time you repay him. You’ve got forty-five minutes to do it.” Brendan looked at me. “Stevie, forget it,” he said. “It happens. Let’s all go out and win this game. We can do it.”
Unfortunately for the Merseysiders, Chelsea went on to score another goal at the end of the second half to secure a win which took the wind out of the Reds’ sails ahead of their next game against Crystal Palace, a game in which they ended up drawing 3-3 after going three goals ahead.
Even a win over Newcastle on the final day wasn’t to be enough, as Liverpool’s lack of nerve eventually cost them the league by two points to Manchester City.
Liverpool have since gone backwards, but with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, there is an air of hope around the club once again, notwithstanding the recent news that both Joe Gomez and Danny Ings’ seasons have prematurely come to an end through injury.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena